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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mother Nature, the Original Prankster

I walked out of my house yesterday, the humidity was like walking through a swimming pool. I know it is an adage that people complain about, but in Kansas, it really is the humidity not the heat. I did my morning chores, sweating. After a time, I decided to work inside, it was just too much. Around noon, I went outside to wait for the bus with my youngest son. He started pre-k yesterday. He did good, getting on that bus all by himself, but mommy. . . I had to remind myself that I too was a big girl, and if my 4 year old didn't cry, neither should I. And for the first time in 11 years, I was alone.

Around 3, I went back outside and it was cold! Needed a jacket cold. I went out and harvest my sunflower heads, and started on the popcorn. A neighbor pulled up and we chatted. She informed me that it was in the mid 60's. She was covered in goose bumps. I digress. She was wanting to give me her billy goat. We talked a bit about that, and she said she thought it was a Nubian. I told her to find out for sure, and I would take him.

Back to popcorn picking. I was going along just fine, and then it felt like the back of my finger had been burned by a cigarette. I pulled my had away from the corn stalk, and there was a bead of water siting on it. I wiped it away and suddenly it felt like someone was pulling my finger nail off. I whimpered and dropped what I was doing. I had no idea what was going on. I thought I might have been stung, but there wasn't a mark on me. My finger began to swell, and turned purple. Then a red ring formed around sickly pale flesh. I assumed that the bite or sting was there.

Once into the house I quickly made a baking soda paste and painted my finger with it. My hand was hurting down to my wrist by that time. I hollered at a friend of ours, that is staying with us, and told him what happened. He said it was a caterpillar. My mind went to those large green ones in Florida, that everyone would tell us, would kill us if we touched them. He laughed and said no, you don't have anything like that here. Thank goodness, I really didn't want to break out my husband's how to amputate (insert body part here) books.

The paste dried, I brushed it off, and the stinging isn't as bad today. The swelling is down, and I will be wearing gloves in the garden.


Kathie said...

Ouch! I hope you all adjust to school quickly...

Matriarchy said...

Nothing like a stinging caterpillar to distract you from the woe of putting your last-born on the bus. I recall the weird feeling of not knowing exactly what my kid was doing at any given time.

My DD11 nearly picked a Saddleback Caterpillar from a McDonald's parking lot shrub last year. If you google "stinging caterpillars" you will be amazed by the number of hairy little buggers waiting to make your fingers swell up.

Phelan said...

Kathie, he seems to love school. He's mad that he can't leave earlier in the day.

Matriarchy, This is my first sting by a caterpillar. I knew that they did it, just never stuck my hand into them before.

edifice rex said...

Hey! I've been reading your blog for a little while (just found it a few weeks ago) and enjoy it quite a bit. When I was about 7 or 8 I was stung on my forearm by a caterpillar while gathering sugarcane. I thought I was going to die. My arm did just like you describe your finger. Mama said it was a "packsaddle" caterpillar but I think she meant a saddleback. Hope yours heals quickly.

April said...

WHAT!!!! Caterpillars STING!! Since when? Why don't I know this? The one buy I'm not scared of and now you tell me they sting. This world is not safe, not safe at all.

April said...

I meant bug, the one bug I'm not afraid of. But, right now I'm pretty scared to buy stuff too.

Phelan said...

April, yep they sting. I knew they did that, but have never had it happen to me before. Just wear gloves.

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