Yes, I said spray it!

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Well, I am back home and happy to be home even though it was a great holiday. One of the changes I made to my house this past year, was to get new blinds with a double layer of cells -- to hold out the cold in the winter and the sun in the summer. Before I went away, I lowered the south blinds and they have stayed down since I got back. What a difference! The air conditioning only comes on when the humidity gets too high as well as the heat. I like that saving in energy and hydro costs. I recommend good blinds!

Have you seen the news lately about the concern about Giant Hogweed? It is even nastier than Poison Parsnip. I saw patches of it in Scotland too. It is so easy to spot- tall- up to 6 ft, large white flowers, fat stems. Don't touch it -- just spray it with a herbicide. Yes, I said spray it. It must be kept under control so that it doesn't become as invasive as the Poison Parsnip. Google it for a picture!

Speaking of Poison Parsnip, it is in full bloom right now at my place. I will go out in the early evening, after the sun is off my garden, wearing long sleeves, long pants and gloves, pull it out and bag it in the garbage. Remember, it is from 1 to 3 ft in height with a flat head of small yellow flowers. It burns your skin if the oils get on your skin and you are in the sun. The sun reacts chemically to burn the skin. The roadsides are covered with it now. In my backyard, where I hang up my clothes, I have lots of wildflowers and ferns. Some people would even say weeds! Yesterday, when I hung up my clothes, I got bitten by a tick. I didn't notice it until later in the afternoon and didn't recognize what it was. I awoke this morning with the very first thought --tick! Lymne disease! I had breakfast and drove into the Seaway Valley Medical Clinic where I am a client. I was helped immediately and I have taken my two antibiotic pills. In four weeks I will have a blood test to check for antibodies.

The bite is a circle with a red centre and on me, a brown area around it. I am hoping that means it was not an infected tick since they show a big red circle from an infected tick. There was a little black dot in the middle yesterday but it was gone this morning.

The moral of this story is -- when walking through long plants in the country, wear long pants and tuck them in your socks. It is going to be a pain to do that when I hang up my clothes -- or maybe I should just whipper a path to the clothesline so I don't have to walk through the long plants!

Organizations: Giant Hogweed, Google, Seaway Valley Medical Clinic

Geographic location: Scotland

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