Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Still Waters Run Dangerously

After reading the story here about the brain eating amoeba found in warm, calm waters, I just thought I'd share it with you.

One of our favorite trail things to do was find a nice pool of water and take a swim. Sometimes a person can time that just right. The heat of the day, after a light lunch, which is the norm, actually, a person would be so tempted to chuck the pack and wade right in, trail clothes and all.

These nice warm pools are more likely to harbor rapidly growing bacteria, though. Snakes could be swimming, yes, amazingly copper heads do swim near shorelines, as well as rattlers.

The most dangerous critters I've come across, however, are bees, especially those that build their nest under rotted logs. I've been stung six times while running away from a weed cutting expedition. Trail maintenance can become hazardous unless its very cold and the bees are sluggish or dormant.

Whats so aggravating is they don't even bother to buzz a warning before stinging. I would run if I heard them buzzing.

At first I thought maybe I'd grabbed a pricker, like a raspberry bramble, until suddenly several were stinging me. Off I run, shedding clothes like a boy bound for skinny dipping.

The other day I was working in the garden oblivious to them peacefully swarming my ankles. My friend pointed them out and I backed away from the entrance to their underground home. I avoid that place now.

There are a lot of dangers out there, but like Thoreau said, We sit more risks than we run. Its not even the big things that can kill a person, like bears or snakes.

Sometimes I wonder how the human race has survived so long.

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