On our recent vacation to nature, Pollywog and I encountered a bit of the true outdoors... ticks and poison ivy.  I can still feel the ticks crawling up the back of my leg, at least the itching on the ankle is starting to subside.   Here's a few tips to avoid those nuisances on your next trip outdoors.  

The proper attire will do as much to keep the pesky bugs at bay as anything.  Flip-flops and shorts are not the way to take on the weeds.  Cover the arms and legs and you'll help avoid the sunburn too.  But as Brad Paisley insinuated, checking each other for ticks can be fun too!

As for the plants, Cornell Cooperative Extension warns all these plants should be avoided if you don't won't the wrong lasting memory of your commune with mother earth.


Poison Ivy



Unfortunately, I have first hand experience with this one.  Itchy, runny blisters that beg to be scratched.




Giant Hogweed


I have never heard of this one, but according to the master gardeners at Cornell it was brought in for it's ornamental beauty during the Victorian era and can be up to 15 feet tall. One giant itch that is nothing to laugh about.





I'm not making it up.  This a stealth plant that blends right in with the other plants.  Cornell says it's not related to the hogweed, but still causes serious skin reactions.



Stinging Needles


Now this seems obvious, who would be rolling around in this? It's trick is like pigweed it blends right in, you throw it into high gear to catch the frisbee and run across it bare-footed.



Wild Parsnip


I've seen this a million times along the roadway.  I just assumed it was some kind of poorly developed flower.  But it has enough power to cause blisters.