Archive for July, 2014

Don’t Ignore Insect/Spider Bites! They Can Cause Problems!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

For more than a week I have had cramps, muscle spasms, fatigue, loss of appetite, low grade fever, and no energy!  I went to a clinic last Friday and to see my family doctor today.  Blood work was done, an EKG given, oxygen levels checked along with lung function and various other test. Nothing conclusive, but there is some evidence that a spider or possibly a infected tick is responsible.

On July 1st. I was cutting my grass with a ride on lawn mower and went under a thickly branched pine tree.  I thought I scraped my leg on one of the numerous pine branches, but later that evening my thigh really started to “burn” and pain!  When I took my shorts off I discovered 7 welts (bites) in a circle on my leg.  It was swollen and red and hurt like crazy!  I still thought I ran into a broken branch until the 7 scratches formed a head like a bite mark.  Well it bothered me for two weeks with pain going from the bite area down my left leg to my ankle.  I put neosporin on it and waited for it to go away.Well here I am a month later and the bite marks are still visible, and I have an infection in my body effecting my nerves and muscles.  The Doctor has me on an capsule called Doxycycline which is good for fighting almost 99% of this type of infection including Lyme disease.  I have to lay low for awhile and forget golf, yard work, or trips north.  Lay around, get some rest, and release some stress.  Hopefully I’ll be a good patient and follow the Dr. orders for once!

I know someone who woks in a pharmacy and they said people seeking treatment for spider bites is abnormally high this year.  So don’t ignore a red, swollen, painful bite, but get it checked out while there is time to catch the infection before it catches you!

Mike

Backyard Bucks

Monday, July 21st, 2014

baby Jeremiah and big buck 013It’s hard to believe that we are entering the last few days of July.  It seems that summer just started, but August is just around the corner.  September is just around the corner which brings Michigan’s bear season and the special deer hunts for youth and the disabled/veterans!  Wow October bow season is right behind.

I have a friend that recently showed me a picture of a buck in his back yard.  It’s a 12 pointer that I would guess score around 160-170.  A beauty to be sure.  Funny thing is he lives in an upscale neighborhood with no public or wild lands nearby.  Evidently these deer find suburbia quite a nice place to live and hang out!

One of my son-in-laws also showed me a buck he caught on his backyard trailcam.  He has split G-2’s and may be actually growing more points under all that massive velvet.  This is another example of a trophy buck in the making.  He just hopes the big bruiser is still in the area come October first.

It amazes me that although hundreds of thousands of deer are harvested each year in Michigan, yet they are always replaced by a new crop of bucks bigger and better than the previous year.  Good news for the guys and gals that like venison or a good looking trophy for over the fireplace.

Mike

Bald Eagle Encounter

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

4th at cabin 2014 022Back when I was a kid there was a report of a pair of nesting eagles in Monroe County Michigan.  Reporters found the huge nest high in the top of a tree not far from the Lake Erie shoreline, and took pictures to go along with the local newspaper story about our national symbol.  Cars were lining the rural road to get a glimpse of these rarely seen birds of prey.  Those days are in the past and now it is quite common to see eagles flying overhead in many area’s of Monroe County.  Many pairs nest along the shoreline of Lake Erie and several nesting pairs patrol the Raisin River that dumps into Lake Erie.  Still it has been a bit hard for me to get a good snapshot of this majestic bird (at least up close!)

Well over the forth of July holidays I was treated to a pair of Bald Eagles searching the waters of the Ausable River for some fresh fish.  Fortunately I had my Nikon along with me and took a couple close up snapshots while they perched in a tree along the river bank.  Just after I took this picture the eagle swooped down and sunk it’s talons into about a 12-14 inch fish!  That was quite a sight to watch, but I was to slow on the camera shutter to record the moment.  Just the same after years of trying I finally got the kind of photo I’ve been looking for.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did taking it.

Mike

Traverse City Cherry Festival & The Blue Angels

Friday, July 11th, 2014

4th at cabin 2014 1014th at cabin 2014 0804th at cabin 2014 0694th at cabin 2014 0944th at cabin 2014 1034th at cabin 2014 049While up north this past week we took a ride over to Traverse City for the National Cherry Festival and the air show and fireworks put on the 4th. of July.  We arrived early enough to secure a prime spot on the beach at Grand Traverse Bay, and were treated to quite a spectacular day.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels put on quite a show for the thousands of spectators lining the beaches on the sand and in the water (boats.)  The Blue Angels have a 65 year history and have expanded to 6 aircraft flying solo and formation precision maneuvers.  Sixteen volunteer pilots serve with the team, with “The Boss” commander flying jet number 1!  I was able to take quite a few pictures as they performed their awesome maneuvers right over our heads.

The Air Combat Command F-22 Raptor demonstration team out of Langley Air Force Base also performed precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the worlds only operational fifth-generation fighter aircraft.  The Raptor is the Air force’s newest fighter and represents a huge leap in war fighting capabilities.  I also was able to get some great pictures of this stealthy aircraft.

We also saw the Bremont Horseman flying their WWII display team.  They are the worlds only P-51 Mustang formation aerobatic team.  Billy Werth showed his flying skills in a Embraer 145 biplane and delighted the crowd with his flying stunts and smoke trailing maneuvers.

I can’t forget the Coast Guard Air Station based out of Traverse City.  They have had a presence in the area since 1946 and do operations in all of Lake Michigan, parts of Lake Superior, and Lake Huron.  They had a rescue helicopter hover over the bay and do a simulated water rescue.  A diver jumped into the water from about 25 feet and swam to the victim (dummy) in the very real demonstration.

We also enjoyed the rides, food, beach, and fireworks in the evening.  It was a long day of sights and sounds, but a most memorable one indeed!

Danger On The Ausable!

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

4th at cabin 2014 1984th at cabin 2014 168Every year for the past 4 years the Ansel clan has taken a 4th. of July flotilla down the Au sable River near Luzerne.  There were 15 of us this year, but we have had as many as 23 “float” the pristine cold waters of this holiday destination.  This is one of the highest traffic times of the year both on the road and on the river.  Thousands of campers, vacationers, and locals float the river during the summer, but it’s not without it’s dangers.  In fact last year two people were killed and one seriously injured when a storm popped up and a lightning bolt hit the water not far from them. Probably the biggest danger is getting your “craft” caught by an overhanging branch which are many along your journey.  My son Micah got his kayak caught under a limb two years ago, and the current capsized his boat and flipped him into the freezing waters.  He was able to break free from the kayak, but it was a scary moment for us all!

Due to the snow depths this winter and rain this spring the river was higher and faster than we had experienced in other years.  We tied our 2-person and single tubes together in two groups.  Six in one and 7 in the other.  Cousins Nadia and Nina wanted to go it alone, so we tied them together and off we went.  It’s hard to keep the whole group together, but we did our best to enjoy the day as a group.  At one point Nadia and Nina got ahead of us, and that’s when the unforgiving current did it’s thing!  The girls were pushed toward the northern bank and no amount of paddling could avert the two low hanging branches seeking to “grab” there chance for disaster!  Nina’s float tube was stuck sideways in limb number 2, as Nadia held tightly onto limb number 1!  The current was sucking Nina’s tube under the limb and pulling her under with it.  What we didn’t know is that her foot was tangled in the rope that had the 2 tubes tied together!

Son-in law Mark Horwitz jumped from his group and tried to reach the girls but the current was to strong, so he quickly went to shallower water and came in from behind them.  In the meantime Nina’s mother panicked and jump into water over her head and was in a bit of trouble herself. I then flipped over the side of my tube and the current immediately swept me off my feet and was pulling me under six rafts!   Daughter Mindy saw I was in trouble and alerted Russ (Courtney’s friend) who helped get my feet back under me.  By then the girls were free from the branches, Alena was back in her raft, and I was standing in shallow water.  Whew that was close!  Nothing like a nice quite ride down a “lazy” river over the holidays.  We all counted our blessings (and continue to do so) once we reached our destination and brought this years float trip to a close.  It wouldn’t surprise me if we have fewer participant along for the ride next year-including me!

Nadia and Nina are pictured along with the whole gang-minus Mark (our hero)4th at cabin 2014 154.