There's nothing in my memory that itches worse than poison ivy other than perhaps chiggers. As I type this post, my left hand and right arm is covered in a blistery oozing rash that itches something like fireants and an old wool sweater. In fact, poison ivy never bothered me until I became pregnant with my second child. That pregnancy was a curse to my hiking sensibilities. However, I should be grateful that it is just poison ivy and not chiggers...
The first time I ever got chiggers I was about age eight. A mean girl at school broke my foot by jumping off the seesaw when I was high in the air and the board came crashing down with me on it, crushing my foot. I wasn't the type of kid who stayed indoors and rested while having a cast on like I probably should have, but instead spent hours in the field behind my home exploring and playing with my older sister and twin brother.
Trust me, playing in high grass with a cast on in the Texas summer heat is not a very smart thing to do.
In hours, my leg and foot with the cast on came down with an itch so bad that I took a wire coat hanger, straightened it out, and rubbed it up and down on my skin between my cast and my leg. This only made the itch worse, but since I had a cast on my mother couldn't put any creams or salves on my leg to make the itch any better. Me scratching my leg with the coat hanger went on for at least a week until my leg began oozing and blood began to appear.
(Have you lost your appetite yet?)
Finally, my mother took me back to the doctor that had wrapped my leg and foot in the cast. The doctor cut off my cast and underneath revealed what had been bothering me so much--hundreds of chigger bites and infected sores. Needless to say, I hate the cursed arachnid that is the chigger.
So you can understand why my husband and boys have the following looks on their faces:
If it looks like something is crawling up their rears, well that's because there is. When we got home from Caddo Lake State Park this weekend my husband and my boys' behinds and bodies were covered in chigger bites. There is a reason sometimes why me being behind the camera is not such a bad thing...I don't have to sit on logs and get eaten up in the process.
And yes, that is poison ivy on the ground in front of them. Amazingly none of them touched that stuff.
Now for some photographs of Caddo Lake State Park, which we visited on a whim Saturday because my husband woke up very early and exclaimed that he wanted to see a real life alligator and were there any parks in Texas that we could go to that had them. And he claims that I am random.
The pawpaw grove--my husband and I want to grow some of these even though we've never tasted them. Anyone ever tried these before?
The weird plant with the funny-looking fruit that we still haven't identified. Anyone know what this thing is?
There were more than enough daddy-longlegs and dragon flies...
and definitely more caterpillars than I could handle (gag!):
My favorite part was the swamp--
although fortunately my husband didn't get to see any alligators.
PS: It's my nine year wedding anniversary today! We made it through the seven year itch. In fact, that may just be the worst itch of all.
What did you do for the weekend, and most importantly do you have any good remedies for poison ivy or chiggers before I scratch all my skin off?