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Much-needed rain brings relief, but more is needed moving forward

Much-needed rain brings relief, but more is needed moving forward

Posted: Friday, July 13, 2012 12:00 pm
By: By Brent Callicott

Thank you Lord for the rain, but don’t stop now.
This past week saw the first decent rains for our area in many, many weeks. I have measured over 1.50 inches of rain at my house. That’s not a lot compared to some other Obion Countians and our neighbors around us. Some other reports show that anywhere from one and half to nearly 6 inches of rain has fallen in different parts of Obion County, especially the southern and southwestern parts.
Most everyone around West Tennessee saw a variety of amounts. Some didn’t see much at all. It was all a welcome sight and relief for the heat as well.
This week’s idea for a column came with a bit of surprise and some pain.
How many of you have been stung before by a wasp or bee? Most folks have been stung probably once in their life. For me, it’s been over 40 years that I can remember. How many of you have been stung more than once by the same stinger? I fall into to that club now myself.
Monday before last, I was fishing at Gibson County Lake. The temps reached 100 plus that day. I had planned on heading home around 11 a.m. and started fishing that morning around 5:15 a.m.
I was out on the lake idling around looking for fish on my Humminbird 1198 Side Image Unit when I spotted something to target on my screen. I started to fish and all of a sudden, I felt a sharp pain in the mid-section on the left side of my back. I thought it was a hair on my back that was being pulled by my shirt but when I started to move even more, more sharp pains. I knew then it wasn’t a hair being pulled. It was either a bee, wasp or a spider.
I began to shed my hat, sunglasses and then shirt to find that a small Yellow Jacket type wasp had found his way up in my shirt. Yes, I was nailed by this little fella at least three times.
I had some spray ointment in my boat and sprayed that on the stings and kept fishing. Three hours later, around 9 a.m., I continued to try and fish but the pain was getting pretty rough — to the point It was hard for me to cast without pain. I had nothing else to take.
I decided to head to the house and take care of the wounds from the early morning attack. Let me just say this, it felt like I had several needles stuck in my back and every time I moved, so did they. It was the stingers left behind. I learned something, a bee only can sting once; a Yellow Jacket type wasp or any wasp for that matter can sting multiple times, and he did.
It was bedtime that night before my pain subsided. The stings were much better by the next afternoon.
I wanted to pass along some tips on what to do and what not to do when avoiding wasp and bees. Also, the what to do’s after the sting.
Do not wear any types of perfumes or colognes. In other words, don’t smell like a flower. Bees can detect and follow strong scents, and wearing perfumes or colognes will attract nectar-seeking bees and wasps from a distance. Once they find the source of the flower smell (you), they’re likely to investigate by landing on you or buzzing around your body.
 Avoid wearing brightly colored clothing, especially floral prints and also goes along with the perfumes and colognes. There’s a reason beekeepers wear white. If you’re wearing bright colors, you are just asking bees to land on you. Keep your outdoor wear limited to khaki, white, beige, or other light colors if you don’t want to attract bees.
Be careful what you eat when in the outdoors. Sugary foods and drinks will attract bees and wasps for sure. Before you take a sip of your soda, look inside the can or glass and make sure a wasp hasn’t gone in for a taste. Fruits also attract the stinging crowd, so pay attention when snacking on ripe fruits outdoors. Don’t leave your peach pits or orange peels sitting around.
Try not to wear loose-fitting clothes. Bees and wasps might just find their way up your pant leg or into your shirt if you give them an easy opening. Once inside, they will be trapped against your skin. And what’s your first impulse when you feel something crawling around inside your clothing? You slap at it, right? That’s a recipe for disaster. Opt for clothing with tighter cuffs, and keep baggy shirts tucked in.
Stay still when wasp or bees close by trying not to aggravate them. If you’re afraid of bees and wasps, this may sound as reasonable as eating Jello® with chopsticks. But the worst thing you can do when a wasp flies around your head is swat at it.
What would you do if someone took a swing at you? If a bee, wasp or hornet comes near you, just take a deep breath and stay calm. It’s just trying to determine if you are a flower or some other item useful to it, and once it realizes you’re just a person, it will fly away.
Not every reaction caused by a stinger is an allergic reaction type sting.
Bees release venom through their stinger that can cause some irritation that is normal. The most common and non-life threatening reaction will appear at the sting site.
Itching, redness and swelling at the site are common. However, if areas that are not near the site begin to swell or itch these are signs of a severe allergic reaction. Medical attention must be sought immediately if these signs develop. Additionally, medical treatment is necessary if a person that has been stung has difficulty wallowing, nausea, vomiting, a rash or unconsciousness.
Also, what should you do right when you get stung ? Clean the area with alcohol and apply a cold compress. Hydrocortisone cream and/or Benadryl may be helpful. Also if the stinger is still in the skin, use a credit card type piece of plastic scraping you skin lightly helping to bring the stinger out or if you can see the stinger that was left behind, use small tweezers.
If your tongue starts to swell up, your chest gets tight or you feel any discomfort that might be an allergic reaction, call 911 or your doctor immediately.
I want to remind all of you deer hunters out there as well as anyone else that might me interested in helping feed the hungry this fall.
The Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry program reported another record year, with total venison donations up 13 percent over last season’s record. Tennessee deer hunters donated nearly 63 tons of lean, high-protein venison that provided more than half a million meals to their hungry neighbors through local food pantries.
The white-tailed deer is very healthy, renewable resource that has to be managed, and this program is able to give hunters a way to donate venison to be prepared by professional butchers and distributed to food banks and soup kitchens across the state according to the Federation’s coordinator.
Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses always expire at the end of February, and we hope people will take advantage of the opportunity to give a dollar to Hunters for the Hungry when renewing those licenses. One dollar can provide four meals to hungry Tennesseans.
Hunters for the Hungry has provided more than 3.2 million meals to Tennesseans in need over the life of the program. Founded in 1946, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s mission is to champion the conservation, sound management and enjoyment of Tennessee’s wildlife and natural resources for current and future generations through stewardship, advocacy and education.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife News
Waterfowl season will be here before we know it. How well do you know your waterfowl in flight? On July 27, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge is hosting Camp Greenhead, a free one-day event for 15 lucky 14-17 year olds to come learn about waterfowl identification. The importance of waterfowl identification cannot be stressed enough. Misidentification of waterfowl leads to hunters exceeding the waterfowl species limits which, in turn, decreases the amount of waterfowl available for the future. Be a part of a group of young adults that can take pride in knowing what species of waterfowl you are taking before you shoot.
During Camp Greenhead, you will learn to identify a variety of waterfowl species while feeding, in flight and by call. Paint duck decoys. Take a tour of the refuge to see how bottomland hardwood forests, row crops, and moist soil units benefit waterfowl. A refuge biologist will demonstrate how we band wood ducks and discuss the purpose for banding waterfowl. Participants will receive a free duck call and several booklets and pamphlets that cover waterfowl identification.
You can sign up today to reserve your spot for Camp Greenhead by contacting Tara Dowdy at the Reelfoot NWR at (731) 538-2481, Monday-Friday at 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Reelfoot Lake
Water level has come up a couple of inches at least. At midweek, the lake is up to 281.25, which is up from 280.75 feet above sea level. Normal pool level according to the USGS Website is 282.20 feet above sea level. Reelfoot may rise even more depending on the amounts of runoff from the rains we receive towards the end of this week.
Water temps were in the 90 to 91 degree range but has dropped down a little with these cooler day time temps and are now in the upper 80s.
Two fishing reports. Gene and Jeff Crabtree went Crappie fishing last Thursday on Reelfoot Lake and managed to boat 14 and brought 5 home to the frying pan. Then Jeff Jackson carried his father Wesley and brother Gentry crappie fishing on Reelfoot Lake last Friday evening catching 25. Jeff said it was very hot but the time was well-spent being in the boat with his dad and brother.
Kentucky Lake/Paris Landing
Water levels were in the 357.75 range at midweek with the rains since then determining how much the lake will rise by week’s end, which I think may hit at least the 358.0 mark, the highest it has been most all summer. Normal lake level for the summer pool is 359.0 feet above sea level.
Water temps are 87 to 88 degrees. Water color is clear or was but some bays may have some stained water due to the locally heavy rains that surrounded the lake.
Fishing is good with catfish being caught around the Highway 79 Paris Landing Bridge.
Bass are also good fishing drops and ledges. Some fish are being caught around the grass that has made its way down to Paris from the New Johnsonville area upstream on the Tennessee River from Paris Landing.
Til next week’s column,
Catch ya on the water folks.

Published in The Messenger 7.13.12

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