Monday, October 18, 2010

The Importance of Knowing Local Plants

First, let's hear it for the husband! The loyal, faithful, wonderful man who braved the jungle, mosquitos, and rash inducing weeds to save me from my month long struggle with evil allergins: RAGWEED. Thank you, Andy!

Okay - an explanation. I have been suffering itchy red eyes, itchy throat, thoroughly stuffed nostrils and countless sleepless nights for the past month, month.5. Not a fan. I blamed mold. I blamed the puppy. I DIDN'T blame the forest of weeds behind my house. The lovely forest, enjoyed by my hens, shading the back yard and blocking my view of the half finished construction zone in the back yard.......   the forest of ragweed.

Untidy backyard with construction zone beyond, previous location of ragweed forest.
I'd never heard of ragweed other than seeing it listed as 'high' on the pollen count for the past month or so.  I left the weeds in the back for the hens to enjoy, but pulled them as soon as i noticed them flowering as i didn't want them to spread. That was about a month ago --- hmmmm, coincidence? I remember mentioning to the husband "wouldn't that be funny if i was allergic to ragweed and that unidentified forest of weeds in the back was ragweed?"

Forest of weeds beyond the backyard has been cleared. Now just a forest of grass

Not so funny after all, it turns out.

On Friday i finally google image searched ragweed and discovered this, a gallery depicting the very weed in my backyard and beyond. I'd already pulled the weeds from inside the yard, but the forest continued in the construction zone. This is where the loving husband stepped in and saved me. He came back to the house looking like he'd been to war: welts all over neck and face from weeds and bugs,  nose clogged with allergins. This ragweed is pretty intense stuff. I do not own a good guide to central Texas wildflowers/weeds/trees and think i better get my hands on one and keep my bookshelves up to date with the local flora fauna of my place of residence. Because if i learned anything from this long suffering experience, it's the importance of knowing and identifiying local plants and weeds - some could be edible, poisonous, or providers of horrendous allergins and it's nice to know the difference!

The rest of town may still be filled with flowering ragweed of evil, but at least my immediate proximity is now clear. I've had two whole night's sleep with at least one nostril clear at all times: hallelujah!

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