All of this activity made me wax philosophical. What can we learn from a tick? Here we have a very simple creature whose mission in life is to feed off of other creatures. They are as slow moving as a turtle, smaller than a sunflower seed, and yet they can strike terror in our hearts. Last summer Chase had Lyme disease thanks to a tick and that is only one of many diseases they can carry. It was not easy for me to find some positive life lessons from a parasite, but since I love a challenge...
Consider the tick's methodical nature. It doesn't rush through life. Like a pilgrim seeking enlightenment, it carefully climbs up grass or other vertical obstacles and stays perched at the summit, waiting with uplifted arms for the hot breath or warm flesh that signals sustenance for the tick. When it senses life, it reaches out and grabs hold.
But the tick does not feed yet. Instead, it searches for the perfect spot. Someplace warm, where it can leisurely settle in and drink deeply. It may spend another day in search of perfection. I wonder how long that is in tick years? Think about this! All it has to do is sink in as soon as it makes contact with skin, but it would rather wait until it is in the best possible place!
And so, another lesson for my series, You can learn a lot by watching animals:
Search for your perfect niche, then dig in.
Author's note: I was certain I would find a tick to photograph, since we were at the nature center twice this week, but the little buggers have proven elusive. I will update with a picture soon.