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May 23, 2010 9:21 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Notes from Montauk, May 26

May 23, 2010 9:21 PM

“A Slice of Spring, But Hold the Lyme.” That was the clever title of an important missive sent from Southampton Hospital. The focus was an alert concerning tick-borne diseases and tips to deal with them. We’ll try to briefly summarize what many of us may already know; but memories can be refreshed. Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks, or black-legged ticks, which feed on the blood of animals and humans. They are often barely visible. Despite belief to the contrary, not all deer ticks carry Lyme disease.

Symptoms include: fever, chills, body aches, headaches, joint pain and the infamous “bulls-eye” rash, though not everyone develops the rash. Late stage Lyme can produce more complicated symptoms.

The best way to avoid Lyme disease? Limit your time in areas where ticks live, suggests the hospital. This includes wooded, bushy areas, high grass, etc. Keep your yard free of leaf piles and avoid trekking through thick underbrush. When hiking or biking on a path or trail, stay in the middle. Do tuck your pants cuffs into your socks and wear light-colored clothes to facilitate a check. Application of insect repellent with DEET to your skin and clothes, is also effective. Permethrin is listed as another option for spraying on clothes. And, of course, after a day outside, check your body.

To deal with a tick the hospital advises grasping the tick near its head with fine-nosed tweezers and slowly pulling it straight up. You may want to see a doctor if you think you have symptoms.

We talked about this issue recently with Montauk’s Dr. Tony Knott, who noted that when he arrived here about eight years ago, people who reported Lyme symptoms were hiking in the Hither Hills area. He now sees a definite increase with people in town also included in the numbers. He even cited some cases of shut-ins who have developed Lyme, caused from their pets, particularly those who sleep with their pets! A word to the wise!

We have to say that most of the many experienced hikers we know, follow the excellent advice for Lyme prevention, and have a great time hiking and biking in all seasons. So we have no qualms of informing readers about outdoors events. Coming up this weekend, Eva Moore (238-5134) will lead a 3-mile hike at Shadmoor State Park, with its awesome views and a newly cut woodsy trail this Saturday at 10 a.m. Meet at the Shadmoor parking lot and don’t forget the spray!

Judy Kossover (267-6747) will lead a 6-7 mile hike of a beautiful section of the Paumanok Path at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Bring water and snacks and meet Judy at Hither Hills West overlook on Route 27.

We also want to note some of the recreation programs offered by the town for which pre-registration is required. The 2010 Sailing Instruction Program will run for two two-week sessions Monday through Thursday. The first, on Lake Montauk, will be June 28 to July 8, except for July 5, and July 12 to 22. The Fresh Pond instruction runs from July 26 to August 5 and August 9 to 19. The morning session runs 9 a.m. to noon. Afternoon sessions are from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Beginners and advanced instruction will be offered at each session for which the fee is $160. Registration is limited to 20 people per session. Adults and children age 12 and over are welcome to register, which is at the Parks and Recreation Department behind Town Hall.

The town will also run its free swimming instruction program at various beaches. Classes at Montauk’s East Lake Beach will be held on July 26 to August 6, with registration at 10 a.m. at the beach. The classes range from beginners to advanced swimmers.

Not to be overlooked, Mary Miller, who is on the board of the East End Special Players Camp, told us that learning disabled young people, ages 13 to 25 have an opportunity to become part of this wonderful program, which her son Ricky has enjoyed over the years. The camp will meet Tuesdays through Fridays from August 10 to September 3. According to the director, Jacqui Leader, it will offer improvisational acting, musical exploration, expressive movement culminating in a full-scale theater production. It will be held at the LTV studios in Wainscott. For more information call 678-7560 or check the website: www.eastendspecialplayers.com.

Two cultural events to note: The Third Annual Montauk Fine Arts Festival will take place this Saturday and Sunday on the Green from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will feature the work of national artists.

Mark your calendars for the Montauk Library’s concert of “The G-Sharp Duo,” celebrating Robert Schumann’s 200th anniversary, on June 5 at 7:30 p.m. A varied program of violin-piano works will also include composers Mendelssohn and Beethoven.

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If you don't want to apply DEET to your skin, there are companies selling bug-repellent clothing. Ex Officio sells a line called Buzz Off infused with permethrin (a natural repellent found in chrysanthemums). I've had good results with the hiker socks and the nylon convertible pants tucked into them. The socks are light in color- helpful for spotting ticks.
By Montaukette (46), Waterland on May 27, 10 10:09 PM