Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

There aren't many plants in the world that I really dislike. I can only think of two.

The first is poison ivy. This statement sums up my own opinion quite well:
Poison Ivy needs to die. Every single specimen of this evil, evil plant needs to wither up and return to whichever layer of Hell it spawned from. The United Nations needs to create a unique task force of highly educated, specially trained combat veterans to traverse the globe with chemically-enhanced, military grade Weed-B-Gone, and erase this nightmarish abomination from existence.
Coming in at close second is stinging nettles.

The pain and agony inflicted by these dreadful creatures is well-known to every child in the UK. As for me, well, I had to learn the hard way.

When we moved to Cumbria last year, my first task was clearing the back lawn so the dogs could run around loose. The grass was waist-high and there were briars and thistles so I was careful to wear jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, and gloves. Days passed. Every day, I'd have numb hands and arms and an ache so deep in my bones -- but no idea what was causing it. It didn't take long though to figure out the culprit who shall forever be on my death-wish list.

Imagine my surprise then when I started reading articles in the paper about "nettle soup" and other recipes with "nettles" as a main ingredient. Surely they don't mean ... But they did. A glimpse of a program on tv showed a heavily-clothed woman gathering nettles for dinner. I couldn't watch.

For further information on stinging nettles, visit The Poison Garden Website.

That's it for me. My arms hurt just thinking about this.

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