Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How to Avoid Deer Ticks

The Ohio Department of Health advises outdoor enthusiasts to be mindful of the potential risk posed by all forms of ticks, including the deer tick that is the primary vector for Lyme disease. 
It is known as the deer tick due to its habit of parasitizing the white-tailed deer. Deer tick is also called the brown-legged tick. It has dark brown legs and long mouthparts and is small in size.


Here are Health Department preventative methods that should be used to help prevent exposure to tick-borne diseases:

  • Avoiding exposure to ticks is the best way to prevent tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
  • Ticks prefer tall grass and brushy areas with leaf litter, so avoid those areas whenever possible.
  • When hiking, stay in the middle of the trail as high grass on the edges of paths is a perfect place for ticks.
  • Keep grassy, outdoor play areas and yards well mowed to discourage tick infestations.Helpful hints when going into areas where ticks may be present:
  • Tuck your pants into your socks to keep the ticks away from your skin. Wear light colored clothing. This will make it easier to find crawling ticks.
  • Use repellents such as Picardin or 20 percent DEET and follow label instructions carefully. Check for ticks frequently, especially on children.
  • Shower within two hours of coming indoors to prevent ticks from attaching to you. Remove any attached ticks promptly and carefully.
  • Protect your pets since dogs can develop tick-borne diseases as well. In addition, they can bring ticks into the home with them.
  • During the general tick season of April to August, dogs should be kept or walked in well-mowed areas whenever possible.
  • Inspect dogs for ticks every day and if ticks any are found, remove them promptly and carefully.
  • There are many good tick control products for dogs. Talk to your veterinarian about recommendations and always follow product instructions, as some products might be toxic if used incorrectly.
  • If your pet becomes ill, have your pet examined by a veterinarian and tell them about any recent tick exposure.

For more information about ticks and tick-borne diseases:

Contact your local health department. Click here for a list of health departments.

More about deer ticks For more information about ticks and tick-borne diseases:

  • The life cycle of a deer tick: A fully fed female tick drops off its host (primarily deer) and lays thousands of eggs in the ground. The six-legged larval stage hatches and latches onto a host.
  • After feeding, it drops off and transforms into the eight-legged nymph stage.
  • These then drop off another host and transform into the adult stage.
  • Adult deer ticks are active in fall, winter and spring. Nymphs, the stage most likely to bite humans, are active mostly in late spring and early summer.
  • Ticks likewise do not fall out of trees. They climb onto vegetation, latch on and climb to an area they like. It may seem like the ticks have come from above because they sometimes end up on the scalp.

Article by: Jeff Frischkorn /The News-Herald
Source: Tom Pucci, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's assistant curator for invertebrate zoology

Friday, October 14, 2011

Passport to the Parks puts fall color in spotlight

Overlook at Lake Metroparks Girdled Road Reservation
Photo by Duncan Scott/The News-Herald

Passport to the Parks is offering a view of the fall colors in its final month.

The fifth and final installment of the summer walking program sponsored by The Cleveland Clinic spotlights Girdled Road Reservation in Concord Township.

The 902-acre park is bordered by Girdled, Radcliffe and Concord-Hambden roads.

Visitors can access the pedestrian walkway from the North Entrance on Girdled Road.

Passport to the Parks encourages area residents to get out and get some exercise in the area’s parks.

While you’re out walking the trail, you’ll come across a trail marker with a code word for entry into a contest with prizes such as a three-month subscription to The News-Herald and a one-year membership to Lake Metroparks Farmpark.

There are three ways to enter the contest:

* Text the code word to 22700.

* Email the code word to http://bit.ly/girdledroad

* Call Lake Metroparks at 440-358-7275 and provide the code word to customer service.

Each month since June, a new park has been announced as part of the program.

The code words for the first four parks — Veteran’s Park in Mentor; Lakeshore Reservation in North Perry Village; Gully Brook Park in Willoughby; and Chagrin River Park in Willoughby — remain in effect.

You can enter once per park, and if you walk all five parks, you’ll have five entries into the contest.

The signs and code words will remain in place until Nov. 15.

Those who complete all five parks will be entered into a drawing to win reusable lunch containers, courtesy of Lake Metroparks.

Up to 100 participants will receive the lunch containers.

Story by Laura Kessel/The News-Herald

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

View Beautiful Fall Colors in Your Parks!

The colors are a changin’ and people are going to be looking for the best places to view this spectacular display of color.  Don't miss taking in the fall colors in Lake County!  

Where better to view than in one of your Lake Metroparks?
Here's a list of park overlooks that will maximize your viewing.

Chapin Forest Reservation
10090 Chillicothe Road (Rt. 306) and 10381 Hobart Road in Kirtland
Chapin Forest Reservation - Lake Metroparks
J. Dell Photography
The 390 acres of Chapin Forest Reservation are known for distinctive rock formations and majestic forests. Wander through 5.3 miles of mature woodland trails comprised of beech, maple, oak, tulip and hemlock.
Hike along Lucky Stone Loop Trail and walk along the scenic overlook with a view toward Cleveland. On a clear day, you can look out and see downtown.

Click here for more information
Penitentiary Glen Reservation
8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road in Kirtland
Don Kemp
This beautiful nature preserve features 424 acres of forest, fields, wetlands, and over 7.5 miles of hiking trails The trails lead along the cool, shaded hemlock ridge of a deep gorge and through old field habitats and a mature hardwood forest. 

Stop along the Halle Home Loop Trail for views across the ravine over Stoney Brook.
Click here for more information
Hell Hollow Wilderness Area
14435 Leroy Center Rd. in Leroy
Frank Szekely
Walk along the half-mile Beechwood Loop Trail along a cliff above the Paine Creek valley and 262 timber steps that provide a dramatic descent to the creek valley. The more than 100-foot-deep ravine was carved thousands of years ago by Paine Creek after glaciers retreated from Ohio. This park offers impressive views of the 360 million year-old Chagrin Shale cliff above a deep river valley.
Click here for more information
Indian Point Park
Lower Lot: 12951 Seeley Road
Upper Lot: 13165 Seeley Road
Lake Metroparks - Indian Point Park
Jeff Taipale
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service, this park has one of the earliest architectural works in this part of Ohio.

Lookout Ridge Trail offers steep valley viewing high above the Grand River and Paine Creek
Click here for more information
Girdled Road Reservation
North Entrance: 12898 Girdled Road;
South Entrance: 12899 Radcliffe Road Concord Twp.
J Dell Photography
Within the 902 acres of Girdled Road Reservation visitors can experience the beauty of many different types of habitats-dense forests, fields and wetlands. Audubon Ohio has designated this park as an Important Bird Area. The Buckeye Trail, marked with light blue blazes on trees, runs through Girdled Road Reservation.

Close to the North entrance, an overlook provides grand views of the Big Creek valley

Click here for more information
Click here to find out where you can view fall foliage in parks throughout Northeast Ohio.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkins: A Holiday Icon from the Garden

What comes to mind when you see a pumpkin? Halloween, I’m sure. How did this Native American plant become a symbol for this Old World holiday?

What would Halloween be without the smiling countenance of a Jack-O-Lantern to scare away ghosts and goblins? Many vegetables are ready for harvest in the fall, so how did the pumpkin become king of the fall season? Part can be traced to the Native Americans who cultivated pumpkins along with other winter squash like the green stripped cushaw and butternut squash. With their thick rinds, nutritious seeds and tasty flesh they made an ideal storage crop with a history of cultivation dating back more than 3,000 years.

Early colonists learned to cultivate pumpkins from the Native Americans and the vegetable became part of the fall harvest season. But to turn it into a Jack-O-Lantern, we have to go to Ireland where the Irish hollowed out large Swede turnips and carved hideous faces in them. Lit with a candle and placed on the doorstep they warded of evil spirits on all Hallows Eve. The new world pumpkin, with its larger size, bright orange color and easy to hollow out seed cavity made it an easy replacement for the turnip. Pumpkins now come in all sizes from the pocket-sized Jack Be Little to the enormous Dills Atlantic Giant with the 2010 record weight of 1,725 pounds. 

Both varieties are grown at Farmpark’s Planters Overlook gardens along with many other types of pumpkins and squashes.

Check out the Corn and Pumpkin Harvest Weekend at Farmpark October 8 & 9.