“I hate nature,” my 12-year-old daughter mumbled years ago as the urgent care doctor removed a tick embedded in the middle of her back. She’d been away at a week-long school camp in Northern California, so we had no idea how long the tick had been there. Fortunately, she didn’t contract Lyme disease from the bite.

I’ve always been afraid of ticks (along with snakes and poison oak), and I was reminded of my fears last month while taking a nature hike in the redwoods near the Russian River. Read more