Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘ticks’

Morecambe Bay from Arnside, Cumbria UK

The M6 was pretty much your normal mid-week M6, thick with tradesmens’ vans, ton-up delivery vans, and long lines of lumbering heavies. This was overlaid with the familiar manic tapestry of boss-class Beamers and Mercs, all shiny in their lease-black livery, tailgating and weaving about likes jerks. I counted just the one caravan making a speculative foray towards the lakes.

The giant electronic signs urged us to minimize our travel – meaningless from all but the earliest of days, and clearly ignored by most. Still, it pricked my conscience. Arnside was fifty miles away, so hardly local but, since “local” was however we chose to define it now, I had the letter, if not the spirit of the law on my side. Plus, I’d not been more than ten miles from home – at least not for pleasure – in nearly a year, which was surely the very definition of minimizing travel.

Arnside was warming up a bit by 10:00 am, beginning to bustle a little too, but there was still plenty of parking. I’m fond of this place, but I can’t say I know it – only as a tourist, and occasional walker, come to take in the scenery, and frequent the tea shops. Today I was meeting up with an old friend for a walk down the coastal way to Silverdale, then back over the Knott.

Arnside, Cumbria UK

There is an eerie beauty about this part of the world. The limestone cliffs overlooking Morecambe bay provide a habitat for all manner of unfamiliar colour of flora and fauna – unfamiliar to me anyway. And the light, reflecting off the wet sands of the bay, is exceptional. The cliff-top sections of path here have a sporting feel to them, with, in places, nothing to guard against a near certain fatal fall, not helped by the fact the limestone underfoot is becoming polished. There is mixed woodland, also dense thickets of blackthorn amongst which the near fluorescent yellow-green brimstone butterflies were in profusion.

From Silverdale, we turn inland, and a criss-cross of well-marked ways leads us eventually down by the evocative ruins of the Arnside Tower. The farm here was selling rather fine bird boxes at just eight quid apiece. The honesty box consisting of a child’s welly, was well stuffed. I’m into bird boxes, have built a few for my garden, and I would have partaken of the offer, but I’ve had no cash on me since I can’t remember when, and we’d still a way to walk.

Arnside Tower, Cumbria UK

The Knott is our last objective, a wooded hill, clearing towards the summit with fine views over the bay. They’re grazing cattle here now. Belted Galloways mooched amongst the scrub – cows, calves and bulls, all looking placid enough at our passing, but beware, if you’re up here with a yappy dog, you’ll perhaps not get the same indifferent reception. On the way down from the summit, there’s a particularly scenic tree. It has a wood-crafted heart suspended from it with the inscription: “Live, Laugh and Love”. Hard to argue with that one. It was a favourite for passing walkers to pose with their selfies.

On Arnside Knott, Cumbria UK

It was pleasant to be taking pictures of things other than the shaggy moorland and sycamore trees close to home, interesting to see how the much softer light played out, especially in the post-processing. It was also good to get the car out on a good run. But the day was not without its downside.

On arriving home, I noticed I’d picked up a couple of ticks. I’ve not seen these outside the Western Isles, and had not thought they were an issue at all in England. However, further researches inform me they are indeed very much a presence in the Arnside and Silverdale area, so do be careful when exploring around here. Walk with your trousers tucked into your socks, check yourself over on return, and be aware they are adept at finding the lesser viewed areas like backs of knees, elbows and other private places. If you’re out with dogs you’ll need to check them too.

A tick removal tool is best for getting them off safely. Otherwise, you’ll need a pair of fine tweezers and grasp the things as low down as possible, where the snout penetrates the skin. Don’t squeeze or burn them, and especially not if they’re engorged. Then, over the coming days, keep a lookout for inflammation and a red ring around the bite-spot, an early symptom of the onset of Lyme’s disease. If it appears, get to the docs urgently, screaming tick-bite, and demanding anti-biotics. Hopefully I’ll be okay.

Read Full Post »