Ticks are 
a real pain 
in the...

Last Sunday saw five ultra-keen juniors assemble at Allochie Lochan on a dry but very windy day, to compete in their annual Bob Massie Shield event. William Munro proved a worthy winner with an incredible catch of 9 fish, while Kieran Preston came second with one trout, his first from Allochie. Unfortunately, the other three competitors, Jemma Critton, William Piggot and Aaron Milroy blanked although all had a fish on the end of their line. Aaron had better watch out because his sister Eliza and father Alistair both gave flycasting a try and I suspect that it is about to become a thoroughly family hobby! Other parents and a grandparent looked on with patient enthusiasm as their offspring fished hard for the four hours with varying results. Club adults have their turn from 9am to 1pm on Sunday (August 11) in their own Andy Gordon Shield competition at Crossley Quarry. Outings convenor Mike Fraser would appreciate contact from intending competitiors so that he can populate a results sheet and avoid any admin delays at the start of the event.

Sometimes one instinctively knows who one’s friends are, when they go above and beyond the call of duty. En route home last Saturday from an overnight stay in Moray, via the scenic route by Alford and Millbank, we had stopped at one juncture to take some photographs of lonely Bennachie in beautiful evening light and I had waded through a couple of yards of long roadside grass to do so. Lying in bed at around 5am the next morning, I was awakened by a distinct itch on my rear upper thigh, but promptly fell asleep again. Surfacing at 7am to prepare breakfast, I again felt the itch, only this time higher up in the crease of the buttock. A few bathroom contortions with a hand mirror later, I saw a black speck lodged there..a sheep tick. Thank goodness it had gone no further before settling down for a meal of blood! And it is here that the loyalty aspect kicks in! Removing the wee blighter without assistance was a sheer physical impossibility for me, so whilst I lay prone on my stomach, my wife (what did I say last week about long-suffering spouses?) got to work with an “Otom” tick removal tool and quickly detached the whole beastie, which I made sure was very dead before flushing it away down the loo. There is a very serious side indeed, to this smutty story about wives handling their husbands’ bare buttocks. Ticks are widespread wherever sheep and deer are present, and can indeed be brought into the home by cats or dogs. Being of the arachnid (spider) family, they can scuttle about surprisingly quickly for their tiny size, and once aboard and attached, they start to gorge themselves on human blood. If dealt with incorrectly or clumsily, they can readily regurgitate their bloody meal back inot the victim, possibly complete with the bacterium which causes Lyme disease. And if that wee tick is buried into your skin in a location that you yourself cannae see or reach, don’t be bashful but get that true best friend to do the needful..it really is that important! “Tight Lines”