Just a reminder because we always have new riders coming in from other parts of the country -
The ticks are out along the trails now. They will not leap/jump onto you they will get on you as you brush against vegetation. You can slather up with tick repellent (that can be some pretty nasty stuff too since it generally contains deet) or make sure you do a thorough tick check once you are through riding - generally takes them about 24 hours to really attach firmly. The deer tick which can transmit Lyme disease is extremely small so look closely. Just another reason that this time of year it's good to carry a pair of hand clippers in your pack and when you have to stop to wait for someone or stop for any reason - a couple of snips to the foliage hanging into the trail is helpful.
The snakes are on the move as well, we've seen three so far but not any rattlers yet. Keep an eye on the trail ahead of you they do not want an encounter with you either. Give the rattlers wide berth and they will generally move off the trail pretty quickly and you can be on your way. Do not kill or attempt to kill any of the snakes along the trail. Many non-poisonous snakes are colored very similarly to poisonous snakes so just best to avoid them all. Snakes are particularly critical in keeping down the rodent population!
Good reminders angela. Ive knocked a few ticks off of me so far, luckily no bites yet.
I think it's turtle egg laying season as well, I've seen two big ones this weekend, one crossing the tow path and this big girl pictures below, she was at FATS and I just about ran her over. She was trying to dig a nest on the edge of the trail. I saw three out at Turkey/Wine last weekend.
Here's the one we saw on the tow path. It wasn't scared of us.
Last Edit: Apr 29, 2012 16:32:34 GMT -5 by dgaddis1
Big moccasin on Tower tonight. Huge turtle on the gravel road. Back at the trailhead a couple of guys were talking about a rattler they encountered. I've seen more snakes and turtles already this year than I've seen in the last few years combined.
While it is on my mind - because a lot of people don't recognize it - here is a photo of some poison ivy I took today. There are people who are not allergic to it but they say over a lifetime of exposure more people than not will develop the sensitivity:
Notice the leaves are not shiny and the leaves are also not uniformed between the three - key identification points..........
Some people confuse Virginia Creeper Vine with Poison Ivy - exposure to Virginia Creeper Vine does not does not cause any adverse reactions except to people who are sensitive to it and that is quite rare. Notice it has five leaves and it does typically grow as a vine and people use it ornamentally in their yards sometimes as ground cover, etc.
I pulled two small ticks off of me when I got home from the ETTR today, both well below my sock line, guess thy were on my leg and walked down after I put on my flip flops in the parking lot. One in my ankle, one on my the buckle of my little toe, for the lack of a better way to describe it. So check everywhere!
Angela, I'm certain you've helped some folks by posting the poison ivy pic. It took me years and lots of horrible oozing rashes to figure it out! People should also know that the oil from the leaves can get on clothes and shoes and stay potent for a long time. It takes a hot wash to get it off clothes. Also, we keep an old water bottle filled with dish liquid in the shower so if there is ever an inkling that we have been exposed, we use that to wash the oil off. Regular soap does not work as well.
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money." ~Cree Nation quote