Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The secret revenge of the Leech

Two days ago, I was out at Carrington Falls Reserve, taking photos of the red, brown and orange flowers and creatures, in the mist and rain. I also snapped this lovely fresh flower of the endangered Carrington Falls Grevillea (Grevillea rivularis) - which is endemic to this small Reserve. The fresh flowers start out purple (like this one) and fade slowly to pink and creamy tones, as the flowers mature. Unbeknown to me, a Leech managed to penetrate my sock (no insect repellent used). It was not visible to me while I was out in the bush, as it was inside my shoe. I now regret my lack of preparation for this bush stroll which I had undertaken, on an impulse.

I had seen that a gate, which is normally closed, had been opened, and left open. Odd, I thought.
Once inside the Reserve, I could hear machinery operating, and then found an NPWS truck. So I figured it was Sam and others doing work in the park. But as I am on the Committee of Management for the Reserve, I thought I would check out which of the various projects which need to be undertaken, was actually being worked on.

I walked along the trail, following the sounds of machinery operating, and chatted with Sam for a few moments. It turned out to be some unscheduled work, to clear several large trees, one of which ( a very large one) had fallen, and had brought down several smaller (but large) trees, across the main fire trail, totally blocking it. So the work was necessary. I wished Sam and his offsider well, and left. On the way back I took the various photos which I posted that other day.
When I got home and put my feet up, for a moment or two, a Leech emerged from my shoe. Damned thing. It was not very full, and I was not sure if it had attached itself (wishful thinking, on my part). I knew I was not bleeding from a wound, as can happen if the Leech has been accidentally knocked off. When they have completed feeding they inject a coagulant, to counteract the anticoagulant which they need to keep the blood flowing, while they feed. So, apparently I had been bitten, and then the bite "sealed off".

I knew what this meant. I would start to itch the next day.
Sure enough, about midday the next day, the effect of the pain killer the Leech had injected had worn off. They inject this pain killer so that we do not feel them attaching themselves - so that we are unaware of their presence, and do not disturb them until they have drunk their fill. Clever plan!

Sure enough, my foot started to itch like crazy, and was red, around the area of the bite. I have been applying a cortisone cream, to try and reduce the inflammation, and taking an antihistamine, for the itchiness. Neither is really working - well, they are probably working, but the itch is still driving me nuts.

Oh, well, I figure this is a win for the Leeches, to balance their loss two weeks ago, when I managed to keep them from attaching themselves, and had to be content with wandering across the very finely woven cloth of my knees of my tracksuit trousers.Leeches 1: Denis 1

2 comments:

Miss Eagle said...

Is all now well with the foot/bite? It sure looks angry.

Blessings and bliss
Brigid

Miss Eagle said...

Is all now well with the foot/bite? It sure looks angry.

Blessings and bliss
Brigid