As most of your know I live in the ‘wilderness’, well  the deep farm country of the mid-west.  I cannot reiterate enough about walking safety.  I shared with you before on general safety information for anyone in any area. However,  today I’d like to touch on a few things that you may run into if you live/run or excercise in the country or in the outdoors.

Exhibit A:  Ticks!

After returning from run today I found one of these pesky bugs on my neck right by my hairline. YUCK! I’m not a fan of bugs, I can catch them for my son, I can kill them if I need to, I’m not one to rip the shower curtain down to get away from them (well… not so much anymore, LOL)  and not truly a fan of them crawling on me AT ALL.  Lets all be reminded that here in the midwest & the USA it’s coming onto that part of the year where all of life’s little pests are coming alive.  Ticks in themselves can be not just a pest but can be really dangerous giving you a disease that can be really hard to live with. Lymes Disease can be treated if caught in time but it can still cause some damaging effects on your daily routine.  Find more information on Lymes here.  Just be mindful to check yourself or have a friend or loved one check you after you’ve been outside. Insert country song, (if it can be written about they do it in Country Music truly)  Brad Paisley, I Want to Check You for Ticks. LOL! Sadly, I know most of the words to this song, it’s where I live truly 🙂

Exhibit B:   Poison!
DSC_7996Poison is probably one of the worst contributors to my spring/summer time life. Being that it grows wild anywhere it decides it wants to.  In the summer I garden and have flower beds and pick wild berries and asparagus, poison is EVERYwhere here on the farm and I usually can’t go a year without getting it. It’s a HUGE pest, as a matter of fact last year I had to quit my exercise regiment for almost 2 weeks because I had it so bad and every time I would sweat it would spread. It’s terribly itchy and uncomfortable and can cause huge problems if it spreads to more sensitive areas of your body like your mouth, eyes, nose etc. Look for more information about these plants here.  Here is a picture of my arm from last year.



Exhibit C:   Bees!

There are SO many types of bees, this just shows a few. Many people are allergic, if you don’t know if you are or not please be tested, it’s Very scary if your highly allergic and it could take your life. I was allergic when I was a child but not severely, I did not have to carry a bee kit. However I grew out of it & I am not now. That doesn’t mean I don’t stay away from them because I do, it still hurts when they sting you.  These pests are  EVERYWHERE in the spring & summer.  Especially near blooming flowers, I have several fruit trees and lots of flowers and a huge garden that all need pollinated to produce fruit, flowers or vegetables so bees are here & I have to be mindful when outdoors exercising. Find more information about bee stings here.  Here’s a picture I took in the yard of a swarm of hornets a few years ago.  So glad I didn’t step right on this while I was walking – that might have ended in hospitalization, Hornets pack a powerful punch when they sting.



Exhibit D:   Snakes!

Snakes are often found out sunning themselves in the heat of the day, while most of us aren’t walking in the ‘heat of the day’ it’s not uncommon for me to come across one while I’m outside walking or running. Learning to identify the difference in poisonous and non poisonous snakes is a good idea.  The easiest way to tell the difference is in the shape of their head. Most people find snakes scary and kill them upon sight of them.  However, I find that a common garter or ribbon snake is not bad to have around the yard. They eat insects and pesky bugs that steal nutrients from my soil or garden.  Plus poisonous and non poisonous snakes will not cohabitate, so if you have a non poisonous snake in the yard the likelihood of finding a poisonous one is slim to none. So having a garter snake around doesn’t make me uncomfortable, however finding a rattle snake would make me feel differently.  Find more information about snakes here. Here’s a picture of my oldest son petting a garter snake in our driveway few weeks ago, that he found sunning itself. Note: please know what kind of snake it is before you mess with it.

There are many other pests while walking or exercising outside so be careful and be mindful but most importantly get out there and enjoy the beauty of the spring/summer, it will be gone before you know it!


About countrykay

Life is a Journey, Not a Destination, Wear Comfortable Shoes.

4 responses »

  1. CultFit says:

    This is a great message today. Ticks are nasty little critters and will ruin your family’s summer real quick.

  2. countrykay says:

    Thank you, I should add with poison remember “leaves of 3, let it be” & with snakes, they like to sun themselves on warm objects like rocks which make it more likely you will find them curled up on a rock ledge you might be climbing. Also, the biggest pest of all should be noted as the Sun, make sure that you wear proper sunscreen atleast SPF 15 & I will be honest I wear SPF 45 on my nose & atleast 15 on my lips, skin cancer is no joke. Be safe & be sure to have fun!

  3. Michelle S. says:

    This summer is going to be a rough one for bugs on the East Coast, I think. We didn’t really have a winter. Allergies are already starting off bad, too. I’m dreading the mosquitoes and I wish I could find a natural solution instead of using OFF. A neighbor suggested spraying Listerine (from a spray bottle).

    Maybe we need a follow-up 🙂

  4. countrykay says:

    I make the VERY BEST bug spray and use it EVERY YEAR on the kids and it’s completely safe for them and their skin. It’s 3 parts, regular listerine, pure vanilla extract & water 🙂 It works on gnats and flys mostly I’ve never paid much attention to the mosquitos but there’s something similar on the market here called Buggins:
    That’s what most people here use and it’s safe for kids 🙂

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