18 November 2007

Me and the tick at the Neil Young concert

Soon after the Neil Young concert started on Friday night at the DAR Constitution Hall in DC, a spot on my back got itchy. While scratching it, I felt a lump under my shirt. When I discretely slid my hand under my shirt and touched the lump, I realized I had a tick attached to my skin.

The tick had probably been on me since the previous weekend when I was at the woods. I had no intention of dealing with a tick in the dark or missing any of the concert. I figured letting it suck some more blood a few more hours wasn’t going to make a significant difference in anything; if it was carrying any bacteria or viruses, I had probably already received a “healthy” dose of them anyway. So, I just left the tick there and enjoyed the concert.

The concert started off with Neil Young's wife Pegi's almost 45-min long opening act. She was pretty good. I am not sure how to label her music. Country-folk, maybe? After a short intermission, Neil came on stage and sat inside a circle of guitars and played solo acoustic versions of his classics for about an hour, changing guitars between songs. We heard, among others, Cowgirl in the Sand, one of my favorites, and Harvest, A Man Needs a Maid and From Henk to Hendrix. After another intermission, Neil returned with his long-time buddies Ben Keith (guitar), Ralph Molina (drums) and Rick Rosas (base) for an electric session that lasted another hour or maybe longer. I truly enjoyed it. It was a great concert!

When I got back home it was past midnite. My wife, who, thanks to the opportunities I present to her frequently, is an experienced tick-puller. Once again, she removed the tick swiftly and deposited it in a vial of alcohol. It appears to be the usual suspect Ixodes scapularis, the deer tick. I have since had a small red spot on my back where the tick was attached. Lyme disease? Hopefully, not, but we are keeping an eye on it. I'll be okay, though.

Here is the sucker in alcohol awaiting further studies.

It originally had a grayish-white color, but turned red in alcohol.


Gilles Arbour said...

What is the size of the beast? It is hard to figure out without knowing the size of the glass vial. At first glance it seems huge for a deer tick. How many millimeters is it?


The beast is 4.2 mm long. It is big, because it is full of my blood!

O. B. Sirius said...

Those white tick pullers with the flat bottom are really efficient. Personal experience!

burning silo said...

A concert review and a tick encounter -- only at Snail's Tales. Sounds like an excellent concert. As for the tick encounter, I hope it proves uneventful.

Katie said...

Oh my! I have brought home several deer ticks from my hiking/nature photography expeditions. Fortunately, none of them have latched on to me--yet.

They are tiny things (when not gorged with blood) and easy to miss.

Best of luck.