Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Creatures, Big and Small

This has been a great summer for whalewatching. Our Liberty Coin Suite guests saw 12 whales on their trip out to Stellwagen Bank, including the beauty above. The whalewatching cruise now costs $33 for one adult, and $25 for children over 5. Still it is an experience to remember for a lifetime. Those whales are so serene, powerful, and BIG!

A creature that is much smaller has not been as evident this summer, perhaps due to the lack of rain, but is surely around. I was reminded of its presence by a neighbor from the other side of Long Pond Road who was out walking and said she had been suffering from “flu-like symptoms.” A light went off because I now know people do not get flu in summer. Two years ago this month doctors were trying to figure out why I had no energy at all. Those same flu-like symptoms in early July had left me exhausted. A local doctor ordered a Lyme test, which came back negative, but something was definitely wrong. I spent all day, every day, in bed, with aches and pains. I requested a second test, and it revealed Lyme Disease.

Before getting Lyme, I did not take the risk of contagion seriously. Since then, I keep my eyes open for ticks. I have gotten so I can recognize the deer ticks, which travel on birds, mice, and deer, as opposed to the larger dog ticks. I do a tick-check every night. I wish everyone were taking the same precautions. I tell all my guests about Lyme and urge caution. Now that I am paying attention, I have noticed ticks congregate around doors in June, perhaps following human scent, as they seek a next host. There is information out there on what to do if bitten, so I will not go into that here.

CBS News reported recently that 250,000 cases of Lyme go unreported each year. Deer ticks now exist in all but 13 states. Sweden has seen its tick population increase dramatically, too. When Sven and I were married 9 years ago, there were few ticks in his town. This summer my husband was bitten three times! He tells me the ticks were coming into his house there. Whether through a crack under the door, or on laundry, they invade our spaces. If I find any ticks, I pick them up with tissue paper and flush them down the toilet.

I way prefer the gentle whales ….