Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A Detached Retina Part I

The more observant of you may have notice a number of things:

1. I haven't written a blog post for years.
2. We were at le Mans recently.
3. I have had a medical adventure.

We can't do much about item 1, it's GOG* syndrome. That is, Blogger has changed and I can't be bothered learning how it all works - my experience is that it just doesn't and I would rather not write than fume (I don't do silent fume - the whole street tends to know). Item 2 was exciting, but Susan has it covered, and item 3...

Well, that's where only I can tell what it was like.

On the Friday morning I commented to Susan that it was weird - I could see little black ants crawling on the bottom of the lens of my glasses when I was wearing them, but I couldn't find them when I took the glasses off and looked. I put that down to some excitement, some beer and some wine on Thursday evening and ignored it (these days I rarely drink, and although I am not a one pot screamer the after effects are far greater than they used to be). On Saturday morning my eyes were a bit hazy, but that may have been wine and beer on Friday evening (no excitement, it had rained all Friday - not exciting in a tent). Sometimes my eyes just take a while to focus properly

It wasn't until we had completed the lap of the circuit that I picked up my camera and put it to my left eye - the stronger of my eyes, and the one I use for aiming stuff. Blow me down but it was interesting...

This was a bit of a worry - I had never seen that before, and hope never to see it again. After talking to people at the campsite we agreed I should drive home before it got worse, and that it was probably due to the fact I had massively overheated putting up the tent on Thursday afternoon.

When we got home, Susan rang a friend who had suffered a detatched retina late last year. He said that he didn't know if I had the same, but visiting A&E (hospital outpatients or Urgences) would be a good idea. So we drove to our nearest Urgences which is in Chatellerault to discover they had no opthalmologist (we knew that, but you should visit the nearest Urgences first up) and they referred us to Poitiers.

I was dreading the thought of visiting a hospital emergency section at 9.00 pm on a Saturday evening in the middle of summer - anyone who has done the same in Australia or the UK can tell you some horror stories, but it has to be said that both the hospitals we visited were calm, friendly places, with personal service (no numbers, you were called by name) and really quick. We set out at just after 8.00 pm and were home by 11.30 pm, having seen an intern, and having an appointment with an opthalmologist made for 9.15 am on Sunday(!) morning.


To be continued...

*GOG = Grumpy Old Git

Monday, 1 September 2014

The Nature of the Touraine Loire Valley in September

Like many bird species, Cormorants will start gathering and moving through the area on migration. They use the river Loire like a highway.
Sunrise 8 am, sunset 7.30 pm. Average temperatures are starting to fall now, but we should still have maximums in the low 20°s and around 200 hours of sunlight.

Emerald damselflies Lestes spp of several species are late summer fliers. This one is a male Western Willow Spreadwing L. viridis, common and easy to distinguish from other similar species by its terracotta coloured pterostigma (the opaque cells near the wingtips).

Autumn Lady's Tresses Spiranthes spiralis are the last of the Touraine orchid species to flower.

Fundraising for Cancer Research: Jim Budd is about to begin a fundraising cycling trip along the full length of the Loire. Money raised will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust and the  Fondation Gustave Roussy .  If you are in the area, why not join him for a stretch? I know he would really appreciate meeting new cycling companions. His journey starts on 17 September. If you wish to donate, go to the links above. If you want to contact him with regard to cycling a section with him I can give you his email address.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Nature Photographer at Work

My sister photographing a Thorny Devil lizard on the side of the road in the Northern Territory. I've no doubt the plant she is kneeling in was prickly, but Thorny Devils are special.
Answer to Quiz: The sculptures in Tuesday's quiz are at Ussé. No one got close.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Red Centre

With soil this colour, no wonder the middle of Australia is known as the Red Centre.