I’m not someone that frowns on life in our world. I appreciate insects. I adore animals. I delight in plants. With that said, there are some life forms in our world that I have no fondness for. Last week, I had a tussle with the worst of the plant world: POISON OAK
My life has been so crazy over these last five years or so. We’ve gone through job changes, family crisis, travel, illness, and homeschooling. I’ve neglected everything that was cosmetic (for me and our home), in hopes that I would find the time and energy down the way to tackle them. I’ve been motivated lately to see to beautifying our home as we will be having guests over the summer.
My first project was to confront the jungle on our side yard facing the street. The trees and shrubbery have overgrown to the point that you couldn’t see half way up the side of the house. My trusty shears and I spent the better part of an afternoon on the side yard. I was literally a botanical beautician. I finished up my hours of labor with a self-appointed pat on the back. Job well done, Shan!
Fast forward a few hours into the evening. *Scratch scratch* My elbow itches. Wowwie! It itches like mad! Did I get bit by a spider when I was working outside? Sadly, no. I could only dream of an overzealous arachnid munching on my arm. No, my itch was from the green pest – The Poison Oak plant.
I’ve found out that the oils from Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac leech into your system. Some speculate as soon as 10 minutes. Others say you have up to two hours. All I know was that I was too late to get the oils off of my skin before they went into my blood stream.
In a little over a week’s time, I have weeping welts ALL OVER MY BODY. Well, my heels, palms, ears, and scalp seem to be safe…for now. I found that Benadryl helps for a bit. Of course, I don’t really feel like itching when I am in a Benadryl-induced stupor. Calamine lotion helps for a bit too, but doesn’t take away the itch for long. Honestly, nothing but time and muttering under your breath can take away this stuff.
This gets me to wonder about a few other life forms in our world that really have no purpose. At least, I can’t understand why they are important. Sure, they could be food for other things, but, what are they REALLY doing here? Can someone give me a good reason for:
*Poison Oak, Ivy, Sumac
*Those little lawn plants with stickers that get caught in your socks
*Parasitic worms (Tape worms? Really? Eww!)
*Thorny bushes without fruit (Saw Greenbriar here in Austin, I HATE YOU!)
Don’t get me wrong. I know that there are some life forms that people hate (i.e. bats, piranha, leeches, Venus Fly Traps, lawyers, maggots, and sharks to name a few). I have a healthy respect for those critters, and don’t really mind them. On second thought, I lied. I really hate maggots too.
Most life forms are treasured for their unique qualities and what they offer our world. They have a purpose. I’m referring to being more than just food (I’m talking to you, Mosquito). Can someone explain to me why a should appreciate the Poison Oak? Don’t let the emerald greenery fool you. It is NOT a good plant. Begone from my yard, oh wicked botanical!!!