10 June 2010


Most lovers of nature tend to be city people. They appreciate the natural beauty of undisturbed places with reverent enthusiasm. Those who live and work in such places, on the other hand, view nature as something you use for some productive purpose, and a place that is not without hazard. Thus, the appreciation of nature as such is something confined to city people who don’t have to live with it. For those in the country such as farmers, it is something you use when not full of nuisances and menace.

This thought recurred to me after clearing a small wooded patch of brush at my summer house. I managed to get Lyme Disease for the third year in a row, after getting a few tick bites, and actually extracting a live tick from one of them more than a day later, observing its kicking little legs through a magnifying glass. The bites were swollen up in a familiar, unmistakable pattern. The first time it happened the disease had progressed pretty far; I was sore, listless, and had malaria-like symptoms of chills on a hot day. An antibiotic prescription cured the problem, but the following year and this year again I got the same bites so I immediately emailed my doctor for another prescription.

At the time I had taken all necessary precautions- I was fully clothed with long sleeves but they still managed to hit more or less the same area on my belly and this time on my butt. I finished the pills, but the sores still haven’t gone away completely; they take a long time to heal. Somehow the disease made its way from Lyme Connecticut across the sound to here in Long Island. It is generally carried by deers, although I haven’t seen one here since last year. This just goes to show that even a semi-suburban patch of woods has its hazards. For now I’m leaving this patch of nature to the rabbits.

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