Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.
Well, it wasn’t quite that bad, but nonetheless, worrying about nasty poisonous punctures, gross biting bugs or pus-oozing open sores, does not make for a very relaxing walk in the woods.
This was the case today as I wandered along the creek that runs behind our place.
The narrow deer trail was thick with the bright green growth of an extremely healthy population of poison oak bushes, thanks to the seemingly never-ending springtime rainfall. For whatever warped medical explanation, as I get older I have become increasingly more sensitive to that plant, where even the smallest contact leads to a massive outbreak.
Imagine a hairy zombie covered from head to toe with a secreting red rash.
The poison oak plants are easily distinguishable this time of the year, with their “leaves of three, let it be,” foliage, so there is no excuse not noticing it.
It is much more difficult to discern those tiny insects that lurk along these deer trails, as they cling to grass, weeds, bushes and trees, just waiting for the next warm-blooded animal to “attack,” and by attack, I mean burrow into your skin, sucking out your life’s blood.
Often, you don’t even know you have been boarded until you happen to notice their tiny little tick heads completely burrowed into your skin with their blood-engorged body sticking out, as their disproportionate tiny little tick legs flair around frantically for purchase to dig even deeper.
Imagine a hairy zombie covered from head to toe with a secreting red rash and now screaming like a little girl.
Then, there is the matter of those slithering, potentially deadly reptiles hidden among the tall weeds. No wonder the term “snake in the grass” has such a negative connotation.
Nothing will get you airborne faster than an abrupt sighting of a secretive snake, especially when accompanied by that distinctive rattling sound, indicative of a rattlesnake.
Imagine a hairy zombie covered from head to toe with a secreting red rash, screaming like a little girl, moving as if poked with an electrified cattle prod.
Who says you have to travel half way around the world to experience extreme adventure?
Now I know what Dorothy meant when she said there was no place like home. I’m sure she was referring to those snakes, ticks and poison oak along the trail.