Articles

Lyme Disease

The information listed below is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. If you feel you have been infected with Lyme disease, please consult your doctor immediately.


Lyme disease is serious and you need to take it seriously! It is a bacterial infection that is spread by black-legged ticks (sometimes called deer ticks). These ticks are typically about the size of a sesame seed. 


People get Lyme disease when they are bitten by an infected tick. Ticks live in areas with a lot of plant life, such as wooded areas or fields and thus people who spend time in outdoor areas where ticks are common are at higher risk of getting tick-borne diseases. 


Ticks can attach to any part of your body. They are usually found in hard-to-see areas, including the armpits, groin, or scalp. An infected tick needs to be attached to your skin for 36 to 48 hours before it passes the bacteria on to you. 


Unless a Lyme disease infection is caught immediately, even several weeks of antibiotics often will not kill the infection. If Lyme disease is not diagnosed and treated early, the Lyme spirochete can spread, and can go into hiding in the body, causing health problems months or even years after the infection occurs. 


Early symptoms (3 to 30 days after tick bite) include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, joint and muscle aches and rash. Please consult your doctor if you feel you show symptoms of Lyme disease.


The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten by ticks. When you are outdoors, follow these guidelines:


  • Avoid areas that are wooded, brushy, or have tall grass.
  • Walk in the center of trails.
  • Use an insect repellent with at least 20% DEET. It can be put on clothing or sparingly on the skin. Don’t apply it to the face or hands of children.
  • Treat clothing, tents, or other gear with repellents containing 0.5% permethrin.
  • Wear light-colored clothing. This makes it easier to see and remove ticks from your clothes.
  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Tuck your pant legs into your socks or boots for added protection.

If you find a tick on my skin, don’t panic. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull up with steady, even pressure. Be careful not to squeeze or twist the tick body. Sometimes parts of the tick remain in the skin. You can leave them alone or carefully remove them the same way you would a splinter. Do not use heat (such as a lit match), petroleum jelly, or other methods to try to make the tick “back out” on its own. These methods are not effective. Wash the area where the tick was attached thoroughly with soap and water. Keep an eye on the area for a few weeks and note any changes. Call your doctor if you develop a rash around the area where the tick was attached. Be sure to tell your doctor that you were bitten by a tick and when it happened. 


Last Words of Advice 


Check for ticks!  If you have spent time outdoors, check for ticks on your body.  Early detection can prevent the spread of Lyme disease.   Also educate yourself. There is a lot of inaccurate information to be sorted through, especially on the internet. Ask your doctor if you have questions.  Track your symptoms including your sleep patterns, eating habits, exercise routines, and how you’re feeling. You or your doctor may be able to make connections between them.  Lastly, take care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet, exercise as regularly as you can and get plenty of rest.

Fragmentation

LSNT Blazers works to provide safe and accessible hiking trails in Lambton Shores & Vicinity.  We help landowners be good stewards and protect some of the most environmentally sensitive areas in Southwestern Ontario while offering the public an ability to connect with nature.


A lot of our forests are under constant threat from outside influences.  Thankfully, organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority help to protect these lands from further development.  However, there is a constant threat from fragmentation and misuse of the land.


Trails in these sensitive areas are an important source of recreation but their presence and use can have a negative affect on the ecology of the forest.  Keeping large portions of the forests, wetlands and dune lands undisturbed is very important.  The introduction of too many trails or blazed in the wrong places can affect wildlife, facilitate the spread of pests and disease, and increase soil erosion and the contamination of rivers and wetlands.  This is called fragmentation and it affects the overall health of the forest. 


The management of these few remaining forested lands becomes extremely important.  LSNT seeks to minimize the creation of informal trails by clearly marking existing trails through the use of trailhead signs and trail blazes.  At the same time, closing side trails and undesired access points is needed to help prevent further degradation of the forest.  It is important for everyone to adhere to the usage rules and understand the negative effects of fragmentation.  Please report any misuse of these lands to the appropriate authorities and enjoy the trails, they are there for you.  Always remember, "Discoveries are Waiting"

Roadside Trash - More Than Meets The Eye

  

Travelling down a road in a vehicle, your eyes are focussed on the road ahead and the side of the road is a blur. To the naked eye, not much stands out in the ditch except the odd piece of garbage that is big enough or bright enough to catch your attention. The roadside looks beautiful with its tall grasses, reeds and water in the ditch.


However, if you slow down and walk beside the road, it is amazing, actually disgusting, what you will find. It doesn’t take much effort to fill a large garbage bag in just 2 kilometres of picking up trash!


Beyond the coffee cups and water bottles you can find just about anything. The only solace that can be found is the articles that have some personal value including the beer bottles and beer cans - consider it your tip from the polluters!


In an attempt to raise public awareness, Earth Day was created in 1970 and is now the largest environmental event in the world. It occurs each year on April 22nd and is a day for citizens to participate in picking up trash in communities across Canada.


Unfortunately, trash is not just restricted to the roadside; you can also find it on the trails. A wrapper, a plastic bottle, a half-eaten bag of chips!  It makes you wonder what people are thinking; they are obviously unaware of the hiking adage, “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.” And if you do find some trash on the trails, please take the time to pick it up and dispose of it properly.


Other environmental efforts include hazardous material disposal days, recycle & reuse, and the Adopt A Road programs amongst others. The idea is to raise the awareness of the problems that plagues our society and to instill a sense environmental responsibility in people.


Lambton Shores Nature Trails believes in being socially responsible and makes a point of keeping the trails we maintain clean of trash and debris. We are also a proud member of the County of Lambton’s Adopt-A-Road program; clearing Bog Line from Northville Road to the county boundary.