When it finally did stop raining, farmers had 10 days of work to do in a matter of hours. The longest days were fully utilized. I got on and off every tractor I own. I hooked and unhooked almost every implement, too. When I did shut my eyes, I saw dirt turning beneath me.Something I didn’t have in southern Sagaponack: ticks. For close to 15 years, I have not been bitten by a tick. But Sagaponack North—or, as I like to say, “Poxy-bogue”—is crawling with them: in the grass, in my bed, on my dog, on my head … and, finally, a deer tick embedded on my thigh. I had already privately decided what to do when the inevitable happened. My Hippocratic oath does include harm, if the harm is relatively topical. It is obvious that I consulted no physician.
The tick was not so long my passenger when I felt a rather poignant itch. I stopped to scratch, an alarm went off, and there I saw the mean freckle. I was able to pull the brute out with my fingers. This ease was not part of my original plan—I still proceeded to the kitchen, turned the burner on high, grabbed a fork and turned its tines red, before touching it to my flesh and burning all around where the tick had been. A few moments later, I poured rubbing alcohol on the wound, still noting that I felt little pain. Perhaps the plausible alternative seemed so much worse.
Hail to the man who recently tightroped across the Grand Canyon—but crossing the lawn hasn’t been this death-defying since the 1400s.
The barn swallows in the garage began to fledge on Sunday. From observation, we deduce that a young bird getting his flight is like a small child learning to ride a bike. The attending adult(s) move along with the beginner, keeping him going. It doesn’t always look like they are helping so much as enforcing that a skill to fly, and fly evasively, be acquired. As the little one struggles through his maiden flight, four and five adults are mainly working the air under him, bumping him upward and onward, to whatever safe perch they might find.