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.
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.