Paradise Lost


Img_0403_4 This week, the NY Times ran a truly scary story about tropical diseases arriving for the first time in Italy, thanks to global warming and the tiger mosquitos that can now survive there.

Of course, at my country place in formerly frigid Zone 4, I now get at least half a dozen tick bites a year working in the garden.   My old dog Lulu has had Lyme disease uncountable number of times, and my nine year-old daughter has had it once.  If you ask the vet, he will tell you he never saw a tick until about 5 years ago.  They’re a new arrival.


  1. Lyme disease was first identified in the 1880s by Alfred Buchwald and reported in Sweden in 1909. It’s carried by deer ticks and is endemic to the Northeast, so it doesn’t really qualify as a tropical disease moving northward.

    I think the attention and number of diagnoses is increasing but it’s considered underreported.

    Still, it’s true that critters formerly confined to warmer regions are coming north. I recently saw a report that fire ants have made it all the way up here, and I got some mysterious bites last summer that matched the description.

    Bring on the anteaters!

  2. I know I should have a serious comment to this serious post, but I have to say it: Lulu is a beautiful dog! (And yes, I’m probably biased because she looks so much like Coco, my Lab/Malamute mix.)

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