Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wild Turkeys -

Wild Turkeys - the birds not the booze.

For most of the summer and fall I've been watching "my" turkeys raise their poults from hatchlings to virtual adults who can fly now. I have a pile of wood chips left over from when the linemen were removing trees and branches from the electric lines. Lately I've noticed they wood chips been disturbed. Now I know why. Apparently the flock uses the pile as a warming spot; the warmth is created by the slowly decomposing wood chips.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Peak Color - Not?

They tell us it's not peak color here yet, but, in my opinion, it's very close. These shots are from today before and after my oil change at Wayne's Auto in nearby Deckerville. Although we don't have many sugar maples or even red maples here, we still do just fine, color-wise. There might even be one or two shots of my place. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Yesterday was cold, rainy, overcast and yet I saw great autumn color on my way to Bad Axe for groceries. The first shot is of my "million dollar view" out my front windows. When the leaves are on the trees and bushes I normally do not see more of Lake Huron than this - which is enough. However, from late autumn through the winter and early spring I can see more, much more. Perhaps then it's a billion dollar view? Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

The next three shots are the whole window view at this time of the year when more of the lake is exposed. Of course not all of the leaves have fallen yet. The first one is looking north-east with Lake Huron now visible behind the almost defoliated trees, then an east view, and finally the south east view. Springs come later here than even further south in Michigan because Lake Huron because of all the ice keeps it a tad colder. The reverse is true in the autumn; freezing temperatures happen a bit later in the fall because the warmth of the lake keeps us a bit warmer. It's a trade off, eh? The last few geraniums - first photo below - on the front porch haven't had a frost - yet.

We've had unusually wet and cold weather so the dogs have been cooped up and look a tad forlorn. Between the lousy weather I've had a few chances to tidy things up a bit n the garden and yard. The dogs have been hugging the porches while I'm been working! I try to give my dogs short and simple names that are relatively easy to pronounce in the hopes that those official registered names might actually become their call names as well and thus, perhaps, avoiding confusion. Not surprisingly, that usually works. They are all taking their C-Doxycycline to destroy the Lyme parasite, a bacteria named Borrelia burgdorferi, in their bodies and they are also wearing the Seresto collars against fleas, which they have never had anyway, and black legged ticks, Ixodes scapularis, carried by deer and small rodents. The rodents carrying the ticks and therefore the bacteria are more of an issue and harder to deal with because they can go everywhere. Bumper crop for ticks here this year unfortunately!

Korpur - Alaskastadirs Korpur

Kria - Thordunu Kria

Bear - Bersi av Isheim

Totty - Vinlands Totty

Pila - Vinlands Piaf

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Kit, my Icelandic Sheepdog has a very long time between seasons; I thought I would breed her to a great male when she came into season recently but before that could happen she had to be health checked. She has tested positive for the presence of the Borrelia bacteria which cause lyme disease. Although she had none of the symptoms, including arthritis, lameness, appetite loss, energy loss, and fever, she would have to be treated before we could even consider puppies. As a precaution, I had all of my dogs tested. They all tested positive except Tot - and maybe it was just too soon for the presence of Borrelia bacteria to show up on Tot's screen. Lyme has not shown up in our county until this year. Although dogs may have picked up and carried the infection into our county, this may have been one of the earliest cases of dogs who actually have caught the disease here.

Of course lyme is very serious and can lead to heart disease, central nervous system disorders and fatal kidney disease. We are beginning treatment this week.

Reviewing the literature has left me more confused than enlightened.

* There is a vaccine against the Borrelia but apparently it must be given every year. I was not aware of that.
* There is a collar the repels fleas and the ticks that carry and transmit the virus to healthy dogs. It is supposed to last eight months.
* There are topical chemicals that when applied to the skin will prevent the infection from spreading from a tick to the dog. There are other tick borne diseases that are not treated as effectively as lyme with those chemicals apparently. The affect of the chemicals may last a month or longer.
* C-Doxycycline is a drug that is supposed to reduce (or eliminate?) the Borrelia from the system. Perhaps it reduces the numbers to a manageable level? Pills must be taken twice a day for a month.

Knowing me, you know that I ask lots of questions. Apparently there are not answers.

* How can we best protect our animals? And ourselves?
* If there's a vaccine for dogs, why isn't there one for humans?
* What is/are the best course of treatment(s)?
* Is Borrelia completely eliminated from the system?
* Once "cured" is it safe for a female to carry pups?
* If Borrelia lies dormant, might it reemerge?

This year seems to be a banner year for ticks. Why is that, I wonder. I know that although they are called deer ticks they are probably more frequently spread by small mammals like the various mice and other rodents, possibly squirrels & rabbits, maybe cats, raccoons, foxes, etc. This year we have had a blossoming of the deer population because of a lack of natural predators. Why isn't the hunting season increased to reduce their numbers which might reduce the incidence of deer wasting disease and tick borne illnesses?

Lyme is new here but it has been around for decades, centuries, and even millenia. Otsi the Iceman that was found frozen after thousands of years in the Alps had lyme disease.

I had the test Saturday and await the results. The test for Borrelia in dogs takes only a few minutes. I must wait several days. Why?

I'm not worried actually. We will do the best we can with the available information.

When the C-Doxycycline medicine arrives, we'll use it.
When the Seresto collars arrive, we'll put them on.
When my diagnosis comes, I'll deal with it.

In the meantime: -

Halloween Eyes?

The sun will still rise. Waves will shape the beaches. The ships will continue to ply the waves. The earth will continue spinning on its axis and orbiting the sun making seasons in the temperate zones. Cats will remain aloof. Politicians will feather their own nests, not ours. We'll do our best, as Voltaire instructed. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

So, I've been watching many DVDs to pass the time and have started knitting an afghan using an old recipe written in my Danish Grandmother's European cursive that I found accidentally mixed in with a bunch of other things a couple of weeks ago. The color of the photos is a bit off. My camera doesn't do this range of colors well. If you'd like a copy of her recipe, email me at: -