A blog about living outside, first in my car, then in tents.


I’d forgotten about these nasty biting bugs. Damn.

Chiggers love the grasslands. The higher the grass the better. And I’m living in a meadow full of high grass. Bleached dead grass, albeit, but high nevertheless.

My first bites of the season are three in a line, across the fronts of both legs, just above the knee where my skirt ends. But they don’t itch (yet), so I asked around: Could it be chigger season already? One person swore and refused to talk about them, he hates them so much. Another said, “It depends on how high the grass is.” “It’s high,” I answered. “Then, yes.”

Some number of years ago, after a particularly bad outbreak of chigger bites all over my body, I stopped touching my dogs during the summer. They’d look up at me with puppy eyes saying, “Why won’t you pet me?” But when they tried to brush up against me I jumped aside, lifted my hands, pulled loose clothes close.

So what do I do now? I might be wise to wear jeans all summer, but they’re so hot. My dogs travel in the same car I sleep in. I have no shower handy to wash the chiggers off after coming in from outside.

Maybe this year’s crop won’t bite. Or their bites won’t itch. Hey, I can dream.

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