I haven’t mentioned that?
Well, I can be!
About more than one thing, actually. But I’m thinking of one thing in particular today.
Poison Ivy. Oh, just the thought of it makes me shudder!
I grew up in the country and, when I was younger, my older brother ( Bro #2) and I loved to roam all over our property and that of several of our neighbors. We always had lots of fun! 🙂 The down side to this? Poison Ivy grows all over around here! And it gets rather large in places too.
Almost a year ago, I posted about Poison Ivy on my photo blog and included some pictures I took of the horrid plant. Check it out if you like!
Another down side to roaming woods full of Poison Ivy? I’m pretty allergic to the stuff. I’ve broken out with rashes way more times than I can count after coming into contact with the plant or the plant oils found on my brothers’ clothes or some such.
My experiences have ranged from a very small rash — a single line of tiny blisters maybe an inch long — to one that covered both of my legs from the knee down. Oh, and the one that covered my neck and face, making my face swell pretty bad, which was responsible for one of the maybe 3 visits to the doctor that I’ve had to make in the past 20 years. Trust me, it ain’t pretty and it ain’t fun. It itches like crazy! And, I don’t care what people claim, it spreads.
So, what does this have to do with being paranoid?
The above mentioned experiences with Poison Ivy have made me slightly paranoid. It seemed there for a while that every time I got a Poison Ivy rash, it was worse than the last one. And I started worrying: What if it just keeps getting worse every time? I mean, I have a cousin that has to go to the ER if he comes into contact with Poison Ivy… Yikes!!
So I started wearing old army fatigues any time I went into the woods. And, when I got home, I would very carefully remove them, put them directly into the wash, and take a cool shower. We even got a special soap (Tecnu) that’s supposed to remove the Poison Ivy oils from your skin to prevent breakouts. (And I must say, It definitely helps! I’m thoroughly convinced that it does!)
On top of that, if my brothers go out into the woods, I refuse to wash or even touch their clothes until they’ve been washed– or touch them until they’ve showered. If they show up with a rash? “Don’t you dare touch me! If I get a rash, I’ll know exactly who to come looking for!” *insert threatening big sister look*
Last week, I was out for a walk taking photos — something I do quite often this time of the year — when I caught a glimpse of a white flower that didn’t look familiar to me. It’s growing in the ditch behind our house. I’ve walked that road countless times, but couldn’t recall seeing a flower like that. So, naturally, I stopped to check it out! Without thought to my surroundings (stupid of me, I know) I quickly stepped closer and began snapping pictures. I even pulled a plant out of the way so I could get closer and get a better photo.
That’s when I noticed the infamous three leaves. I instantly jumped back away from it and, without examining anything closer, quickly ran into the house to soap up. I told my younger brother (Bro #5) about it and we discussed whether the flowers were on the believed-to-be Poison Ivy plant or on a plant near it. He, being much braver than I (yeah, I don’t think he’s ever had a Poison Ivy rash so what does he need to worry about?), volunteered to go check. He promptly informed me that it couldn’t possibly be Poison Ivy because the flowers were on that plant and that the plant also had thorns.
Of course, that instantly brought to mind images of freaky monster Poison Ivy that has developed thorns! Terror!! 😯
I knew it couldn’t be Poison Ivy, though, and I am the curious type so I started looking up “Poison Ivy look alike” and discovered that this plant must, in fact, be…..
…a mostly (can’t forget those thorns!) harmless blackberry bush.
Do I feel foolish? Well… maybe a little. I should have at least taken a moment to look closer before just assuming that it was Poison Ivy. But this has also taught me that I need to be way more observant of my surroundings before stepping so close to a plant just to get a photograph.
Kinda like Tuesday afternoon when I almost sat on that little cactus plant out in the field….. Ah, but that’s another story for another day. 😛
So, yeah. I’m a bit paranoid, and I can admit it. Just like I can admit that I kinda got the shivers when I went back out to take some more pictures of that blackberry bush. “It’s harmless!” I told myself. But there was still a little part of me that whispered back, “Yeah… but what if it really isn’t?“