Saturday, March 19, 2011

Tick Time

I was remiss in not mentioning a few days ago (Thursday) that the first ticks emerged. These are the black-legged (deer) tick that can transmit Lyme disease. Kodi picked up a few when we walked through a field on a sunny afternoon.

We find ticks on Kodi's black body mostly by feel. We discovered three embedded ticks in Kodi on Thursday while giving him is after dinner body massage! On his last vet visit a month or so ago he tested positive for Lyme. However, he shows no signs of the disease, such as lameness or fatigue. Quite the opposite in fact. Most dogs around here seem to test positive. Unless they show signs we don't worry. The same goes for ourselves. We do a daily body check (when we remember) once ticks emerge. Prevention is always the best, with prompt removal of an embedded tick.

The emergence of ticks in no way changes how much time I spend my outdoors. I'm just a little more cautious in walking through high tick areas, such as tall grass, and do the regular body checks. Otherwise, no worries.

In other local news: 

We are hoping that the clouds part this afternoon in time to see the so-called "Supermoon" rise. Tonight, the full moon is coinciding with its perigee -- when the moon in its orbit is closest to the earth. This combination doesn't happen that often. The moon will be thousands of miles closer -- thus appearing larger than usual -- than its average distance from earth, although it is still 221,566 miles away.

You've heard from me that woodcock are peenting. This is a good night to get out to see the supermoon and the amazing Sky Dance of the woodcock. Moonrise is around 7:15 pm here, just when the woodcock are peenting and twittering. And the full moon encourages the woodcock to dance longer into the night.

More spring migrant birds are arriving. I saw and heard a killdeer in a nearby field. The NH Birding List posted sightings of tree swallows and broad-winged hawks. Chris Martin, from New Hampshire Audubon, reported that a peregrine falcon nesting on a building in Manchester laid her first egg of 2011. Spring is upon us.

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