the nettle and the damage done

As you may have noticed in the photos from Sunday’s adventure, I was wearing shorts and gaiters. This left a small patch of exposed knee skin between the two. That is the location where the nettles attacked. Herein, I will whine about it.

The mosquitoes and thistles were abundant too, but I think I have powers against them. My celtic lineage renders thistles to the level of “nuisance”. Also, they are simply prickly rather than being of the “inject you with multiple toxins” disposition. As for mosquitoes, I spent enumerable years living in hunnermile where the swarms carry away small children. I suspect I have been bitten by enough mosquitoes that I am classified as an official part of their food supply. It hurts when they bite, and I try to destroy them, but I inevitably get at least my share of bites. But the bites stop irritating me after the initial minute or so – I think I just learned to tune it out.

Stinging Nettles I have no such patience for. A light brush against the leaves gets you a dose of “acetylcholine, histamine, 5-HT (serotonin), moroidin, leukotrienes, and possibly formic acid”. I don’t even know what that stuff is. It hurts like a bastard and keeps stinging. Washing it hurts. Touching it hurts. Insects that bite (moquitoes, black flies, horse flies, midges, etc) seem to be attracted to the welts (more like lacerations). It is rather disconcerting to look down at your leg wounds and see a family of arthropods face-down-ass-up feasting on your misfortune.

Five days on, my knee skin still has not recovered.

not so sexy legs

I’m not sad though. It’s just knee skin. I am super happy. Today I am headed into the Kootneys for a Canoeing/Hiking/Camping adventure with rad people.

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7 Responses to the nettle and the damage done

  1. Prawn King says:

    None of that stuff is good for you. Formic acid, in particular, is the stuff that red ants have. Remember the Westerns where the Indians bury the guy up to his neck and let the ants at him? He goes blind. I’m sure they did it all the time. Anyway, they’ve got formic acid going for them (the ants, not the Indians) and it attacks the rods or something in the eye. AND: it’s acid of the single-carbon alcohol (methyl) and you drink that shit you go blind. Remember: big difference between “m” and “e”. Ok to drink Ethyl alcohol (C2H3OH, if you must know), but not Methyl (CH3OH).

  2. Victoria Doug says:

    I caught you walkin’
    on the valley floor
    I love you baby
    can I have some more
    Ooh, ooh, the damage done

    I left the city and
    I sought the land
    I watched the nettle
    claim another hand
    gone, gone, the damage done

  3. Victoria Doug says:

    I sing the song
    because I love my hand
    I know that some
    of you don’t understand
    to keep from running out.

    I’ve seen the nettle
    and the damage done
    any part of it is never fun
    but every hiker’s
    rash is on his bum…..

  4. Victoria Doug says:

    Works for me. And for thee. Because it’s glee.

  5. Pingback: the thistle and the damage undone | Eat Logical Sentences

  6. Pingback: the thistle and the damage undone | Eat Logical Sentences

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