I am proud to announce that I have come from the wilderness of the outdoors reeking with as much smoky campfire flavor as a living, breathing human sausage. Whilst out in the beautiful indecisively misting New York weather, I found that spring brought many things: such as that nasty sticky sensation you normally would get in the summer, except from rain; the constant sneezing of hay fever from an orgy of pollen; and last but not least, let’s not forget the strangers that tag along for the ride: namely the eight-legged ones with more diseases than the ladies walking through Hell’s Kitchen at night, circa 1970.
I only mention this because I met one up close and personal. Not this one, although I was sure it wished to get intimate with the softer parts of my body. I found another one that went head-over-thorax on me and I had to get that blood digger out of me before I was short of cash and Type O+. Don’t worry though: your fearless reporter is fine and shows no symptoms of Lyme disease, like memory lo
Thankfully, Lyme disease-carrying deer ticks are almost a non-issue in the city parks, but dog ticks are a different story. They’re relatively easy to spot and, unfortunately, can be carried along by latching on to a well-traveled host, which can range from a feral cat to a migratory bird. Surveys have shown that there is still a potential danger in contracting Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The more intelligent of you will notice that, although this is a growing number, a few dozen victims still is a really ratio when you realize this is for a city of several million people.
In all honesty, most of you folks will be fine, but I would keep wary of playing in what little brush you can find around the city, or at least keeping the more vulnerable ones (children) from playing around in too much of it. Don’t let it spoil what little nature we have around here anyway. It takes several hours for the tick to actually “bite” anyway; just be sure to inspect yourself on the way home.