Cautionary Tales

Something that never fails to make me smile are my peach trees, which are now in full bloom.
Something that never fails to make me smile are my peach trees, which are now in full bloom.

Fellow photographers might recall that in the early 2000s, a photographer, Bjørn Rørslett, curated an excellent web site (link)  that I visited all the time. His specialty was infrared and ultraviolet photography, and also created a definitive set of reviews of Nikkor lenses.

Although it was too small to see the white spot on this nymphal Lone Star tick with the naked eye, my 100mm macro lens shows it clearly. This arachnid, which Abby pulled out of my armpit Saturday morning, is barely the size of the tip of a pencil. I probably acquired it walking the Wolfhound in the woods Friday.
Although it was too small to see the white spot on this nymphal Lone Star tick with the naked eye, my 100mm macro lens shows it clearly. This arachnid, which Abby pulled out of my armpit Saturday morning, is barely the size of the tip of a pencil. I probably acquired it walking the Wolfhound in the woods Friday.

Then, about 10 years ago, it all ground to halt with the following message posted on his front page:

The sheep tick recently caused me nearly six months of agonising pain, paralysis of arms and legs, and months of hospital treatment hooked up to an IV line feeding me with strong antibiotics. The infamous Lyme’s (sic) disease struck towards the end of of my field testing of the D700 in August, 2008, and thwarted my intentions of completing this review. So much for making careful plans – the life of a nature photographer always carries with it random unpredictable events.

We are all just one drunk driver, just one blood clot, just one lightning strike, just one convenience store robbery, just one animal or insect or arachnid bite from pain, meaninglessness, obscurity or death.

I thought of all this over the weekend after Abby pulled a nymphal Lone Star tick from my armpit. I developed a rash at the site, and as a precaution, I went to my doctor, who prescribed doxycycline, which I have taken before and tolerate well. I feel this is an important course of action… there is no telling what might happen if I were to neglect such a malady.

So sure, the hounds of suffering are hunting, but that doesn’t mean you have to feed them. Wear that seat belt. Tell your doctor about your chest pain. Play with your kids and pets. Eat a little less. Walk a little more. And above all, take a breath. It might be your last.

Despite the house being a little too quiet without Sierra the Chihuahua, who died Friday, we still have pets to love and love us, as in this image of Abby playing with Hawken the Irish Wolfhound last night.
Despite the house being a little too quiet without Sierra the Chihuahua, who died Friday, we still have pets to love and love us, as in this image of Abby playing with Hawken the Irish Wolfhound last night.
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