Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Map My Hike (with ticks)

Good Morning,

I'm a late adopter of technology, the person that waits for it to drop in price and improve in quality. For some time I resisted getting a "smart phone" since I saw no value in a phone that did anything but carry voice. The idea of a camera seems especially silly to me. However when the technology improved and I saw some of the results I was a bit intrigued. Recently I signed up for Google Fi, a plan that is not locked into a particular vendor. It currently uses Sprint and T-Mobile as the providers as well as WiFi. However the phone is completely useless as a phone in New Ipswich, NH. I keep trying but so far nothing. Perhaps it might work on Barrett Mountain.

I'm a fanboy for Google, so I plan to keep the phone in spite of the fact that it is useless as a phone. I'm experimenting with the camera which I like and just recently tried out a few apps. One that I can use in New Ipswich is a mapping program called Map My Hike which uses the phone's GPS to track your steps. I tried it out on my morning walk and it did a nice job.It startled me a bit when the phone announced that I had reached the 1 mile marker. There are many similar apps but this one seems more than adequate for what I need. Like everything else, it has a social media component so if you use it, please look for my profile online. We can compare notes.

I enjoy my walks in the woods, peaceful healthy places, nothing to worry about. Later the same day while I working on the computer I felt something on my neck and ...

Unwelcome hitchhiker who found me on my walk - Ixodes scapularis or blacklegged tick
vector for Lyme disease and other nasty things

I hate these loathesome things and it didn't help that I discovered a large red blotch behind my knee with what appears to be a  bite. I know a bit about them after attending a Tick Workshop last weekend in New Ipswich. 

In this photo the tick is on its back, but my video shows that it can flip itself. You also see how flat is is which helped it climb up my body looking for a place to settle down for a blood feast.