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!


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.

Tom 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! :)