News of Note
We have big news on the administrative front for PPFF. First, a hearty welcome to Andreja Rocknage, our new Office Assistant. This energetic mother of three is married to Fr. Christopher
Rocknage, rector of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Serbian Orthodox Church in
has been singing for as long as she can talk and sings with the women’s choir
out of Pittsburgh. She enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors, especially in
her garden. Her other passions are snowboarding, photography and piano.
Second, after some fits and starts we will beat the wrecking ball set to take down 1845 Market Street at the end of May and will be relocating to 704 Lisburn Road over the next few weeks. (Think of it - Give Local York, banquet, board meeting, AND office move all in May. Are we nuts or what?) Moving Week is scheduled for May 20 to 24 and if you have time or inclination to lend a hand at any point during that week please get in touch with Marci.
The tick topic last week garnered a lot of interest and discussion. It seems we are all - including the most hardcore outdoors enthusiasts - just a little weirded out by the increasingly alarming tick phenomenon. Our own Prez Marci has had Lyme disease twice and echoes all concerned when she says, "It is NO fun." And Reader Carol shared this instructional story (I have edited it a bit so I hope she can forgive me. I think I preserved the gist of it which is, as she said, "Do NOT mess with it.")
I got Lyme disease from a tick in June 2018. I came in and showered within the recommended two-hour time frame. No ticks at that point. It was the next day when we got home from camp that I noticed the tick, removed it, alcohol wiped the area and thought, “I'll be good.” NOT. One week later, a bulls-eye rash and fever. Very sick ... for many months...
I think it came in on the dog. He bounced on the bed and I chased him off but I think that is where the critter came from.
This is your best protection: long pants tucked into high boots and taped along the top; long-sleeved top tucked into pants, tape your waist if you’re comfortable; wear gloves and tape the wrists if you’re working in a wooded area. We now have a protocol:
Wear protective clothing outside (yes, you will sweat).
Brush the dog outside before entering the home.
Remove all clothing away from living area.
Wash yourself within two hours of coming inside - and check closely for ticks.
Check again when changing clothes. The sooner they are removed the better.
If you ARE bitten, see a doctor as soon as possible – and if that doctor doesn’t listen to you, see another. There are Lyme disease specialists throughout the state.
Carol and a few others mentioned that East Stroudsburg University’s Tick Research Lab will test your tick for Lyme and other co-infections (which is a major part of Lyme).
I could use Carol’s other note as this week’s trivia question but we’ll call this a supplemental “did you know.” Ticks hatch under burning bush shrubs (their favorite) and leaf matter. They get onto mice who carry them around and act as hosts so when the tick is large enough it grabs onto the grass/weeds and then onto deer or YOU! They fill up with blood and fall off starting the cycle all over again.
As a final word on the subject, a few folks also mentioned planting your yard with “tick tubes” to disrupt this "mouse as host" nesting process. Neighbor Wendy (whose lovely canine tick magnet started the discussion) had just shared her intention to plant these little time bombs in her yard.
As for my question on treating clothes with permethrin (or buying already treated clothes), the consensus is to DO IT. I have ordered Sawyer's spray from Amazon (also available at Wal-Mart, Tractor Supply, and outdoor sporting goods stores). Reader Mary Jo begs me to include this warning:
Permethrin is a neurotoxin and it kills the ticks by affecting their
nervous system. Don't apply it to your clothes indoors if you have
cats! Liquid permethrin is toxic to
cats, so spray your clothes outside and protect your kitties.
Duly noted. My Emma is more precious to me than is strictly reasonable.
My offer to provide one of our "tick cards" by mail still stands - just drop me a line and I'll be happy to put one in the mail to you.
You have probably read of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's decision to close the very popular Glen Onoko Trail near Jim Thorpe because of the number of injuries and even deaths that have occurred along the trail. The cost to make the trail safe is said to be $1.7 million. The definition of (and need for) "safe" trails can be debated all day. I had to laugh at one comment I read about weekends on the trail being "the stampede of the ill-prepared." Perhaps, however, the most telling statement with respect to the Game Commission's decision was that of spokesman Travis Lau who said that the PGC's mission is to manage wildlife and serve hunters, not maintain hiking trails. This sentiment suggests many responses, all of which we are sure will strike a nerve. However, one that was noted by one of our chapter leaders - who is a trail maintainer of many years experience - is "#volunteer next time you see a trail maintenance opportunity at your local park." And that, good friends, is always good advice!