Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Giardia anyone?

 While I was taking a course in parasitology many years ago, a scene like this excited me in a different way than it does now.  I remember writing a paper on the flagellates I found living in the gall bladders of tree frogs.  Then one on the trematodes found lining the mouths of Cottonmouth Water Moccassins.  Now this scene just reminds me that when I first came to the Sierra in 1965, there were many places where I could safely drink the surface water, and I never got sick.  Now I know I can't safely drink surface water anywhere.  This little dammed up pond is by the side of Golden Eagle Avenue, and I often stop there to look at the Bullfrogs and dragonflies.
 But now, when I look at the frogs, I imagine the dozens, if not hundreds, of different parasites I might find in each frog.  When I was studying parasitology, that was actually fun.  It was an adventure in discovery.  I still have my 40-page, take-home semester exam from that class, and I get a nostalgic feeling whenever I read it.

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