Got a Limpkin and Hundreds of Midge Bites

I was sprayed down with Off , wore a thin cotton, long sleeved shirt and still got bitten. Don't go to the marshes too early or too late in the day if you want to avoid the nasty Biting Midges from Hell. Beautiful view though, eh.

Hello Mudder, Hello Fahda,
Here I am at Camp Granada........
On the eve of the 29th of April, insomnia came for one of its visits and I was up till the sky began to lighten.  These visits can be good in one way....I am able to bird very early.  I decided to go to the large dried marshy area that lies next to the road going out of the marina and was surprised to find it flooded.  We had had no rain, so it must be tidal.  I had never seen it inundated with water. The road is on a bluff at this point and I walked along the grassy verge to look down, vainly trying to see the waters edge when a  Limpkin flew about 15 feet in front of me at eye level, making an arc and disappearing into a group of large trees that forms the edge of the march perpendicular to the road.  The Limpkin was a lifer and I was thrilled to see it so well, even if it was a short viewing.  I continued birding and got good views of the White-throated Magpie Jays and a Roadside Hawk.

Three days later, my left arm and the valley of my spine were covered with hundreds, I mean hundreds of hundreds of bites.  My arm feels like pliable sand-paper.  I have never had these kind of bites.  I've had mozzie bites, sand fly bites, black fly bites, chigger bites, ant bites, wasp stings, but not these.  I thought the bite bumps should be diminishing after four days, but they weren't; if anything, they seemed to be getting redder and bigger.  I got on the net to find out what they were and came to the conclusion they were biting midges:  Ceratopogonidae

I also found out they were vectors for an horrible worm that lives in the skin.  Of course I was convinced that I had some kind disease from these things, even if it wasn't the worms.  I saw some of the worm images in google and almost fainted. I could post a few, but I don't think you really need to have stuff like that imprinted in your brains.
Bloodworm from our tank water. 
I still had midges on my mind when I got some water from our foot-pumped sink and a worm was in my glass. I googled it and it is a biting midge larvae. Great. There are several species of biting midges down here but I'm not going to dig deeper.  After viewing images of worms pulled out from under eye-lids and from craters they made in skin, I've learned all I want.  I have been wiping down with vinegar and after an initial sting, I feel better.  Today, they seem to be shrinking, so I hope they are going away without leaving me worms or a virus.  I hate blood sucking, virus (and filariasis) carrying insects!  I've already suffered from Ross River Fever and I do not want any more presents from these horrible things. 

Tomorrow Gene is hosting a hot dog BBQ for Cinco de Mayo.  People down here don't celebrate it so it won't be too much of a desecration to have hot dogs instead of Mexican food.  He bought about 70 good all beef dogs and will put out onions, relish, mustard and catsup (catsup on hot dogs?--yuck). Memo and the marina will contribute the charcoal and I think Rum and fellow cruisers are bringing side dishes.  I love Yacht Lucks, you get the best dishes from some really inventive cooks.

4 comments:

  1. Gosh! We are going to have to disinfect you all before you come over! Maybe you should just stay at the Marina. I hope you are all better now. Sounds awful and disgusting!

    Guess Who?

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    1. Oh, come on Raves, show a little backbone; what's a few flesh eating worms between friends? Besides, it seems to me Newport Beach had worms in their water supply not so long ago. They were in your shower and the Osierians didn't bring them. We are also not responsible for that bottle of Bombay Sapphire that went missing. Lafitte drank it while he was watching Bimbo Mud Wrestlers vs. the Aztec Mummy.

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  2. I remember an episode of the X-Files in which these parasitic worm things ....

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    1. OMG, I missed that one. What happened? Nevermind, I'm probably better off not knowing what truths are out there. Mention of the X-files does remind me that while I was out birding here, I saw some very weird tracks in the mud. I have NO idea what could have made them. Chupacabra?

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