Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica).

I don't think that they grow here in the Siberia of the Americas, but back in NC where I grew up they were all over. This is not a plant that you need a book to identify - it grows in little patches usually, and if you walked through one, you'd know immediately. The plant has tiny hairs that get imbedded in the skin and itch and burn; touching the affected area makes it much worse. Thankfully, the remedy is simply to wash the hairs away - the stinging stops almost immediately, but as I recall, the few moments it took to rush to the nearest hose for a rinse were quite intense.

I have walked in nettles of a sort for the past few days. I am stinging and uncomfortable all over. Passing among friends has been rather miserable - they mean well, but I am just flinching away from every bit of contact. I need to rinse off, so to speak, but the soul is difficult to get under the showerhead...


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