Daily Archives: July 23, 2008

Berry Picking by Moonlight

Chiggers lie in wait to make me lunch as I grab these blackberries for my own meal.

Chiggers lie in wait to make me their lunch as I grab these blackberries for my own meal.

How did chiggers make a living before people started wearing clothes?

An entomologist explained in a college “bugs and boys” class that chiggers have weak mouth parts so they need pressure to clamp onto our skin.  The invention of elastic waistbands was a huge boon to chiggerdom. 

This is blackberry season, which means every time I bring in a bowl of berries from my bushes, I’m also wearing a crop of chiggers.  I’ve never seen a chigger, but they sure make their presence known. Huge itching welts appear, usually in a line along my underwear.   Bug spray doesn’t always work, either. It’s almost like salad dressing to the bugs.

What would happen if we gardened in the nude?  Would the poor chiggers wander the naked skin, unable to take a bite? 

Naked gardening does pose other problems — sun overexposure and skin overexposure. I wouldn’t want a golfer on the adjoining course to miss a shot, shocked by the sight of me scampering around naked with a berry basket.  Some night I may just creep out to the bushes under the moonlight, flashlight in hand, hoping I don’t surprise a hungry raccoon, and tell those chiggers, “Bite me, if you can!”

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