Tag Archive: woods

Go Anywhere!

As adventurous gals, we like to go to new and exciting places. Sometimes, it’s a lake right behind the office, and others, it’s a remote stream after a miles long hike. What we really like to do is encourage others to take time to go outdoors and see something or experience something that gives you that sense of adventure.

Sometimes, it’s just a walk in a local preserve or park. Some of us are trapped in a concrete jungle and a plastic cube and that’s about as adventurous as it gets. Others of us will take it to the limits and climb rocky peaks or dive the deepest rifts. The important thing is, get out there and see what we see.

The wild isn’t all filled with danger and mystery. There’s a beauty in nature that we can’t fake, print, pixellate or 3-D. The only way to know what tar flower smells like when it’s sticky and blooming is to see it and smell it in the air.

So, as Spring is springing – let’s remember to get out the and GO ANYWHERE!

Then, tell us about your adventures…the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Wild Women

Co-Creator Jacqueline Levine expressing her excitement as Chicks go live

Raging River

Raging River.

With spring fast approaching, I thought to let you all re-absorb this one!

Sing in the car!

As you probably know by now, Chicks with Ticks work in some pretty remote locations, which means that we spend ALOT of time driving around. We’ve found that a great way to kill time when stuck in the truck (hopefully not this kind of stuck) is to sing our hearts out! It took a few weeks of working together before Jacque and I felt comfortable singing in front of eachother, but I remember the first time it happened — we were driving down some podunk highway 5ish years ago after an exhausting day in the field, and Fergie’s “I Hope You Know” came on. As the song reached the chorus, Jacque just belted out with the most beautiful voice. I know she gets embarassed, but she is an amazing singer! I’m not by any stretch of the imagination, but I sing along anyways (though Jacque usually turns the volume up – coincidence?). Singing your heart out is a great way to 1) release stress after a long day, 2) pump yourself up in the morning, or 3) not have to talk to your traveling companion.. because let’s be honest, sometimes you just plain run out of stuff to talk about (unless you are Jacque).

So what’s on the CWT’s playlist these days? WARNING: DO NOT JUDGE. Our genres of choice tend to be country (very fitting for driving through the middle of nowhere) and pop since they are the best for singing along to. We listen to a wide variety of artists from Carrie Underwood to Beyonce, from Michael Jackson to Rascall Flatts, from Lady Antebellum to Madonna. And sadly we’ve even been known to subject some of our clients to our musical preferences (sorry about the Lady Gaga, Gene) or to sing our own crazy made-up songs in the woods (no one can hear us, right?)!

So we want to know – Do you sing in your car or, even better, in the woods? Share your favorite songs with us! Here are some of ours:

“In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.” -Baba Dioum

When I first read this quote painted across a wall of the South Carolina Aquarium, I stopped dead in my tracks. I was struck by how much this quote described my life not only as an environmentalist striving to protect ecosystems I had learned about and grown to love, but also as someone who just loves to learn. Think about it… anytime you invest money, energy, time, whatever, don’t you hold a greater interest in the outcome? I can think of many times I’ve been places (forests, museums, aquariums) where I had no clue what I was looking at. But then I opened a field book, read a placard, listened to a talk, and it completely changed the experience from walking around blindly to knowing and, more importantly, caring what I was looking at.

So here’s a little challenge! The leaf below is that of a red maple. A red maple is a common tree species in the United States. Its leaves have five points (the bottom two of which are much more subtle) and red stems. Florida isn’t known for it’s fall colors, but this particular tree’s leaves turn red at this time of year.

Red maple (Acer rubrum)

I know this little piece of knowledge seems insignificant and even silly, but I am confident that, in some small way, it will change the way you look at the world around you. So next time you are driving down the road and see a red tree amongst all the green and brown (in Florida at least), you will KNOW. You can only imagine what a dorky car ride it is when Jacque and I are pointing out plants!! And we love every minute of it 🙂

Our Namesake

Jacque was covered in ticks at Blues Creek!

Ticks are nasty little buggers. Actually, they are arachnids, not bugs at all, with eight creepy little legs. Some ticks are bigger than others — seed ticks are teeny tiny, while deer ticks are a little bigger. They all make us cringe!

Sometimes we discover ticks on us while we’re in the field, which is preferred because that usually means we’ve found them before they’ve had time to imbed themselves into our bodies! Every so often though, a few hours after leaving the woods (or even a day or two later) we’ll feel a little itch… and there it is, a damn tick! How did we miss it?? We always do a tick check, afterall! Those things are just plain devious.

Last time I found a tick on me, I was driving to work and felt something on my head… it was an imbedded tick! I pulled it out immediately! I know they say to light a match on its butt or use nail polish and this and that, but after all these years of getting ticks, I’ve found all of that to be a major pain. The first time I was covered in ticks was after a visit to Ocala National Forest (that place is wrought with them). I immediately went to the doctor, and this is what he told me: 1) It’s rare to get Lyme disease in Florida. 2) A tick has to be imbedded for at least 24 hours to transfer the disease. 3) There is no way to actually test for Lyme disease, it’s just based off of symptoms (flu-like ones such as dizziness, headaches, fever, sore throat, joint pain) and the level of probability that you could have contracted the disease based on answers to a questionnaire.

So I was sent home, Lyme disease free (supposedly!). Ever since then, I haven’t worried too much about it and have learned to embrace being a CHICK WITH TICKS!!

Most of you are asking, “Hey Jacque, how am I supposed to behave around scorpions?” I know, it’s a complicated situation. So, I put together this little Cheat Sheet so you will feel like a pro.

  1. Scorpions are horrible – remember that. They are creepy, nasty, ugly, scary, sneaky little arachnids that are a cross between a spider and an alien that wants to eat me  you! If you remember this – you may be okay. If you disagree, you are plainly an alien who wants to eat me, too.
  2. Scorpions love dry places. Under pine bark is their number one favorite place to hang out. Luckily, I don’t hang out there, unluckily, I work in forests. Please do NOT disturb pine bark unless YOU WANT TO SEE SCORPIONS (and termites – which aren’t that bad). If someone tells you that scorpions live under the bark and you still insist on kicking it (MIK) then don’t run to me crying when one gets on your shoe!
  3. If, for any reason, you are in my presence and happen to see a scorpion and think, “It would be so funny to put this near Jacque,” I will not find it amusing. Like I said – they eat your brains, just like zombies….yeah – I know they’re small – THEY ARE SNEAKY…..on those freaky little spiderish legs. And I will NOT scream (even though Kristen and several other people who will remain nameless say that I screamed a lot) and anyone who says I did is a liar. Hey – who’s the expert here?

    Alien Evil

  4. Scorpions love to get into small places where you need to put your hands, like wells and pipes, so look first – here is the old rule – THAT’S WHY THEY CALL THEM STICKS DUH!! Put one of those in there first, genius….
  5. Scorpions sting. Yep. They sting. Florida versions of scorpion are supposed to be rather harmless but I disagree. I think scorpions wrote that crap. They WANT us to think that – I’ll bet they’re sitting there in that nice cozy well pipe saying, “I can’t wait until that idiot human sticks its hand in here instead of a stick – ha ha!” Stinger…remember…poison…allergic…swelling! Anyway – it’s your hand.
  6. When you finally do see the scorpion and realize that there isn’t just one but one covered in hundreds of babies – that is NOT CUTE!!! Please do not say it is. This makes you look like a sympathizer. Yeah – I said it – looks and sounds like you are on their side. Baby scorpions are just small scorpions. They are carnivorous, cannibalistic, and gross. GOT IT?
  7. Once you see it, pass by it, and get through it – do not tell anyone how much I you screamed! If you do, I will feed you to the scorpions. And, lastly – I AM NOT AFRAID OF SCORPIONS. I just happen to know more about them that most people – I thought I owed it to you to share. You’re Welcome!
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