It all started with a decision to go look at the just-beginning-to-emerge fall foliage in the mountains. That led us to a roaring little stream where many people stood on a bridge watching as a garter snake tried to cross over to the other side. That led to Chance and his brother feeling sorry for the snake and getting a large branch to aid the snake in getting across so that he wouldn't drown.
Which led to a nice doctor who had been watching the snake and then the boys walking over and kindly explaining that the plants they were standing in to rescue the snake were stinging nettle. Stinging nettle is a little rascal of a plant that lives in our mountains and does pretty much what it's name implies. It stings.
Chance and his brother were rubbing their legs when they climbed up the bank of the stream. As the doctor good naturedly said, "It's a lesson in nature!"
Thankfully, the boys did not get that much contact with the stinging nettle. Just a little brush on a small part of their legs. It could have been so much worse.
I explained to Chance what the doctor had said since Chance had been busy sitting on the path rubbing his legs while the doctor knelt down to tell the boys that those plants by the streams edge were stinging nettle.
"Really?" Chance asked.
"That is why your leg is annoying you." I explained.
"Oh!" Chance said his eyes getting big.
For the rest of our walk along the trails, Chance would point out various plants and ask,"Is that stinging nettle?" The stinging nettle had been mixed in with other plants at the streams edge so Chance didn't get a good look at what exactly it looked like. We tried to show him some so he would know what to avoid in the future but we couldn't find anymore as we hiked down the trail.
You know, I think that doctor was right. This HAS been a lesson in nature that the boys won't soon forget. Now we just have to let Chance know what stinging nettle actually looks like so he can avoid it in the future.