Sunday, July 31, 2011

a diabolical evil

now that we're mostly out of the snow, and into the land of vibrant greenery, that diabolical scourge poison oak has returned... not only does this stuff grow in a choker pattern around the trail - leaning in like it wants to touch you; it also grows in proximity to several plants which seem to mimic it, or it them... this results in me doing a crazy frenetic ninja dance, which surprisingly involves less finesse than you might imagine...

just to remind you: you touch this plant; brush past it; your pack gently knocks a leaf; and the oil is on you. once on you, you unwittingly spread it everywhere. if it's on your hands, you rub your eyes, scratch your arm etc; you're constantly spreading it without knowing. it takes a couple of days for the symptoms to start showing, and then it can be blisters and itchiness galore - for 2 jolly weeks...

so i tell myself: 'don't touch your face, don't touch your face' because i keep forgetting and touching my poles where they've probably touched the plant, and then a mosquito lands on my face... it's like a crazy conspiracy (actually, while i was being demented in my efforts to avoid this stuff, i did start wondering if the us military had engineered this stuff to stop land invasions - every thing else crazy over here seems to have been created by the military...)

what's worse than the poison oak-mosquito combo, is the fact that it often grows in amongst the thimbleberries. thimbleberries are extremely tasty berries, a little like a raspberry, and they lure you towards them, only to reveal last second that they are choked thickly with poison oak...

[in those shots above, the cool big star-like leaves are thimbleberries, the other leaves are poison oak. in the second shot you can see a couple of thimbleberries on a plant...]


  1. I really like how the green leaves contrast with the ground in the backgound (Ainslie said it is much more interesting for you if we comment on stuff).

  2. Perhaps you should carry a machete or a blow torch?!

  3. I have seriously wished I had some kind of laser at times...

    Lucas, I sniggered when I read this, but mate - I laughed so much when I read your other comment. Ains is right but, it's so good to read comments, I really really appreciate them.