State Flower

Last Thursday evening, Jordan and I went for a hike at a local park. It was a beautiful evening and the woods were cool and shady, a nice place to get some exercise. We saw lots of fish in the reservoir and a family of ducks with nearly fifteen ducklings. I was able to indulge my new hobby of wildflower identification (finding nearly ten species to add to my list of flowers seen) and Jordan spotted one or two birds.

Little did Jordan know that our fun hike was going to put him out of commission for several days. Around midnight he awoke to discover that poison ivy had taken over his entire face. It was all around the trail, but he thought he'd avoided touching any of it. Unfortunately, he didn't only come into contact with the oils from this irritating plant, he rubbed it into the skin surrounding his eyes and mouth. I may have come into contact with it, as well, since I'm not careful about where I step or what I touch, but somehow, I didn't have any reaction.

Even with the prescription steroids, the rash is bad. Jordan's face is red and puffy, his eyes are constantly at half mast, and, for the past few days, he's done little more than lie on the couch holding ice packs to his burning, itchy eyes and mouth. It's difficult to see him so miserable and be helpless to do anything to make him better. And all from the oil found on some shiny, reddish leaves that are actually kind of pretty.

Here's hoping that Jordan never runs into the unofficial state flower of Pennsylvania again.
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