One would not expect to find gardening on a list of hazardous occupations, but I can tell you – and prove it! – that it is!
More than 72 hours ago, as I was weeding and clipping and deadheading, I was accosted by an invisible enemy. I still don’t know what it was – prime suspect is a fire ant – but my right ankle became red, swollen and itchy like nothing’s ever been itchy before. What a nuisance! The swelling made the skin so taut that it burst in several places and I rubbed inches of it off before it subsided. Now, 3 days after the incident, the swelling and itching have somewhat abated, but the redness is still very noticeable. This morning, I wore socks inside my crocs in my garden, just in case. Imagine, socks in a Georgia garden on a day when the temperature is going to be in the 90s!
I’m happy to share my space; grasshoppers, spiders and ladybugs live in my garden, the bumblebees are feasting on my Lavender, the dreaded Japanese beetles will begin showing up soon, and I’ve already seen three black widow spiders so far this year, but it’s the miserable fire ants that make me wonder if a hazmat suit for gardeners could be a viable business concept. Just kidding!