All three of us are enjoying Jekyll Island, but, as Pierre and I found out, there are some down sides to this beautiful place.

For one thing, whoever built the house we are in must have had a fondness for mirrors. The outside of every bedroom closet is lined with floor-to-ceiling mirrors that span the width of the double closets.

Pierre usually ignores these, as he is rarely in the bedroom during the day. However, he does like to spend his nights comfortably settled on my bed. My bedroom has a skylight that allows a gentle glow to touch the room on moonlit nights. On such nights if Pierre wakes up to move around the bed for a better position he sometimes happens to catch a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror. There’s just enough moonlight for him to see the shadow of a dog and he immediately goes into watch dog mode, growling and barking at the strange shadow-dog.

Then I must either keep saying “Stop that!” or reluctantly sit up to turn on the bedside light and show him it’s just his own reflection. Of course he looks sheepish and goes back to sleep. Meanwhile, I’m wide awake by then, and usually can’t fall asleep for hours.

The Jekyll house had another surprise for Pierre. Our small backyard is filled with flowering shrubs, palms and a large grapefruit tree, heavy with fruit. As the grapefruit ripen they fall to the grass below. We gather these and enjoy them for breakfast.

To a dog these small, round grapefruit must look like toy balls. The first time Pierre stepped into the back yard and discovered lots of “balls” on the grass he was a happy dog. He picked up a grapefruit, tossed it in the air, pawed it and finally grabbed it and sat down for a good chew. The look on his face when he bit into the bitter grapefruit was priceless. He dropped it, then gave me an accusing look that clearly said, “Why didn’t you warn me?”

I also had an unwelcome surprise. I had heard ticks were prevalent on Jekyll but had never been bitten. One Saturday morning about a week ago, as I was getting dressed, I discovered a tick had visited me and was embedded at my waist. I pulled it out and saw a red circle about the size of a quarter had already formed around the bite. My knowledge of ticks is minimal, but I’d heard from other people on the island that a red circle around the bite is not a good sign.

After cleaning the area I finished dressing and went to the computer to learn about ticks and the possible consequences of their bites.

Wow! Not only was the information frightening, the pictures on the computer screen were graphic. This scared me enough to call my doctor in Morgantown, who sent a script for an antibiotic to the local pharmacy here. The usual treatment for a tick bite is a dose of antibiotics and that’s what I had hoped to avoid. Since this all happened on a weekend, I was unable to get the prescription until Monday. By
then the red circle had almost disappeared. No need for antibiotics!

Every place we visit has something to teach us. Pierre learned about grapefruit. I learned to take precautions against ticks. Jekyll is a beautiful place, but beauty can hide some gruesome realities.