Thursday, February 21, 2013

Riding My Bike and Ants

As with so many old railroad beds across the country, Florida has converted a line to the Legacy Trail.  Currently, the trail reaches from Venice to Sarasota and covers ten miles.  To the south, it connects with the Venetian Waterway Trail, another ten miles that is divided on both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway.

So far I have covered all of the Venetian Waterway Trail.   I have ridden about six miles of the Legacy Trail, making it to the Oscar Scherer Park, but that is trip in itself just to get to that trail without having to cross major highways.  I doubt that I will make it all the way to Sarasota on my bike unless I arrange some kind of pick up for theway back.

I had a bike in Vermont, but I was not particularly heartbroken when it was stolen years ago.  Vermont is a whole lot hillier than Florida.  Also, it is so much easier to breathe at sea level, I swear!
I am getting a lot of use out of my bicycle purchase.

 
Dona Bay

North Venice bridge
 
 
 
I did make a mistake, though, by stopping along a creek where they say roseate spoonbills roost.  I did not see any spoonbills, but I did notice that fire ants were marching up my left leg as I was locking up the bike.  I got out of there as fast as I could, but let me tell you--those are nasty biters, those fire ants.


I looked 'fire ant bites' up on the internet.  It is important to not scratch them and burst the blister like lesions.  Oh, well, too late for that.  I have been dabbing the sores with hydrogen peroxide in hopes of avoiding infection since I did scratch the heck out of the bites.   I swear, I was scratching in my sleep. 

Speaking of ants, we have had no white-footed ants this year.  Apparently all the treatments we contracted moved the entire colony on to the next door neighbors.  They are not too happy about it either.  I hope their contracted treatments send then on down the street, not back our way.

Sometimes we think we are in Paradise, but no place is pefect on this earth.

14 comments:

  1. Stay ahead of those ants!!! Anywhere you don't have to shovel or deal with snow, is close to paradise.

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  2. Wow, no standing still with fire ants around. That's a treat I can pass on. But everything else does sound lovely.

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    1. It has been an especially pleasant winter here this year.

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  3. Hello, I'm just dropping by from Linda Reeder's blog. I wonder if we have Fire Ants in Hawaii. They sound horrible! I hope you're OK now.

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    1. Hi, Kay. Thanks for stopping by. Fire ants have made an invasion from South and Central America, I think. They have most likely not reached Hawaii--at least not without help. The white footed ants came from Japan originally so anything is possible where imports are involved.

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    2. From Japan? With white feet, not less! Good gracious!

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  4. Your bike trips are wonderful. I wished my knees would tolerate a bike. Regarding the fire ants and other invasive insects from the tropics, I remember of reading a piece about such insects and the author spoke of "the luxury of having a winter" to kill the damned things off and prevent their entry into an area.

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    1. I was talking to a friend about that recently. VT has had mild winters for a few years, but this one has been very cold. He was saying that he was glad because it would kill the ticks that were just terrible this past summer.

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  5. Love hearing about the bike, but not the bites. Are they like chiggers? My husband had them on the golf course, and he was a mess. Are white footed ones like termites? I learn so much from reading your posts!
    Peace,
    Muff

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    1. Fire ants are not the same as chiggers. Chiggers are more like tics but I think that they do not burrow into the skin like a dog tick. The bites of fire ants (they are little red ants) and chiggers are similar, though--burny/itchy and blistery.
      White footed ants are not like termites. They don't do structural damage as far as I know. They are very tiny and love sugar. Their colonies are huge, though, and that is why it is so hard to get rid of them.

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  6. Oh my those ant stories do bring to light some of my own bad ant days! You may want to get some sort of healing cream with some sort of medication to avoid serious issues later.
    Bike rides were onc e passion for me back in my old country as a kid. Here in Canada everting is so far apart that bike rides were jusr not done until the las 25 years when some trail were created. But then I was to busy with some toddlers that came late into my life. Now I don't have the desire nor the ability. Would need some training time first!

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    1. They say you never forget how to ride a bike. I am not so sure about that, although I did not forget. I have noticed that my sense of balnce has improved greatly.

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  7. Southern California isn't perfect either but is sure is close to Paradise. And as someone above said no snow makes it lots closer to Paradise! We have fire ants here but I had never heard of white footed ants and I think I'm glad!

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