Today kicks off the start of a long weekend and I anticipate that many of you will be taking vacations and will want to cruise around on bike trails. I just came across an article about a weed that grows along the trails that can burn your skin. If a lizard skitters across the bike trail and spooks you, be sure not to take a header into this shit! It’s called ‘wild parsnip’ or ‘poison parsnip’. It looks like Queen Anne’s lace…but it ain’t. Apparently the sap can burn you pretty badly and give you photodermatitis. Gives a whole new meaning to ‘road rash’ doesn’t it?
If you take your kids out on the trail, be sure they know not to touch the stuff. And if you come into contact with it at all, wash the sap off ASAP!
Poisonous Plants in Florida
Wild parsnip doesn’t grow in Florida (or Georgia or Alabama.) We’re lucky, right? Wrong. We may not have poison parsnips here but we have plenty of other shit that you don’t want brushing your leg while biking on a trail. Poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, nettles — we got it all. Plus, in Florida we have the dreaded manchineel tree, which is about as hostile to humans as sharks, bears and Cincinnati gorillas (too soon?). Floridians know to stay the fuck away from manchineel trees. If you’re visiting from out of state this weekend, do as Jacksonvillians do and stay the fuck away from manchineel trees! They are an endangered species (good riddance! Why should we protect those fuckers?!) but they are around. Do. Not. Touch. Them. Unless you want to ruin your holiday weekend.
I know some people are planning on doing RAGBRAI soon. (I will do it one of these days). If you’re going to do it, you especially need to take heed of warnings against wild parsnip. I hear a shit ton of it grows in Iowa. Fun times.
Enjoy the 4th, everyone. And be careful not to tangle with our natural, plant-based predators.