Monday, March 23, 2009

23 March 2009

The past few mornings have been crisp--not springlike. Although the sun would have you believe otherwise. So deceiving, that I refused to wear my long johns this morning, and quickly regretted it. It was 27 degrees when Fenris and I arrived, and there was enough wind to bite through my thin pants. 
My flower bulbs at home are coming up: daffodils and lilies, allium, and bluebells. There is still no sign of spring flowers at Presque Isle. Spring seems to come almost a week or more later at here--ice still lingers on the lake, keeping the air cooler. 
Fenris finds every game trail along our way, and then some turkey scat. A 'j' shaped hook at the end of the scat indicates a tom had passed by here. No hook on turkey scat is indicative of a hen. It must smell interesting to him, because he refuses to move forward. 
Through the tall grasses and up over a dune. Peering through binoculars reveals no activity at the first trap. We immediately retrace our steps to the trail. 
I do worry about ticks and my dog. But Fen always wears flea and tick treatment, and does have his Lyme vaccination. And I do too. Ten years ago, when I first started visiting the park interior on a daily basis, my mom had heard of the Lyme Disease vaccination for people. It was a series of three shots. However, I will always test positive for Lyme Disease and will require a more specific test: the Western Blot Test, to determine if I have the disease. The vaccine is no longer available due to a lack of interest. We also use tick spray on our clothes that lasts for two weeks. This is yet another preparation process that we do to prevent tick bites. I spray my clothes outside, and hang them on the clothesline for at least three hours. The chemical, permanone, is toxic to cats--so we are extra careful that our two orange tabbies in the house are not exposed. 
All and all, I will have a permanent case of the heebie-jeebies until next winter.
Second set: empty. 
Fenris and I continue on to squeeze in his daily walk at the same time. He isn't tall enough to see three turkey run from our approach, but rather smells where they had crossed the trail.
Fen next finds some coyote scat: right in the middle of the trail. Coyotes tend to do this on purpose: to advertise whose territory this is. At least this makes scat collection a little easier.
A small flock of Common grackles fly over clicking as they go. A large pterodactyl-like bird retires from his roost, complaining as he goes of our disturbance. Or was it the owl that forced him from his perch? A Great horned owl follows quickly behind the heron.
Fenris is chewing on something. I shove my fingers in his mouth and pull out a paper food wrapper. If Fen wants to eat these things, it's no wonder we find them in coyote scat too.


  1. The Lyme Vaccine is no longer available because people with certain genetic characteristics, when vaccinated, developed severe lyme arthritis and sued SmithKline. The protein used to manufactured the lyme disease vaccine (OspA - outer surface protein or 31 kDa) was not included in the antibodies that show up on current testing because (1) people who were vaccinated would test false-positive for the disease and (2) the 31 kDa antibody shows up very late in the disease and is not useful for surveillance of early Lyme, which is what the current "diagnostic" (NOT) tests miss those who were not diagnosed early - often the sickest among us.

  2. This is terrible news! I had heard that 'getting Lyme from the vaccination' was a rumor! How awful? Did this happen to you or someone you know?
    Thank you for sharing such detailed information.