As I sit here covered in calamine lotion waiting for my doctor to see me tomorrow, I had a thought: What did the old pioneers do when poison ivy made their lives miserable?
I have come to fully realize that everything that moves in the woods is out to get you — everything. While clearing some of my land last summer, I got into poison ivy and almost ended up in the hospital. The vine grows about everywhere, but with the warmer weather it seems to be taking over.
“But poison ivy doesn’t move in the woods,” you are now thinking. To that, I say mark the end of the vine you find growing today, go back next week and see if the mark is still at the end of the vine. Nope, it will have moved.
When we as hunters go into the woods we face all kinds of creepy, crawly things that want our blood — things that you might not even think about. We look for things poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle weed, snakes, yellowjackets and, of course, blood-sucking mosquitoes.
But what about the other things that are there to cause us grief, such as ants, gnats, chiggers and mites? I swore after my fight with poison ivy last year that it wouldn’t happen again, but one fishing trip last week changed all that when I walked to my favorite fishing spot through a whole patch of poison ivy.
Most of the time when I say I’m going to be more careful, I usually am. Like the time while hunting in Florida I sat on a fire ant hill and said I would never do that again. Well, I haven’t. I sat in a creek for an hour trying to get those things off me, so a mental note was made: Watch where I sit.
The time has arrived when, according to the Center for Disease Control, we are fighting more that 100 different insects and plants in the woods that want to do us in. I wonder if the Native Americans had anywhere near that many.
Someone please do me a favor. If you make it through the Pearly Gates before me, ask the Main Man why He made things to try and ruin our visits to His great outdoors.