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July 7, 2002 (written on July 8, 2002)

Yesterday I went to war.

You see, I wanted to pick berries, but the ticks, mosquitoes, heat and poison ivy were potential deterrents.

And so if I was going to pick berries, I decided that I was going to make the effort worth it by spending a lot of time and picking a full bucket.

But to do so required some weapons.

For the ticks, well, not much stops them. Usually my best preventative measure is to put duct tape around my pant legs (faded blue jeans) where they meet my hiking boots. That way, I can often see the ticks crawling up my pant legs and I can pick them off.

For the mosquitoes, I brought along lots of spray, and I also brought a black hooded sweatshirt with long sleeves. I wore that without a shirt. It was very hot, but effective.

For the poison ivy, I wore rain pants so the oil from the plant would not get on my wet blue jeans and then onto my skin.

For the heat, well, when you wear rain pants over blue jeans, and a black hooded sweatshirt, there's not much you can do except to drink lots of water.

What were the results? No ticks, no poison ivy, lots of swarming mosquitoes but no bites, a lot of sweat, and a nearly full bucket of berries.

In retrospect, I'm thankful that I was at least two miles from the nearest road because if someone had seen me on that hot day wearing rain pants and a black hooded sweatshirt, well, who knows what they would have thought.

Luckily, I had the place to myself oh yeah, except for the ticks, mosquitoes, poison ivy and hot air.

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