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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4 Comments

Filed under Biology, Gardening, Golf, Humor, Kansas, Life, Nature, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Berry Picking by Moonlight

  1. alwaysjan

    I think this is a grand idea, but then I’d do just about anything for a piece of blackberry pie. Just think, your neighbors could look out and see TWO full moons.

  2. I had this marvellous vision of all us naked gardeners and berry pickers! I guess we’re lucky not to have chiggers in Devon – just to check we didn’t have the same by a different name I looked them up http://mdc.mo.gov/nathis/arthopo/chiggers/ and no, I’m sure we don’t – luckily!
    Our blackberries are not ready till august – but blackberry and apple pie is a favourite.

    Ah well, time to strip off and go collect the vegetables for supper and do a bit of weeding!

  3. Catherine Sherman

    Paula, I was itching for more information, so I went to the Missouri Department of Conservation site you cited. The author recommended being fully clothed! How disappointing. No more naked romps in the blackberry bushes for me. I put some of what I learned in a recent post.

  4. wow very nice blog,very much informative! anywhere before anything like this unreadable, thanks for posting the article, was certainly a great read! thank you.

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