Friday, 7 September 2012

The things H gets up to

As some of you are aware H is always creating little problems for me to solve and deal with.
He loves to walk on the Common around our home, and for him this time of year heralds blackberry picking. I think he must give off pheramones attractive to ticks as he wanders through the waving grasses, because on several occasions over the years, he has returned home with at least one on either his arm or leg even though he wears long-sleeved shirts and long trousers. We are informed that the ones round here do not carry the borreliosis bacteria which can cause Lyme Disease, but it is advisable to remove them. A few days ago he drew my attention to a black dot on his ankle so off I went to get my tweezers, it is important not to squash them whilst in situ. I am resolved now to get a proper tick remover as it is important that the contents of the ticks stomach are not regurgitated as you pull it out. I managed to retrieve the little creature, squeezed it between my fingers to make sure it was dead, and put it on H's fingernail so that I could inspect it under the magnifying eye glass. Having thought that I had killed it, I was shocked when straightaway the little beast scuttled off into the corner of his nail. Quickly, we then decided the safest place to put it was on the kitchen worktop. I am talking here about a creature that looks like a black dot to the naked eye, not much bigger than a poppy seed. When I peered at it through my eye glass I was totally intrigued by what I saw.
A Tick is a blood sucking arthropod related to spiders, mites and scorpions. This one is a male, the female has a longer body and legs, and the Nymph has six legs, not sure at what stage it grows an extra pair of legs!!! He has stripes on his body and eight legs, and two sharp needle pointed fangs at its front. I took the photo with my eye glass angled above it and then used the macro shot on my camera
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We are enjoying an Indian Summer at the moment. This photo was taken in our garden during sunset last night. The days are still, and calm, with the sun shinning down on us from dawn to dusk. 
Miscanthus sinensis Zebrinus - Zebra grass
catching the early morning sunlight
Oenothera - Evening Primrose

56 comments:

  1. Hello Rosemary:
    We cannot say that we are enamoured of the tick, nor indeed the idea of it, but we do think that your photograph of it in the round, so to speak, is superb, as is that of the sunset.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance - they are not very nice wee beasties, and I do hope that this does not upset anyone of a nervous disposition - I suppose observers have the choice to look away and move on to another blog!!! However, under the eye glass they do resemble a small spider and look quite innocent!!!

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  2. What an amazing photo of the tick. I never imagined they would look so attractive....and harmless. Your garden is looking lovely in these early days of autumn, with that softer sunshine. Hope H. has recovered from the tick attack.

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    1. I was very surprised when I saw what it looked like Janice.
      Yes, you are right about the early days of autumn with the light being imperceptibly softer, the colours mellow, long may these Indian Summer days continue.

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  3. My dear Rosemary
    I've heard about ticks, I have never seen , may be we do not live near a garden! Photo of tick is amazing, thank you that I learned today about this! The sunset that you saw is wonderful , so you need to forget the pesky of garden (vermin, insects ) and seeing the positives, like this beautiful sunset and the beauty of flower !!
    Have a nice day
    Olympia

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    1. Dear Olympia - the ticks are not actually in the garden, but live on the grasses in the meadowland also in and around the forest areas. He looks very innocent, but is waiting for a victim, and given the opportunity he will get to you or an animal quickly. We saw how fast he ran when I put him on H's nail.
      We are really enjoying a very pleasant end to the summer at the moment.

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  4. Your days sounds lovely , not too hot, not too cold. We also have ticks here, especially in long grass. Some of the larger ones can kill a dog if left undetected.

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    1. Bigger ones sounds even worse. I think that we only have one type - I know that the female can swell to a pea size after taking in a lot of blood, but the male does not. He is probably more refined in his blood drinking habits!!!

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  5. Oh my gosh.. H was lucky.! Ticks can be so very dangerous. The trick is to get the head out as well.. then burn it. dont try to kill it..just burn it with a match. You can get leichmaniosis from ticks. They are no stranger to me.
    I have 5 dogs ..always well groomed and with the special front line. But the ticks can crawl into the house or stick to your shoe or trousers.. horrible little things. I have killed some so so fat.. once you take it out of the skin... disinfect that area and draw a little blood..to make sure there is no head left inside.

    I did not know you could get a sickness from blackberries boreliosis.! I must look that up. Mr. M.. is off to hospital today to have some tests.. he has not been too well..and we have loads here, and he loves to pick them.!

    Your photo images are delightful Rosemary. The Indian summer dusk is beautiful..
    wishing you and Mr. H a happy weekend.
    val

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    1. Dear Val - sorry if you thought that the borreliosis came from the blackberry. Blackberries are fine, the bacteria borreliosis is in the tick so please do not worry about that. H eats loads and loads of blackberries.
      Hope that Mr. M is alright following his hospital visit, it is a worry for you especially when you do not know what the cause is.

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    2. Misread rosemary. I was worried about that all day. Yes, the ticks can give many illnesses.
      Mr. M, is staying in the city to have more tests on Monday. Hoping they can find what is wrong.
      xx

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    3. I am so sorry Val that you were worried when you already have enough concerns to think about.
      Thinking about you and Mr. M and hoping for the best possible outcome.

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  6. Dear Rosemary, Oh, yes, that is a tick. I've had them on me. We see a lot of them in sheep country. In this area they are carriers of Rocky Mountain Fever and will cause a lot of harm and lifelong illnesses.
    I have a friend who had one lodged in her ear for months. She could hear it but several doctors assured her that she was imagining things. It finally came to the surface and was plucked from her ear.
    We take them out by applying heat, the ticks start backing out in one piece. You are correct in being careful not to pull them apart.

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    1. Dear Gina - what an awful thing to happen to your friend, it sounds ghastly.
      Strangely we are advised not to use heat. They tell us that heat can make the tick regurgitate. They are tricky little beasts.

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  7. Hello Rosemary,
    Ticks are unfortunately quite common in Dorset too. All of us including the dog have fallen victims I recommend the tick remover it makes it so much easier to pull them out. Such a beautiful sunset that looks even more magnificent in your round picture.
    Sarah x

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    1. Dear Sarah - a tick remover is definitely on my list from the Pet Shop next week. The weather is great isn't it? Wonderful sunrises and equally glorious evening sunsets - beautiful.

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  8. how interesting you make a tick. and how tiny it is!

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    1. He is a very clever tiny creature - not to be underestimated.

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  9. Lovely sunset Rosemary!Amazing images!Wish you a lovely weekend!
    Dimi..

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    1. Thank you Dimi - we are having some wonderful skies this week, and glad you liked the images - thank you.

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  10. Hello Rosemary, "H" certainly has his share of adventures and mishaps. Growing up in Ohio, I never heard of ticks, even though we were outdoors constantly. However, I attended college in Connecticut (home of the infamous Lyme, Connecticut that Lyme disease was named after) and they were a reality you had to watch out for there, especially as the woods and fields are so beautiful.

    I love your evening primrose--are they planted or wild?

    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Dear Jim - I know that Lyme Disease if very difficult to identify as it mimics so many other neurological diseases. Unless you catch it in the early stages with a very strong antibiotic then I understand nothing can be done and the disease progresses on its relentless way.
      The evening primrose did not arrive in our garden from the wild, but they are a wild flower. H saw some last year that escaped from a nearby garden which were in seed. He pulled a seedpod off, brought it home and scattered them in the garden. He is very pleased that they have grown.

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  11. I had no idea ticks were so very small, not much bigger than a poppy seed, really??? Good thing you noticed it and removed it before it could do any harm and become peashaped.
    The weather has been wonderful here as well today and predictions for the weekend are good as well. Tonight the sky looked like it was on fire, a bit like on your picture but with more clouds. O yes, I took a picture, correction, pictures ;-) Don't know though how they will look, haven't put them on the computer yet ;-)
    Bye,
    have a lovely tickfree weekend with lots of sun and gorgeous weather,
    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - Didn't I say that I would send our Indian Summer over to you? I am so pleased that it arrived. Look forward to seeing your sunset pictures. Enjoy a lovely sunny weekend and long may it keep on shinning for us all.

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  12. H keeps you busy indeed. Ticks are scary to me and I have a little knowledge of them. When I worked in Family Medicine we had a doctor who specialized in Lyme disease and patients would bring me ticks in a bag or better yet come in with a tick attached and we would take it off and test them. We are smack in the middle of Lyme disease country here. Your primrose is gorgeous.

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    1. The evening primrose is a wild flower but really highlights that corner of the garden, and particularly so at night. You can actually see it almost glowing in the evening twilight.

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  13. Dear Rosemary,
    Beautiful photos as always. Love the sunset, the grass and your gorgeous evening primrose. And yes the photo of the tick is great too. We have them here too and we have to check our dogs every day. They've had some over the years.
    I'm glad to hear that you are having an Indian Summer.
    Wish you a wonderful weekend.
    Mette

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    1. Dear Mette - I suspect you must have a tick remover, that is my next purchase. Off to the Pet Shop next week to get one.
      I loved your last photos of beautiful Norway. Hope the sun is shinning for you.

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  14. Hello Rosemary

    Never a dull moment. Thanks for the information on the tick. Your images of the garden, evening primrose and sunset are spectacular. We are travelling to Ireland early next week and hoping we get an Indian summer like your are enjoying.

    Helen xx

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    1. Dear Helen - have a wonderful, wonderful, time I shall look forward to your photos. I suspect that you are off to the beautiful south of Ireland, an inspirational place for some painting - may be?
      We are also off to Ireland the following week, our first visit to the north, so we too are hoping that the weather will be good.

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  15. Dear Rosemary, what a story! Over here ticks can be dangerous and as we often go to the woods all members of the family have been vaccinated. Aren't these autumn days magical? Your photos show it so well and I must admit you are not only a talented story-teller but also very good photographer! Have a lovely day! Christa

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    1. Dear Christa - So often September is a wonderful time. Unfortunately it is just when the children return to school so that they miss out on the better weather.
      I did not know that you could be vaccinated against ticks. That is something to think about. H should really tuck his trousers in his socks and try not to walk in the very long grass when he is out on the common.

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  16. Good morning Rosemary, yes they are from our balconies (we have four). The sun is pushing through now and yes, it is going to be a warm and sunny day! Thanks for your comment and have a lovely day too! CHrista

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    1. We have a similar start to the day here Christa, the sun is just beginning to poke through the mist, indicating a warm day. I noticed that your tomatoes are the same colour as mine - still green. I shall have to gather mine up and put them on the windowsill if they do not get some colour soon.

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  17. You have to be sure to kill ticks. My FIL suffered tick bite fever, and we had a dog die from it. Horrible creatures.

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    1. Thanks for your visit - who would think that a creature so tiny could cause such distress, and something that a lot of people do not even realise.

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  18. Hello, Rosemary - Here in the U.S., we're experiencing outbreaks of the West Nile Virus, a strange and very serious disease that is transmitted from birds to mosquitoes to humans. But concerning ticks, I always thought that the best way to get rid of them was to light a match, and then as soon as you blow it out, put the match tip to the tick. The idea is that if the tick has actually imbedded itself, it will quickly and completely detach.

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    1. There are currently some very strange diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. In the case of bacteria regrettably antibiotics are not longer able to deal with many of them anymore. Viruses of course are a law unto themselves and very difficult to treat.
      It seems every country has its own way of dealing with the beastly tick, as I mentioned to Gina, we are told not to put anything hot on them as it tends to make them regurgitate.

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    2. Now that you mention it (again), it makes perfect sense that they would do that!

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    3. First thing on my shopping list this week Mark, is an official tick remover. You can buy them in the Pet Shops I think that they have a very fine hoop that scoops under the tick and they come out whole without being squashed. I have suggest to H that he tucks his trousers in his socks when walking in the long grasses in the future.

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  19. The sunset, all the more gorgeous in your circular cutout, makes me believe you live in a little piece of heaven, minus the evil-intentioned tick, of course.

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    1. A little piece of heaven would be boring without a few little devils don't you think Rosemary?

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  20. A natureza é sempre encantadora e surpreendente.
    Parabéns pelo blog.

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    1. Obrigado pela visita e tão contente que você tenha gostado do blog

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  21. They are terrible terrible creatures! From times to times the forest here is full of them ( I always get so scared they'll get inside my hair!) I must tell you they make more anxious than meeting a moose!

    It is so lovely with an indian summer as it is your photograph : )

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    1. They are incredibly astute little beasties, and amazing how they climb aboard. They are not so keen to get in your hair Demie, they much prefer a juicy bit of ankle or thigh!!!
      The weather is lovely, but why does it do this when the children are back at school?
      Good job there are no blood sucking moose around.

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  22. Fascinating I remember one of my nephews having a problem when he was quite young with delightful creatures that carry Lyme's Disease. :(

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    1. I do not think that they are the most popular of natures wonders.

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  23. Be careful with those ticks! I check myself and our dogs regularly. I love the zebra grass. We had such a dry summer....thinking of incorporating large grass plants in my beds. I love the variegated ones. xoxo, Loi

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    1. There are many lovely grasses Loi, and we have quite a lot growing in gravel. Some are variegated but I also have one that I love that is a wonderful, yellow, limey green, which appear to glow in the evening and drapes like a fountain.

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    2. I am interested in the ones with silver or white margins....don't you think they would look lovely in my white garden?

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    3. Yes, especially a white margin complimented by a soft blue/green colour.

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  24. thanks for the picture of the tick and all the useful information around;I have not encounter any myself, but is best to be prepared! I heart that this year a lot of places have much more than in previous years....happy new week from me!

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    1. I have never actually had a tick on myself, but my husband has had several. Perhaps he should not go wandering through the long grasses so often.

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  25. There I was settling down with my cuppa and a rich tea biscuit to see what was new in blogland after a week away, I put that biscuit right back down after reading of all that squishing and regurgitating:) I love the way your kitchen doubles up as a science lab for tick and invasive weed research Professor Rosemary.

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    1. Oh, you do make me laugh Paul - H is the Professor not me!!!

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