Thursday, April 08, 2010

Day three ...

... of work in the field.

Today, I found out that I'm pretty much immune to fire ant bites. Didn't exactly set out to test that theory, but I managed to step onto a mound when collecting soil samples. Had ants covering my leg up to my knee by the time I realized it, had a few bites and stings but they haven't welted up yet (6 hours later) and I doubt they're going to at this point.

I do have a nice bruise underneath my ribcage, and blisters on both hands though. With the lack of rain those soils were dry and compact!

3 comments:

soil mama said...

Welcome to soil science Mr Microbiologist
:)

RPS77 said...

Heh - one of my earliest childhood memories is of a swarm of fire ants crawling up and biting my right leg, and the sheer panic that ensued (my panic, not the ants'). I was kind of a jumpy, panic-prone kid - certainly not an adventurous type! My family moved from Louisiana to Massachusetts a few months after that, but ants still made me nervous for years even though none of the species up here are that aggressive.

I hope that there is no long-lasting discomfort for you from this.

Thomas Joseph said...

soil mama: what was my initiation? The fire ants, or the bruises from trying to collect 6 inch soil plugs from unyielding ground? Or both?

RPS77: Yah, I was a bit stunned when I looked down and noticed my pant leg was swarming with ants. Fortunately a good deal of them were caught up in my socks and they all didn't reach my leg, though quite a few did. When I went to swat them off, got a couple of stings on my hand as well. I'm surprised that I had a minimal reaction (I can see two small bumps on my leg as of 12 hours post-attack). Of course, by the time I wake up tomorrow I probably won't be able to walk ... but so far, so good! :)