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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » November..The REAL tick season in California (graphic)

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Author Topic: November..The REAL tick season in California (graphic)
Michelle M
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Some of you may know me as a photographer of beautiful brides.

Between beautiful brides, however, I also am a photographer of extremely tiny things, even including -- ESPECIALLY including, ticks.

I'm really vexed to death of hearing the oft-repeated mantra about spring being tick season. 'Round these parts (VERY northern California, 3000 feet, heavily forested), there are ticks who walk around on the snow. I am not making that up. I photographed some last year on the snow!

I spray my dogs like crazy so ticks don't attach but they sure hop on for a ride. Possibly worse than in the spring. They're EVERYWHERE!!!

Last night my daughter and I were watching TV and Georgia exclaimed, "EWWWW Mom, there's a tick on the coffee table!!!!"

Sure enough, there it was. A tiny little Ixodes Pacificus.

I've been wanting to photograph a questing tick for a while. I haven't been able to find any so I brought in some fall leaves, clipped them upright on my fly-tying vise, and turned him loose. He climbed straight to the top and quested away!!

My apologies to anyone I'm grossing out. Just don't let the cold weather make you complacent, ever!!!

Michelle

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Keebler
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-

Michelle,

what is a "questing" tick . . . and "quested' away? Like on a mission . . . on the run . . . looking for dinner ?

---
very nice photos. Thanks for the warning. when the page appears, the ticks are not visible (unless, I guess, one has a very large monitor).

So, your caution gave me time to settle and to breathe and to put myself in a non-judgmental place for the little critter.

Too bad you could not have a conversation with him like:

Okay, little guy. What's going on out there and what needs to be done so that you guys, if you intend to stick around, stop getting infected.

What would that take? (and the tick would come back with some simple answer).
==================

Seriously, I wonder if you can have that tick tested just for your own peace of mind for your surroundings?

-

Thanks, the photos are less creapy than much of the tick artwork on some sites. Actually, beautiful if you did not know what we know.

==============

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Michelle M
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Hi Keebler.

"Questing" means hanging onto the tippy-top of a leaf or blade of grass with forelegs extended, waiting for an unwitting host to come by.

A very evil behaviour for anyone (human or otherwise) happening past.

Michelle

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Keebler
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-

Would Sierra Club like your photos for their magazine ?

a short story on safety, too. Or a longer article on all of this?

I've not seen it addressed in their magazine over the past few years - but I could have missed it.

-

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Michelle M
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Good idea Keebler. I do publish insect photos but usually they're TROUT bugs!!! (Fly fishing addict here.)

Actually I'd like the IDSA to see them, since they like to pretend people don't get tick bites except in the spring/summer. Idjits.

[bonk]

Michelle

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Robin123
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Wow -- what a story. I learned from this, so thank you, Michelle. Agree with Keebler -- maybe these pics and their story could be sent out to publications that the public would see.

Is it typical to see ticks in the snow? Are they still functional and able to bite?

BTW, I recall someone from New Hampshire reporting that when she used grapefruit oil extract on herself, the dog, the house, the yard -- no more ticks.

And in a conversation with someone, she reported putting a dilute amount of TKO Orange on her dog, and then no more ticks. TKO Orange kills bugs and keeps them away. It's biodegradable, so would need frequent applications. Not sure whether it can be used around cats at all, also not for use if anyone's allergic to oranges.

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CaliforniaLyme
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Did you kill it*)*!)!?!????????????????????
?????????????????????????????? (Send it to igenex to see what's in your neighborhood?)
(Take it captive?)(Let it loose????)(Tell me you DIDN'T let it loose!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

GREAT photos*)!*)!*!

You are an incredible photographer- seriously.
You could definitely use those commercially!!!

That is the scariest photo I have seen in a long time!!!!

I am a escort-spiders-outside-on-napkins person- actually I am worse than that- because I lived in India when I was little and wanted to be a Jain I actually LET spiders LIVE in their webs in the house if they are nice daddy-longs-legs types (I am species-ist with spiders, those thick furry ones, eeek!) and for 7 months used to talk to the one in the kitchen when I did the dishes (Oscar) (his name was Oscar)(I think my husband murdered him one day when I was out- he disappeared suddenly AND HIS WEB [email protected]!). But no more than one web in the house at a time because otherwise my husband complains. BUT I do
kill ticks. I ENJOY killing ticks. I LUST after TICK DEATH!!!

And I hope you killed that rapacious little MONSTER!!!!!!!

EVIL!!!
EVIL!!!

Ticks!!!

--------------------
There is no wealth but life.
-John Ruskin

All truth goes through 3 stages: first it is ridiculed: then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer

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Keebler
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-

BTW, 17 years ago, in the Oregon apt. I was living in then, TWICE I saw a tick climbing on the wall, in two different rooms - same year, I think. Lone star ticks, I think. Just like I grew up with in Illinois.

I could have brought them in from walks from a hundred miles any direction, or they could have been from trees right outside.

I was already sick then with "CFS" but had not even heard about lyme for another 5 years or so beyond that.

As a child in (very) southern Illinois, ticks were just a way of life (in the sixties). We had wooded lots near us, my grandmother had a farm . . . a couple ticks a week were just expected. Tame numbers now by many accounts.

Rashes were "probably just from eating too many strawberries"

My mother taught us after pulling them off to set a match to them. she said that they could regrow - I forget if the head could regrow a body or visa versa.

Not sure if that was true, but we just did it as a habit. Too bad we did know other measures to stay safe.

My mom said that in Colorado they had rocky mountain spotted fever from ticks, so I think we knew to get them off of us quickly, but it just sort of stopped there - hoping these were not traveling ticks (and who would have even wondered back then, we were so ignorant).

I think the medical community did us all a huge dis-service going waaay back by not educating the public in TBD.

-

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CaliforniaLyme
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OH!!! Last night at our support group one of the support group members wives (just a lovely person!!! who brought us CAKE*)! BLESS her! 2 kinds!) advised a person who got a bulls-eye rash and tick bite when they weer resting in teh shade of the only tree around AT
GREAT AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Great America is a rollercoaster amusement park almost all blacktop & concrete!!!!!!!!!!!!)

But the person got a tick on them from that tree and on place they disengaged it got a bulls-eye!!

TICKS ARE EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(and scary!!)

p.s.
Did you kill it*)*!)*)!?????

--------------------
There is no wealth but life.
-John Ruskin

All truth goes through 3 stages: first it is ridiculed: then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer

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Keebler
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-

Michelle:

What magnification did you use?
Is that an oak leaf (?) maybe twice the size ?

OHHHH - right now you should get a copyright on those photos.

It could be lifted from this site. I easily pulled it off for my file. Seriously. Is there a way to protect yourself on this?

My sister is an amateur (sp?) photog and got some sort of web site that displays artists, but makes copying impossible.

In the time being: copy the link, date, etc. everything. That may be some sort of "poor man's electronic copyright"

-

Re: trees surrounded by parking lots.

Great America, eh? that's poignant.

Chances are a bird carried it in - but where there is some grass and a tree, a whole world exists.

All the leafblowers around also can send ticks flying on the leaves and twigs.

-

[ 16. November 2007, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: Keebler ]

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Michelle M
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quote:
Originally posted by Keebler:
-

My mom said that in Colorado they had rocky mountain spotted fever from ticks, so I think we knew to get them off of us quickly, but it just sort of stopped there - hoping these were not traveling ticks (and who would have even wondered back then, we were so ignorant).

I think the medical community did us all a huge dis-service going waaay back by not educating the public in TBD.

-

How true, Keebler.

Here's a Rocky Mountain Wood tick for you - a/k/a Dermacentor Andersoni. They love it here too!!! I swear, I live in Tick Central. I puzzled over this one for a while before properly ID'ing him. They carry some nasty stuff -- i.e., Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

It's one of my favorite tick pictures!!

Michelle


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CaliforniaLyme
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The detail is incredible!!! never seen one of those around here- ever!!!

We have a lot of Dermacentor occidentalis
around here as well as I. Pacificus-
and Dermacentor Variabilis

--------------------
There is no wealth but life.
-John Ruskin

All truth goes through 3 stages: first it is ridiculed: then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer

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Michelle M
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quote:
Originally posted by Keebler:
-

Michelle:

What magnification did you use?
Is that an oak leaf (?) maybe twice the size ?

OHHHH - right now you should get a copyright on those photos.

It could be lifted from this site. I easily pulled it off for my file. Seriously. Is there a way to protect yourself on this?

My sister is an amature photog and got some sort of web site that displays artists, but makes copying impossible.

In the time being: copy the link, date, etc. everything. That may be some sort of "poor man's electronic copyright"

-

Re: trees surrounded by parking lots.

Great America, eh? that's poignant.

Chances are a bird carried it in - but where there is some grass and a tree, a whole world exists.

All the leafblowers around al
so can send ticks flying on the leaves and twigs.

-

Thanks Keebler. I'm a professional photographer. All my photos are copyright protected. People are welcome to right-click and save them though asking permission is always nice. My general-interest site, http://www.pbase.com/michellemahood/galleries permits right-clicking and saving, but image resolution is really low -- good for screen but not good enough to print.

My pro site for photo sales does NOT permit right-clicking!!!

The lens is Nikon fixed 105mm f/2.8 VR. It's about a 50% crop.

[Smile]

Michelle

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Michelle M
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quote:
Originally posted by Robin123:

Is it typical to see ticks in the snow? Are they still functional and able to bite?


Thanks Robin!!

This was in March '06 -- heavy snow cover!!!

Was he able to bite???

I think the picture speaks for itself!

Michelle

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blackpowder
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Those photos are amazing(albeit scary as he**. It's shocking to me how cavalier I have been my whole life about ticks and skeeters and nature

in general. I always thought hey our forefathers spent so much time outdoors and they lived to tell about it. Then I realized how high the mortality rate was back then. [bonk]

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kam
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I am still befuddled that something that small can cause such big problems in something as big as a human.

...Now where is my mallet. Bad tick. Bad Tick.

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Just Julie
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Ever since I became cognizant of ticks, and when they "showed up" I knew that danger (danger! Will Robinson, DANGER!!!) was right around the corner when the grass started coming up green, it got cool(er) and moist.

That time, is well, it's now. At least in my neck of northern CA. I also was able to correlate my "it's tick time!" announcement to this change in weather by all of the sudden seeing live, crawling ticks in my cats (outdoor only!) fur.

This happened for the first time this season, about 2 weeks ago. I was amazed to see the first carwling tick in my cats fur, because it was on the very first day of cool/moist weather ---- previously, it'd been about 68-75 degrees (yes, it's been weird fall weather here in No. CA).

I don't depend on any other formal announcement, from anyone. I always look/feel the weather, and if it has turned cool (not cold) gotten a bit moist, and the green stuff has started to replace the brown stuff (open space hill areas) then I know it's time to be extra vigilant! Cause ticks are right there, just waiting!

Michele, your photos don't surprise me. Even the snow one. They're really something, make me feel a powerless rage, to a certain degree. [Mad]

I too smash them to bits. After I suffocate them in a mason jar full of rubbing alcohol first!

--------------------
Julie

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Michelle M
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quote:
Originally posted by minitails2:


On the Rocky mt. wood tick, is that saliva on the tick, the bubbly looking yuck?

He is in a small container I use with some water surrounding him to keep him from escaping while I photograph him. A "moat," if you will!

quote:
Also, in that astonishing picture of that tick in the snow, did you say what kind that was or did I miss it? It's so bizaar. It looks like it has a sausage casing on. ugh.
That is an engorged Ixodes Pacificus. They're pretty ugly to start with, even uglier after eating!!!

quote:
Anybody know, who eats ticks? Why are they important to the eco system?
I've often wondered this myself. Everything fits into the natural world somewhere. I'm betting sharp eyed birds must like to eat ticks. However, often the reverse is true!!!

quote:
What did you do with this unfortunate creature?
Many flushes down the toilet.

Though in truth, all you need to do to kill them is withhold moisture. Overnight, they will perish.

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Michelle M
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I'd love them to come up here and do a study. But I s'pose it isn't populated enough to interest anyone. But we are talkin' some SERIOUS TICKS up here!!

The tick that bit ME was MUCH smaller than this.

But who knows how many have bitten me that I never knew about?

Same thing for my daughter.

Here's one more for comparison's sake.

Remember -- these are not baby ticks but adult females.

Earlier in the year, the nymphal ticks are virtually impossible to see. I mean seriously impossible. I got very lucky and SAW mine, but only because it was itching me to death. Even so, it was tough. Looked like a specka dirt.

Down with ticks! Up with Western Fence Lizards!!

Michelle

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bettyg
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wow michelle WE ARE BLESSED TO HAVE YOU AND YOUR OUT OF THIS WORLD, DETAILED FINE PHOTOS.

you have really educated us here, and continue to do.

did you ever contact ILADS, LDA about getting copies of your photos on their sitees? the detail is unbelievable


one on snow was unreal ........

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Michelle M
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Thanks BettyG!!

If anyone from CALDA, ILADS, or any other good places (i.e., not IDSA or ALDF!!!) want 'em, they are welcome to them!!! I will cheerfully burn a high-resolution disk! I actually have a notice on my website that my insect images are available to universities and non-profit organizations free of charge. I see them turn up all over -- fortunately, almost always with a photo credit!!

Just holler!!

[Wink]

Michelle

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Robin123
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quote:
Originally posted by minitails2:


Anybody know, who eats ticks?

I know that guinea fowl do. Anyone know to what extent birds eat ticks?

Michelle, these are awesome pics. Everyone, keep this in mind what Michelle can do here, and in time we can suggest they get used by various publications. [bow]

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Vermont_Lymie
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Amazing incredible photos! You have a great talent.

It would be great if these could be published along
with a warning story, about x-mas trees too!
Also, the Sierra Club.

(Not to create more work for you, but these should be
shared with the rest of the world!) [Smile]

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CD57
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Ohhhhhhhh how creepy! Michelle, your photos are amazing but boy do these things look E-V-I-L!! I still can't get over that one bit me and let loose a bunch of crap!

And Sarah, HOW TERRIFYING that ticks were found at GREAT AMERICA.....that is a concrete jungle if ever there was one!

And.....one of the sickest people I have met was bitten IN A USED CAR LOT in NOVEMBER here in CA!!!! so I think you're on to something there......

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Ann in CA
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Great photos! Thanks! They are so ugly! I used to take quite a few off our dog, even with frontline, and put them in a glass jar to waste away. Spiders, snails, almost all other living creatures I help escape...but not ticks. I hate them. We haven't found many this year, but it seems to run in cycles.

There are lots of acorns this year, so there may be more little critters next year, and then there may be more ticks. (so I've read)

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bettyg
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minitails, you are just too funny!

can you imagine a bride opening up her photos and finding 1 of these in there!! [lol]

michelle, that is very kind and generous of your offer for calda/ilda and universities!! [group hug] [kiss]

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Michelle M
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quote:
Originally posted by minitails2:
Michelle,

That last one on the pencil tip is completely atonishing. I can definately see you climbing mountains, hiking through the tundra bringing us amazing pictures of nature. Just have to get rid of what those little suckers gave you.

I hope you charge those beautiful brides lots and lots. Perhaps you should put some of those tick pics in your bridal portfolio, hee hee. [lol]


Mini, you're a hoot!! I'm thinkin' that would send most brides running!!!

I photographed that tick on the pencil tip because it gives a really good idea of scale.

Actually, some of my wedding referrals come from friends in my fly fishing group, the
Northern California Fly Fishing Board.

They ALL know I have lyme and have seen (and helped me through) some VERY rough times!!! They are a very cool bunch of friends from all over California. It was a great opportunity to educate a huge group of people at once!!!

So.... In the links section of my
Wedding website, I actually have a link to a lot of cool flyfishing and even mayfly photos...cause hey, sometimes even grooms are looking at this stuff!!!

But if I told brides ahead of time about having lyme I'm afraid their confidence in me would plummet!! Little do they know the staying power of Provigil!!!

Michelle

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trails
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ROCK ON Michelle! The questing part is so intense to behold ---epsecially under your magnificent capabilities! Thank you so much for sharing these with us.

I am so saddened to hear about the great america tick. We are not safe anywhere and that makes me very sad.

and paranoid.

[Big Grin]

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Robin123
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Thinking of brides and ticks -- what a combo -- actually, we have wedding parties that have their group photos taken in nature settings, so I am cringing right now --

Michelle -- any way you could notify professional photographer associations about what's going on?

I started talking with painters and photographers who do their work in nature, and a painter told me recently he had ticks on him at the base of Golden Gate bridge -- I think we have a lot of notification to do --

Next, we want pics of Western fence lizards with ticks on them, undiseasing!

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