North Carolina in the summer has mosquitos, and the observatory is basically in a mowed patch of a grassy field in the middle of the woods in Duke Forest. Deer and other animals move through the fields all day and night (we may well see some), carrying their natural parasites. The unmowed grass on all sides therefore contains a variety of pests including ticks and chiggers (and should generally be avoided). Please wear suitably protective clothing and/or spray exposed skin with insect repellent to minimize your risks of an annoying and possibly dangerous bite. I'll try to bring repellent with me whenever we have a session in case you have a hard time finding it.
Note well: ticks in North Carolina carry a significant health risk. Both Lyme Disease (from the small deer ticks) and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (from the larger dog ticks or lone star ticks) are moderately prevalent in North Carolina, and RMSF can be (and is, for one or two people a year including a UNC undergrad a few years ago) fatal if left undiagnosed and untreated until it is too late!
Although the risk of contracting either one from a bite is small (essentially zero unless the tick has been attached for around a full day) it is always wise to note the day you pull off any attached tick, and be sure to report it to your physician if you start to feel flu-ey - muscle aches and fever, with or without any ``spotting'' of your skin - around a week later.
Chiggers are tiny bugs that are naturally parasitic to birds. They begin life as vegetarians living on e.g. blades of grass, and we are not their natural targets. Although they are not actively dangerous (as far as I know), chigger bites (like tick bites) can itch for weeks or even months afterwards due to a localized allergic reaction to proteins in the chigger or tick's mouth fluids. Fortunately, chiggers do not generally attach or bite right away, and a shower/inspection after any exposure is usually enough to dislodge any unwelcome visitors before they bite.
This information isn't intended to make you scared to go to the observatory at all (you can just as easily get a tick from a walk through the Duke Gardens) - just to use some sense and not go to a session wearing shorts and sandals without any insect repellent, then go wandering off into the grass, and then going home and straight to bed. RMSF is easily treated if caught early (I had it myself a couple of years ago). If you shower and check yourself for ticks upon return from any trip into Duke Forest during the warm months, you should be fine.