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Gardening can be dangerous

GUEST,Auxiris 14 Jun 00 - 09:27 AM
SINSULL 14 Jun 00 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 14 Jun 00 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,art 14 Jun 00 - 10:43 AM
catspaw49 14 Jun 00 - 01:35 PM
SINSULL 14 Jun 00 - 01:44 PM
Vixen 14 Jun 00 - 01:46 PM
Sorcha 14 Jun 00 - 01:52 PM
catspaw49 14 Jun 00 - 01:52 PM
Bert 14 Jun 00 - 02:23 PM
SINSULL 14 Jun 00 - 02:30 PM
Pene Azul 14 Jun 00 - 02:43 PM
Gary T 14 Jun 00 - 03:02 PM
Rosebrook 14 Jun 00 - 03:45 PM
Jon Freeman 14 Jun 00 - 03:56 PM
SINSULL 14 Jun 00 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,Liz the Squeak 14 Jun 00 - 04:10 PM
GUEST,Penny S. 14 Jun 00 - 04:30 PM
Sorcha 14 Jun 00 - 05:31 PM
SINSULL 14 Jun 00 - 10:13 PM
rangeroger 15 Jun 00 - 12:05 AM
Sorcha 15 Jun 00 - 12:59 AM
ol'troll 15 Jun 00 - 01:18 AM
catspaw49 15 Jun 00 - 01:34 AM
GUEST,Rollo 15 Jun 00 - 01:46 AM
catspaw49 15 Jun 00 - 02:05 AM
ol'troll 15 Jun 00 - 02:13 AM
Grab 15 Jun 00 - 09:10 AM
Jon Freeman 15 Jun 00 - 09:40 AM
SINSULL 15 Jun 00 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Liz the Squeak 15 Jun 00 - 06:09 PM
Guy Wolff 15 Jun 00 - 06:26 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 Jun 00 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,Auxiris 16 Jun 00 - 06:04 AM
Ella who is Sooze 16 Jun 00 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 16 Jun 00 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Auxiris 16 Jun 00 - 04:59 PM
roopoo 17 Jun 00 - 03:43 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 17 Jun 00 - 11:33 AM
SINSULL 17 Jun 00 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,Auxiris 18 Jun 00 - 06:02 AM
Liz the Squeak 19 Jun 00 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 19 Jun 00 - 09:00 AM
Liz the Squeak 19 Jun 00 - 09:15 AM
SINSULL 19 Jun 00 - 09:23 AM
Liz the Squeak 19 Jun 00 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 20 Jun 00 - 03:50 AM
Liz the Squeak 20 Jun 00 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 20 Jun 00 - 03:51 PM
rangeroger 20 Jun 00 - 11:34 PM
Ebbie 20 Jun 00 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,Auxiris 21 Jun 00 - 04:00 AM
roopoo 21 Jun 00 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 21 Jun 00 - 11:59 AM
rangeroger 21 Jun 00 - 10:51 PM
GUEST,Auxiris 22 Jun 00 - 02:37 AM
GUEST,Penny S.(elsewhere) 26 Jun 00 - 12:05 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Jul 11 - 04:14 PM
gnu 19 Jul 11 - 05:07 PM
maeve 19 Jul 11 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,Eliza 19 Jul 11 - 05:53 PM
maeve 19 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Eliza 19 Jul 11 - 06:31 PM
Janie 19 Jul 11 - 06:46 PM
maeve 19 Jul 11 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Eliza 19 Jul 11 - 07:00 PM
maeve 19 Jul 11 - 07:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jul 11 - 07:19 PM
Crowhugger 19 Jul 11 - 08:35 PM
maeve 19 Jul 11 - 08:49 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 19 Jul 11 - 10:23 PM
GUEST,Jon 19 Jul 11 - 10:44 PM
Arnie 20 Jul 11 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,Jon 20 Jul 11 - 07:38 AM
maeve 20 Jul 11 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Jon 20 Jul 11 - 08:20 AM
JohnInKansas 20 Jul 11 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM
Penny S. 20 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Jul 11 - 01:45 PM
maeve 01 Aug 11 - 12:12 PM
gnu 01 Aug 11 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Eliza 01 Aug 11 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Aug 11 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Eliza 02 Aug 11 - 02:24 PM
Donuel 02 Aug 11 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Eliza 03 Aug 11 - 03:28 PM
Donuel 03 Aug 11 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,Eliza 03 Aug 11 - 04:54 PM
maeve 03 Aug 11 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,Eliza 04 Aug 11 - 11:15 AM
maeve 04 Aug 11 - 11:43 AM
gnu 04 Aug 11 - 02:04 PM
gnu 04 Aug 11 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Eliza 04 Aug 11 - 02:11 PM
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Subject: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 09:27 AM

Hello, everyone. I recently saw a message from someone concerning thread creep and asking why folks don't just start another thread if they want to talk about something else instead of changing the subject. Having been guilty of doing this but also thinking that what I spoke of might be helpful to someone, I think it bears repeating.

I seem to remember that quite a few of you enjoy gardening. Just a few days ago, one of my neighbours lost two fingers because he was trying to remove a stick from under his lawn mower without turning it off. I'd just like to say to those of you who like to garden, please:

Keep your tetanos vaccination up to date; don't wear jewelry while working in your garden; wear a good sunscreen; when mowing lawns, wear socks, shoes, trousers and preferably a long-sleeved shirt; drink enough water while gardening during hot weather; watch out for things like poison ivy, sumac or oak and learn how to identify them; make sure garden tools are in good working order; don't stay out in the sun during the hottest hours of the day; keep animals and children away from things like mowers and garden products. . . . . . and so on and so forth. Sorry if this sounds obvious or patronising, but I hear about garden accidents all the time over here in rural France. Nearly a hundred people die of tetanos contracted while gardening in this country every year! Be careful and . . . happy gard


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 09:43 AM

Agreed, Auxiris. I impaled myself on a rake while running shrieking from an earthworm the size of Kansas. But my tetanus shot was up to date and the neighbors agreed to forget the incident.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 09:59 AM

Hi, Sinsull; I forgot to mention that tools such as rakes should be placed points down or, better yet, be hung back up in the tool shed when not in use. Glad to hear it was an earthworm and not a coral snake or something! I'll always remember Gamble Rogers reciting:

"Red on black, friend of Jack; red on yellow, kill a fellow; black on head, you're dead."

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,art
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 10:43 AM

a proper sort of gardener?


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 01:35 PM

We do some really stupid thing while gardening or working in the yard don't we?

A few years ago, Karen got 6 stitches in a finger from cutting back some lavender. Evidently she couldn't tell which was which. Her Dad, a real dumbass of major magnitude, lost half a foot under his mower. Some dimbulb that used to live down in the next block filled his mower with gas while it was running. A teacher at the school slashed his knee REAL badly when a chainsaw kicked back. Weedeaters throw up a ton of stuff and we get real cavalier with them. Not to mention good ol' Poison Ivy. Karen got into some of it and I still can't find anywhere its growing....but its there.

Pave your yard.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 01:44 PM

I ran a children's garden for years and once decided to put in some cleome - tall, white flowers and bean pods filled with seeds to collect for next year.

HOWEVER - the wind took over and the stuff spread all over the formal gardens too making me very popular with the "garden ladies" and later with the police.

Be forewarned, cleome looks very much like marijuana. Between the local teens hopping the fence to steal plants and the police tapping on doors to check on our garden, I was in serious trouble. Garden Ladies have no sense of humor.

They also sputtered and steamed when the pumpkin vine got out of control, climbed a pear tree (which I had donated) and produced pumpkins in the limbs. I love gardening.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Vixen
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 01:46 PM

Dear Aux--

I've been looking for this mnemonic for AGES!!! Thank you...can you tell me which snakes it's referring to???

V


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 01:52 PM

I am not Aux, but it is coral snakes and milk snakes.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 01:52 PM

Coral snake.....very deadly, and a variety of King snake which is not.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Bert
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 02:23 PM

SINSULL,

I bet your local teens, got a surprise when they tried to smoke the stuff. And I know the police have a reputation for being a little slow, but not being able to tell cleome from marijuana!! That's a good one.

I think I'll grow some cleome right away. I'll make sure that the neighbors report me a few times. Then when the local constabulary gets fed up with checking on me I'll be in the clear to grow some marijuana.

Bert. (Heh! Heh! Heh! in my best villains voice.)


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 02:30 PM

I wanted to raise money for the Children's Garden by potting small plants and selling them with no claim as to what they were. I got voted down. Some nonsense about antagonizing the local dealers (and they didn't mean nurseries). Incredible how dangerous gardening really is.

My favorite "stupid gardening idea" involves two neighbors who decided to trim the hedge between their homes with an electric lawn mower. Believe it or not, they both picked it up, held it over the hedge and proceeded to cut off nine fingers apiece. The EMAs had a hell of a time putting the puzzle back together.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Pene Azul
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 02:43 PM

There must be a song here somewhere. Hmmmm...

Watch how you handle that mower
You could chop off a finger or toe or
You might get too careless and fidget
And sever your masculine digit

Sorry,
PA


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Gary T
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 03:02 PM

I recall hearing that years ago Sears got sued (successfully, I believe) because some fool did what Sinsull described above with a Craftsman mower, and after all, there wasn't any warning not to do that!. Since then, of course, mowers supposedly have warning label advising to not pick them up while they're running.

My question is, how stupid do you have to be to try that?


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Rosebrook
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 03:45 PM

Last year, I was doing some digging to replace plumbing line and needed the pruning clippers to cut away some roots. Well, that one odd-colored root turned out to be an electrical line. ZOWEE! Good thing I was using the rubber handled clippers!

Careful whatcha clip!

Rose


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 03:56 PM

One that gets me on gardining safety is I have seen people using strimmers/brush cutters or whatever other names they go by without using eye protection. I once smashed a car window (my parents car) when a piece of stone flew up - believe me, if a bit does kick out the wrong way, it is potentially very dangerous.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 04:09 PM

Heard the same about banjo strings tuned too tight, Jon. You can lose an eye that way.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Liz the Squeak
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 04:10 PM

My garden when I moved here was full of giant hogweed. Huge things, the one next door is presently in full flower, and stands a good 6 feet tall. Has big leaves like a rhubarb but jagged, and is quite harmless unless you try to cut it down on a sunny day. Get some of the sap on your hands and then expose the hand to sunlight, and you have your own little flesh eating compound.... really great stuff to have with children around - NOT!!

My local doctors' surgery has the highly poisonous aconitum growing outside it..... commonly known as Monks Hood, it has dark purple flowers shaped like hoods, and is very poisonous. Suppose the surgery is the right place for it to grow!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Penny S.
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 04:30 PM

Living near the old medicine fields of a much taken over philanthropic drugs firm, there used to be a number of plants of Deadly Nightshade growing around the town. I haven't looked lately. Some of them were rather near the old location of the folk club!

Penny


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Sorcha
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 05:31 PM

When we moved in here, there was Delphinium (aconite) all over the yard. Took two seasons to get it dug up, but it is all gone now. A person can break his neck falling out of a rocking chair, I guess the biggest problem us Common Sense.........Think before you Do!!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 10:13 PM

Wish I had you around before I decided to plug the TV into a grounded outlet and then screw in the grounding screw. The brass plate dropped on the plug and shorted and I woke up on the other side of the room. Now I call the super to change a light bulb.

I have a problem with electricity. A few years ago in a snowstorm I stopped to make a phone call from a pay phone in the Village (Greenwich). I got a minor shock when dialing and thought I had imagined it. The a jolt went through me and I dropped the phone screaming. It was a crowded street and in typical New York fashion they all pretended not to notice the demented woman screaming in the slush on the ground and trying to avoid the swinging receiver.My hand had a small burn. I struggled to my feet, recovered my phone book and briefcase and found another payphone to report to the phone company that I had almost been killed (If I had had a heart condition I might have). The response: "That's not our phone. Go back and dial 'O'. Their operator will help you." When I suggested that I would probably get another shock, I got "I'm sorry. We can't help you."

And you thought gardening was dangerous.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: rangeroger
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 12:05 AM

I have definitely learned to use eye protection when using a string weed trimmer.In one Park I worked in,Springtime was always a joy as the grass and weeds would be 3 feet high where I couldn't get to them with the mower.Of course the dogs loved the high grass too, and there is nothing like getting into a pile of fresh dog crap with your trimmer at full throtle.
rr


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 12:59 AM

Have dogs,been there, done that, not funny.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: ol'troll
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 01:18 AM

And nothing beats running your lawnmower over a ground-wasp's nest. Especially if you are as allergic to the blasted things as I am!

Let's hear it for asphalt.

troll


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 01:34 AM

Yeah troll, I hear ya'............

So, for the rest of you, here's some advice. Never mow over a colony of ground hornets while wearing baggy shorts without underwear. It'll make you do some serious struttin' and that's a fact.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Rollo
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 01:46 AM

I was out in the fields one day and felt a certain pressure down below the stomach, so I went to the hedge, opened my zipper and started business. What I hadn't seen was the wire running along between some big farn weeds. And what I also hadn't recogniced was the yellow box about ten metres to the right which was connected to this wire. Well. When the trembling stopped finally I found I had not only had one of nastiest experiences man hopes not to have but I had to change trousers AND shirt, not having being able to hold direction any longer.

I assure you, cows know why they only once try to break an electric fence.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 02:05 AM

Yeah Rollo, I seem to have been THERE too. After hitting a ball out of bounds at a local golf course, the girl I was with decided to play another. Coming from a family that ALWAYS went looking, I magnamiously said I'd be happy to retrieve it. I put my hand on the fence post and stepped across the low fence. My inseam is 30" and I can now say with some accuracy that the fence height was probably about 31". It was a shocking experience and I reassessed which balls had my highest priority on the spot.

And speaking of rakes (back up the thread) and golf, common courtesy demands that you rake the sand trap and leave the rake PRONGS DOWN. This can ruin an otherwise fine round and result in giving this answer when asked, "How was your round?"

"The best two balls I hit all day was when I stepped on a sand rake."

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: ol'troll
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 02:13 AM

Spaw. In re. the baggy shorts, AMEN BROTHER!!!

troll


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Grab
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 09:10 AM

Re the dog crap, that's a big problem in winter when you're building a snowman, as I remember. Roll your snowball around the garden a bit, and you end up with unpleasant brown bits, and shite all over your gloves.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 09:40 AM

I've done the wasps nest one but fortunately it was only my ankles that got stung (several times). I don't react as badly as some but I do have to take anti-hyst-whatsitscalled? tablets to bring the swelling down.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: SINSULL
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 10:40 AM

This has to be the only place in the world where a Gardening chat turns into urinating on high voltage cables. What would Martha Stewart say? HMMMM Probably "I have a recipe for fried meat balls...."


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 06:09 PM

Oh 'Spaw, once I get over the hysterics, I'll send sympathy - not a happy bunny picture there!

And try hand cutting a (admittedly rather small) lawn, whilst kneeling, with the knowledge that there are 11 or more cats, not including your own 2, that use it as a sort of public lavatory. Living dangerously was never so fraught......

LTS


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 06:26 PM

THis is great you guy's!! Smith & Hawkin has been after me to write a gardening book.. I think the tytle alone will sell a ton of copies..I like "GArdening Can Be Dangerous" but how about "Adventures in GArdening"<>><> That mite be another great name.More soon, Guy


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 07:06 PM

How about the Rakes Progress with suitable illustration....

Compost Mentis?

A Gardeners lament for her fingernails??

OK, I'll go back to bed now....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 06:04 AM

Hello, everyone. . . Have been off line (yes, gardening) for the last two days. I have to admit having laughed at the various descriptions of garden and other mishaps, though not the accidents themselves, especially things like mowing over wasp/hornet nests, since I too am allergic to the damned things. I hadn't mentioned the dangers of strimmers flinging objects about, but thanks those of you who did. . . went straight out and bought eye protectors so that I can use them the next time I tackle the weeds in the orchard!

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 07:13 AM

agrees with the advice...

I did some gardening this weekend, and sorted out my over grown herb garden.

I noticed the next day, that I had lots of specs on my fingers....

And a little digging around I discovered, that I am plastered with thorns even though I had gloves on.

So have spent many a few hours since pulling them out, and cursing my neighbour for being worse at keeping his weeds down than me. They were his blasted thorns .

Ella

Sore fingers and not playing the guitar for a while


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 04:15 PM

Ella, I'm sorry to hear about your misadventure while weeding out your herb garden. What on earth were the weeds that gave you all the trouble? I had similar problems with thistles that were growing in and around my experimental iris hybrids, as I can't wear gloves when weeding the iris crowns 'cause gloves catch on the leaves and break them. Ended up with thistle spikes in my fingers and couldn't play instruments OR do any more weeding for a few days.

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 04:59 PM

Forgot to mention that the coral snake look-alike is the scarlet king snake:

". . . your principal asked that I remind you once again that those of us who live in the tropic zones should always be aware of the DIFFERENCE between the dread coral snake and his harmless and colourful cousin, the scarlet king snake. . . "

(Gamble Rogers, speaking about "Nostalgia")

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: roopoo
Date: 17 Jun 00 - 03:43 AM

I've just PURPOSELY planted an aconite! Foxgloves, datura and laburnum are all bad too

Liz - the worst thing with kids and Hogweed is that the little darlings like to use the stems as pea shooters!

The worst accident so far in the garden with me (bearing in mind that being female I may have a bit more ground-clearance when it comes to fencing!) was when I decided to clear what had been an old apology for a rock garden and make it into a normal bed. My house is built on the site of an old barn. It was pulled down just over 100 years ago, and a pair of semi-detached cottages built (Victorian "in-filling", now one house). Being built on the old fold-yard/barn area, there isn't much in the way of top soil before all the rubbish underneath (12-18 inches). I went in with a sprung steel fork and hit a half-brick. It wasn't until the next day that the jarring in my wrist bore fruit: I had my forearm strapped for three weeks, and for the first week I could barely write. It was at the end of that time I started playing the melodeon wearing both straps to take the strain.

I've come to terms with my largely awful (sub)soil, and I just keep lobbing on pelleted poultry muck, organic compost and free horsemuck from my obliging neighbours. I'm hoping that spuds might break up some of the claggy stuff this year. Seaweed extract didn't really help.

I have got a really weird book which was written during WW2 in England and published by a small independent publisher. It's hilarious, and deals with this guy's attempts to garden when he knows absolutely diddly-squat about anything, but thinks he does. I think at one point he managed to flood the garden! "Tubers and Taradiddle - or The Gardener's Entertainment" by Donald Cowie, published 1944 by The Tantivy Press, Malvern.

By the way, there is another, published by one of the daily newspapers at the same time, called "Patsy's Progress". It deals with a young married couple and how mum teaches Patsy to cook, while dad shows her husband how to garden. It was wonderful reading for me as a child, but my mum hasn't got it any more. It was written in strip cartoon style, and the book is probably the collection of what was printed in the papers. (There's a copy in our village and I know who has it!) Anyone got a copy they want to part with?

mouldy


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 17 Jun 00 - 11:33 AM

All I can say is that I sincerely hope we all survive the summer with nothing worse than a sunburn or two and busted fingernails! One of the other people who has a vegetable garden just below my iris garden in central France tells me that we can't expect anything good out of a year with 13 moons. . .

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: SINSULL
Date: 17 Jun 00 - 02:48 PM

Aux,

You said that for Spaw's benefit, didn't you? Let's see how long it takes him to come up with a solution to the 13 moon problem.

SS


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 18 Jun 00 - 06:02 AM

Well, yes, Sinsull . . . I was sort of hoping for a smart remark or two. Knew I was taking a chance when I mentioned moons.

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 03:19 AM

Well what do you expect for the final year! Doesn't that make one of them a blue moon? Will it affect my bay tree? - Actually, all four trees in my garden are burgeoning - the bay has gone from being a twig to a four foot leafy thing, the Christmas tree actually has needles on it for the first time in 2 years, the Pittisporum will need pollarding soon and the holly tree has so many berries, the birds will eat themselves sick on them.

Then there are the two yew trees in pots - The Church of England decided to do 'Yews for the Millennium, and propagated a whole bunch of trees from a couple of sources that are guaranteed 1000 years or more. This is all part of a project (thanks to David Bellamy) to get yews back into churchyards. I've 'acquired' two of them, for my church, and they reside in my garden in pots. They've doubled in height in 6 months...... My first church in the village I grew up in, has a yew that is at least 600 years old. They were planted to keep cows off the tombs, and as the most important people were buried 'nearer to God' i.e., at the East end of the church, that's where most of the single yews will be found. Trouble is, not many churches, particularly city churches, have space for a yew tree these days - they can spread across 60 feet and drain the water table.... great when your foundations crack! Besides, building regulations state that you can't knowingly plant a tree so close to a building that it will interfere with the foundations.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 09:00 AM

Hi, Liz. The neighbour gardener didn't say what colour the moon would be, only that we "shouldn't expect anything good from it". Our garden(s) seem to be in fine shape in spite of dire predictions, I must say. Glad to hear that your trees are doing well. . . are the yew trees that you speak of the same type of tree that bows were made from? Amazing to think they should live that long!

Yet another (admittedly obscure) warning for those of you who like to wear a rolled-up bandana around your forehead to keep sweat out of your eyes: be careful what colour you choose. Learned the hard way early this morning that some stinging insects apparently appreciate colours like yellow or orange. I'm just back from the hospital--yep, had to call out the emergency folks 'cause my anti-venom kit was expired (check the expiration dates, those of you who are unfortunate enough to be allergic to insect stings)--and my right eye is still swollen nearly shut from stings received before I could reach the house. So much for warning everyone else to be careful! Live and learn.

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 09:15 AM

Well if you will dress as a giant wasp, what do you expect! Hope you are better now, I'm an in between case, my next wasp sting may be painful, or it may be life threatening! Oh, the joys of anticipation....

I've found that wearing dull green or blue works best. The darker the colour, the less atractive it is. And don't ever wear a dark dress with big white spots or daisies printed on it - you will be smothered!! The contrast of white on dark is really attractive to butterflies, bees and wasps. Using a citrusy smelling deoderant often helps, All Spice (ah, remember that?) was best at repelling gnats and mosquitoes, but Lynx and that one that supposedly has strangers giving you flowers are very nice to bees....

Staying neat the compost heap is probably not a good idea.

Mind you, they say wasps eat greenfly, so they are good creatures. Takes all sorts.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: SINSULL
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 09:23 AM

Yes, Aux, bright colors do attract the little devils. Re: the bites and stings. I found out a couple of years ago that I am allergic to spider bites.

I had received a severe sunburn while on vacation in Antigua.A few months later I found a strange growth on my arm and had it tested immediately. My doctor refused to give me the diagnosis over the phone - not a good sign. In his office, he preceded the lab reports with "This has to be a mistake". Supposedly I had a rare form of skin cancer and had weeks to live. However, I would have been comotose if the diagnosis were correct. Several tests and specialists later, it turned out that I had been bitten by a common house spider and the growth was a reaction to it. It disappeared after a few months and I kept the lab reports to remind me of the fragility of my world.

White reflects light and heat and doesn't attract bees. It's tough to clean after a sweaty day in the garden (I for one hate those "Gardening Ladies" who come in as clean as they went out). I tend to wallow in the dirt and have dirty finger nails even with cotton AND plastic gloves on.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 09:34 AM

OK, so how do the little buzztards know when I'm wearing my green dress with the white tye dye blobs on then. I had seven bees on me at one point.....!

And yes, it is the yew that English Longbows are made of. You'll have to wait about 300 years before you make any out of my two trees though....... Altogher now - 'You made me love yew'........!

And as for gardening ladies - that's just it, they are ladies who wouldn't know an asparagus trench if they fell into it, have never mixed concrete with their feet and think that double digging is a sort of cocktail..... I have muddy fingers even as I type - but for once in the UK, it is actually too hot to go outside!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 03:50 AM

Hello, Liz and Sinsull. . . saw your messages last night, but was still feeling kind of shaky (shock, said the medics) so I apologise for not having manifested my presence then. Thanks for the useful advice; I just didn't stop to think that I shouldn't be putting a bright coloured thing on my head yesterday morning. . . will stick to brown/khaki/navy blue or, why not, army camouflage garments from now on, promise! I also now have a new (in date!) anti-venom kit and supply of anti-histamine pills should I get zapped again. The rest of you who are allergic to insect stings, I hope you'll learn from my misfortune! It's a jungle out there!

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 06:45 AM

Glad you are feeling better, take care from now on and stop that naughty rolling in honey.....!

Don't you think though, that camouflage might prove a bit awkward if anyone want to prune the shrubbery - you might find yourself short of a limb or two......

LTS


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 03:51 PM

Feeling much better indeed now, thanks. More concerned about the painful impact last year's horse chestnuts make on various parts of the body when whipped up off the ground by the strimmer than whether or not someone will trim off one of my limbs because I'm wearing camouflage, though. . .

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: rangeroger
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 11:34 PM

With the creeping movement North of the Africanized honey bees from South America ( Killer Bees ) people are learning to not wear black when near them.Many of the deaths were to people wearing black clothing,including white with black polka dots, and witnesses reported the black colors appeared to enrage the swarms.
rr


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 11:57 PM

Do you suppose that black reminds them of bears?

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 04:00 AM

So much for wearing rock n' roll tee-shirts (most of which are black) while gardening. I've heard lots of "killer bee" stories over the years, rangeroger; how far north have they established themselves now?

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: roopoo
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 04:46 AM

Liz - another reason for the planting of yews was to provide the wood for longbows, as landowners in the mediaeval days were often required to provide fighting men in times of war. (And they were always fighting each other as well!)

Possibly the reason for planting them behind the boundary walls of churches was to keep livestock off them, seeing as how it'll kill 'em if they eat it!

mouldy


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 11:59 AM

Pretty poisonous stuff, yews; extrememly toxic for horses, I might add. They don't seem to know enough to avoid eating it either, for some strange reason. It's not enough we have to be careful for ourselves, is it? Have to look out for the other beings sharing our lives too!

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: rangeroger
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 10:51 PM

Auxiris,as far as I know they are still mostly around the border region of Mexico and the US. There have been reports, read attacks, up around the Bakersfield area in California.
As for the Yew,there is a chemical derived from the bark that is supposedly a starting point for a cancer cure.
rr


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 02:37 AM

I was under the impression that the so-called killer bees had gotten further north than that by now. Well, since I live in eastern France, I don't suppose it's much of a worry for me! We do have other disagreeable insects over here, though not, I am pleased to say, the horrible black fly that I used to dread when I lived in Michigan. Yes, I had heard that extracts from yew were being used to treat certain types of cancer. Like many other extremely toxic substances, it does have medical uses.

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Penny S.(elsewhere)
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 12:05 PM

Liz, what is your source for the yews being planted to protect the tombs? (Please apply interested and curious voice to this, not challenging.) I haven't met that one before, although it ties in with an old yew at Great Burstead in Essex, which is on the tomb, directly south of the altar, of one of the kings of Essex.

I am informed that yew off the tree does not poison stock. From several sources. Cut and drying yew does. Or yew with nothing eaten with it, perhaps.

Also, the bow explanation is contentious. Some say that all the staves were imported from Spain. I note that many of the trees seem to have been pollarded, so could have provided staves, and that one king ordered them to be planted in Normandy churchyards as a bow source, having seen them in England.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:14 PM

Since this thread mentions it, here must be the best place to note a new warning about a plant common in several places that has toxic effects not generally known by some who might run into it.

This giant toxic weed can burn you and blind you

Don't let the exotic and beautiful looks of 15-foot-tall hogweed plant fool you

Now that the giant hogweed's flowering season is here again, experts are taking the opportunity to draw people's attention to the plant — for the sake of human health as well as for the health of the environment.

By Emily Sohn
July 19, 2011

It's exotic and beautiful, a 15-foot-tall plant with clusters of dainty white flowers and human-sized leaves — resembling, it is often said, Queen Anne's Lace on steroids.

But giant hogweed is an invasive species that is spreading around much of the northern United States. Even worse, its sap is extremely poisonous, with the potential to cause blistering burns and even blindness.

Now that the giant hogweed's flowering season is here again, experts are taking the opportunity to draw people's attention to the plant — for the sake of human health as well as for the health of the environment.

"It's one of the few invasive species that has such a severe human health impact, and people should really know about it," said Chuck O'Neill, coordinator of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Invasive Species Program in Ithaca, NY. "Unfortunately, I'd say 80 or 90 percent of people hiking have no idea what these plants look like."

"Like the zebra mussel, they can be a poster child for invasive species," he added. "There's a certain appeal to a plant that's this big with that cringe factor of what it can do to you that gives you an opening to start talking about a lot more plants, animals and insects that are invasive."

The giant hogweed's story of invasion began in 1892, when two European brothers went on a botanical expedition to the Caucuses region of Eurasia, where they saw the plant for the first time, said botanist Naja Kraus, manager of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Giant Hogweed Program. Wowed by its height and beauty, they brought its seeds back to Europe, along with a variety of other species.

Enamored botanists quickly spread giant hogweed from garden to garden around Europe. It arrived in the United States in the early 1900s. It's not clear if botanists knew about the plant's poison — and whether they cared.

Even today, people choose to put giant hogweed in their gardens, but the plant carries real risks. Toxic sap lies inside its bamboo-like hollow stalks. If the sap gets on your skin, the exposed area becomes unable to protect itself from the sun's rays, leading to terrible blistering burns, followed by skin discoloration and darkening that can persist for years.

Wild parsnip and cow parsnip cause similar reactions, but giant hogweed's effects are far more severe. If the sap gets in your eyes and is then exposed to sunlight, it can cause blindness.

Sap can ooze out onto the leaves and stem, making the plant dangerous just to brush up against. And it doesn't produce flowers until it has been growing for a few years, which means that it isn't always easy to identify.

But people aren't the only victims of giant hogweed. The environment is at risk, too. Giant hogweed starts growing in April, before many native species have started to poke through. It grows rapidly. And a single plant can produce as many as 100,000 seeds in late summer.
Most seeds fall just a few meters from the parent plant, so the weed's spread is more creeping than explosive. But its shady nature and fast growth help it smother and replace other kinds of plants.

So far, giant hogweed has been found growing in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Oregon, Alaska and Washington state, as well as in parts of Canada, such as British Columbia and Ontario, and throughout Europe — and possibly other places.

The good news, Kraus said, is that giant hogweed is controllable, and many states are making major efforts to eradicate it. In New York, her crews regularly visit about 1,000 sites, ranging from private property to state roadsides. Workers wear waterproof clothing from head to toe, and they learn how to get out of their suits to avoid touching the sap.

"I think this probably feels like a crisis to people who are just hearing about it because it's a very frightening plant, but I don't think it's any more of a crisis than it was 10 years ago," Kraus said. "It's spreading in some areas where we don't know about it, but it's decreasing in other areas where we do know about it and are controlling it."

To protect yourself, she recommended first learning what giant hogweed looks like. If you see it, don't touch it. If you touch it, quickly wash your hands with soap and water. Then, call your state's department of natural resources or conservation and report it. The same goes for other invasive and poisonous species, O'Neill added.

Like poison ivy, Kraus said, giant hogweed is just another plant you should know about before spending a lot of time outdoors.
"You want to know what's dangerous," she said. "You should just add these plants to your list of plants to stay away from.

© 2011 Discovery Channel

There is a fairly good picture of the pest at the top of the linked article.

John


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: gnu
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:07 PM

Nasty stuff! Thanks JiK.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:26 PM

Also described here Mudcat Gardeners' Report, 07 Jul 11 - 11:17 AM.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:53 PM

In my last house I had a huge garden bordering on fields. I actually had one giant hogweed growing down by the ditch. I knew what it was, I've seen them quite a few times round here. It was magnificent, and did no harm, as I didn't go up and touch it or wipe it on my eyes. Loads of plants are dodgy, eg aconite, nightshade, laburnum, yew etc, but they aren't triffids, they don't run after us and attack. I agree that children should be warned not to touch, but here nobody fusses about giant hogweed, it's just there, and no-one suggests 'eradicating' it. Mine grew to about nine feet (3 metres). I liked it!!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM

Hello, Eliza. Besides the poisonous aspect of Giant Hogweed, it is a very invasive plant ("flower heads which can each produce about 50,000 seeds every year..." according to the following link.) In parts of England at least, removal of identified plants appears to be underway. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-13929473

There are many introduced plant species I welcome, others I can deal with. Giant Hogweed is one I would destroy because of its longterm damage potential to people, the extraordinarily high germination rate, and the longevity of its seeds. Eradication challenges are discussed in this PDF document

Regards,

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:31 PM

Hi Maeve!
I can see what you mean, and this plant isn't native to England. But actually the one specimen I had in my last garden didn't produce any babies, (I was quite sad!) But if it's becoming invasive, it could indeed harm children, walkers etc. I know that for example Japanese knotweed is the most terrible problem now that it's arrived here. Areas have been sectioned off as 'biological hazards', it takes industrial strength stuff to eradicate it. I only meant to say that I personally quite liked the thing. I wouldn't naturally want a child to be burned. Euphorbias and even the herb rue have the same properties, their juice causes sunlight burns. I had this happen from my rue bush last year. The brown marks are still on my arms!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Janie
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:46 PM

So far, it hasn't appeared in the Southeast USA (at least that I know of.) Really appreciate the warnings on this and the current gardening thread. It is just the kind of plant that I might otherwise see in a ditch and go back to collect seeds to grow in a wildflower garden.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:52 PM

I understand, Eliza. Yes, Giant Hogweed is a very dangerous and invasive plant. According to the linked article provided by JohnInKansas, the skin sensitivity "leading to terrible blistering burns, followed by skin discoloration and darkening...can persist for years." It's not the sort of plant one wants to spread at all. (Note: My second link failed; sorry.)

As for Japanese Knotweed, we just dig out the roots and mow any remaining shoots; no poison required here in Maine. Young shoots are edible; asparagus-like in taste. We learned from an elderly woman who once lived on our farm that her grandparents planted Japanese Knotweed here to provide shade for their chickens!

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 07:00 PM

I've never actually seen Japanese knotweed, only on TV. But I heard it can push through concrete! Also, even rhododendrons are causing problems here in the wild, their roots poison all the soil around them and people are digging them out frantically to preserve the native wild flowers and plants. Like Oxford ragwort (terribly toxic to cattle and horses) all these non-native plants misbehave when they arrive, they seem to be real bullies. I wonder if it's because they haven't brought any natural enemies with them!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 07:07 PM

Another try- click on Plant Management Information Sheet 4: Giant Hogweed


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 07:19 PM

Another reminder is good. It sounds like a nasty one.

The pain in the gardens here these days comes from a hairy caterpillar called the puss caterpillar, or asp. They have hairs that get in the skin and are so painful you can hardly stand it. There is nothing topical to help with it and it has to gradually go away. Scroll down past the tomatoes and possum discussion and you'll find the asp photos.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Crowhugger
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 08:35 PM

How far north does the puss caterpillar go? Never heard of it here in the Toronto area, which I s'pose means little since there are various pests and invasive species that we didn't have even a decade ago.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 08:49 PM

Some useful links regarding the puss moth caterpillar, Megalopyge opercularis, commonly called an "asp".

Range: "The geographical distribution of the caterpillars is confined to the southeast United States, largely in Texas, Louisiana,
and Florida." found here


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 10:23 PM

I remember my mother getting stung by one of those puss moth caterpillars when I was a teenager. I didn't know what it was called until now, but I remember what it looked like.

We also had Io moth caterpillars which everybody in the family managed to get popped by a couple of times per year. Their sting felt about like a hornet sting, but Mom said the puss moth caterpillar's sting was much worse.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 10:44 PM

Some of our (UK) invasive plants


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Arnie
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 05:08 AM

Here's a true gardening story to make you wince. A couple of years ago a man in a village in Kent was pruning a tree in his back garden using a chainsaw. He slipped and managed to cut his arm straight off. Surprisingly he didn't lose consciousness which is just as well as he would soon have bled to death. Most of his neighbours were out at work but he found a retired near neighbour a few doors away and stood on his doorstep explaining what had happened, with blood gushing out of the hole where is arm should have been. Having staunched the blood as best he could, the neighbour called an ambulance and then had the presence of mind to run round to the garden and retrieve the severed arm, which he then put in his freezer. Surgeons were later able to re-attach the severed arm and although not regaining full usage, the gardener did get back most of the functions. His neighbour's presence of mind and quick action saved the day. Chainsaws must be one of the most dangerous tools for amateurs to handle in the garden and I bet the hospitals see their fair share of chainsaw injuries each year.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 07:38 AM

Thought that one was going to be a myth but there are a number of paper reports about this happening to a John Stirling of Sussex (not Kent).

I stopped using a chainsaw years ago. I had a 9" angle grinder kick back and give me a bleeding nose. The incident put me off these, chainsaws and circular saws. Even if they have protection against kick back I don't fancy using them.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 08:02 AM

On the other hand, my Truelove has been safely using and repairing chainsaws of various kinds for 40+ years without any significant injury. Like any power tool, chainsaws can be dangerous; good training of the operator in combination with wise choices regarding conditions, fatigue, mechanical upkeep, and selection of the right tool for the job at hand can determine whether accidents are likely to occur.

Ever see chainsaw carving?

In Wisconsin...
Making an Owl in Scotland


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 08:20 AM

That's quite impressive!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 12:21 PM

The problems with unwanted plants and critters can get quite complicated.

A few years ago, in the Seattle WA area, a fellow employee related her tale about the notice she received a few years prior from the State Department of Agriculture, informing her that they had found "tansy" growing in her horse pasture. Tansy is listed by Washington State as a "noxious weed," and she was threatened with severe fines and other unpleasantness unless she IMMEDIATELY IRRADICATED the tansy.

While she was still looking for "how to get rid of tansy" she received a notice from the US Department of the Interior informing her that tansy is a necessary habitat plant for an endangered species of small butterfly, which they had found in her pasture, and threatening her with immense fines and other unpleasantness if she harmed so much as a single pretty flower on her tansy.

She reported being unable to obtain any agreement from the two agencies on what she should do, and had settled into a routine: When the DofA sent their annual complaint she forwarded it to USDI, and when the USDI replied with their complaint she forwarded it to the DofA. Otherwise she ignored both.

This had become an annual event, and had continued for more than five years (I think she said that was the 7th year, and she had just received the DofA annual greeting.)

After studying the mild hazard to livestock at the time of the first notice, she probably would have slightly preferred to eliminate the "weed," but for her horses the threat was "remote" since she had no intention of breeding them. Nothing she could have done would have satisfied either beaurocracy, so her only recourse was to do nothing.

John


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM

John, Oxford ragwort has the same dual personality. It damages the livers of horses and cows, but it's essential food for the caterpillars of the cinnabar moth, lovely yellow and black stripey things. I'm now wondering if your 'tansy' is the same plant?
I've heard of a recent arrival here in UK of the 'processional caterpillar' which inhabits oak trees. It does the same thing with its hairs, total agony. (It's called that because they walk along the ground in along line. Very strange!)
As to chainsaws, they make me shudder. I feel one should have the training and the safety equipment in order to use them.
I once badly skinned all my toes on one foot with a rather fierce strimmer. I was wearng flipflops (twit!) The blood was amazing.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM

There was giant hogweed growing in a front garden along from our school, but no-one did anything about it, until a new owner turned the garden into paving.
The school had Japanese Knotweed which started to invade a neighbour's house. It has now been eradicated by a serious herbicide, which has damaged my plan to donate the school a rowan as a leaving gift. Need to find a new spot.
I think I've already posted that my new home greeted me with a thornapple when I arrived - I had to remove it with rubber gloves and a binbag to the coouncil dump where it would be transported to an incinerator.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 01:45 PM

Have just looked up these two plants. Tansy is 'Tanacetum vulgare' and Oxford ragwort is 'Senecio squalidis', so they aren't related at all. Vulgar and squalid! Hah!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 12:12 PM

Giant Hogweed in Maine now: http://www.pressherald.com/news/state-confirms-poisonous-plant-sightings_2011-08-01.html


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: gnu
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 01:29 PM

Het Bobert... kin ya smoke it?


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 05:39 PM

On a different 'danger in the garden' note, we had a narrow escape today. There's a brick archway over the garden gate, and I noticed this morning that a brick was a little dislodged. Luckily, I asked my neighbour, a handyman, to have a look. He literally just touched the brick, and the whole arch came crashing down, about thirty bricks! It didn't hit him or us, but we were horrified. A brick arch needs to be well cemented, and whoever built this one hadn't. Then my neighbour pushed lightly on the two 6ft 'supporting' pillars, and they too crashed to the ground, resulting in a massive pile of rubble, but no casualties. Walls and arches in the garden should be constructed by someone who knows what they're doing!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 10:38 AM

That's an excellent point, Eliza.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 02:24 PM

We moved all the rubble into a pile to be taken away. Our neighbours' children helped brick by brick, I gave them sweets and a cold drink, bless them. As we were doing this, I couldn't help thanking the Almighty, it could have been someone's head, or one of our adored cats, under that pile. Ghastly thought!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 05:18 PM

Black mold on twigs, beware. If you scratch the inside of your ear spores will hatch with delight.

Vermiculite, much more toxic thatn you realize.

parasites, prefer gardeners 2 to 1.

A good weed whacker can propel a stone better than a sling shot.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 03:28 PM

Donuel, can you explain about vermiculite please? I don't use it, but it's often in the pots of plants I buy. Why is it toxic?


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 04:50 PM

Some vermiculite mines have asbestos in the product. They try to sell this kind for use as insulation in homes but who is to say if good vericulite ever gets mixed up with the bad vermiculite.
http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/eh/hlthhaz/fs/vermiculite.htm

Breathing the stuff is NEVER reccommended.

I have used diaper water aborbing gel or foam rubber to both aeriate and retain water in potted or raised gardens.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 04:54 PM

Thank you for your info, Donuel. Actually, I've never liked the look of it, and if I need to increase the drainage of a plant in a pot, I merely add grit to the compost.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 06:02 PM

Here are some informative links regarding vermiculite, Eliza:
www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/vermfacts.pdf
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/organic/vermiculite-may-pose-asbestos-hazard.htm
http://eartheasy.com/blog/2009/04/vermiculite-and-asbestos-how-to-minimize-the-risks/


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 11:15 AM

Thank you maeve. Do you know, I've always thought the stuff was used for extra drainage, I never realised on the contrary it's for moisture retention! Quite horrifying to think asbestos dust might be included. And the poor sufferers of mesothelioma. Goodness knows what we're exposed to as we innocently meander about!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 11:43 AM

It serves both purposes, Eliza; helping to balance moisture. Only one mine was identified as containing asbestos. The challenge to gardeners is how to discern the mine sources on the premixed potting soil we might use.

In any case, if one is careful to:

*Use pre-mixed soils rather than buying the vermiculite separately to make custom mixes
*work with moist rather than dry materials
*work outside rather than inside
*Keep one's frequency and long-term exposure well below the high level of exposure of greenhouse workers and miners...

...it's doubtful there is a measurable danger in most cases. I thought it interesting that sawdust is one material suggested on some sites as a substitute for vermiculite in potting mixtures. I'd urge you to only use well-rotten sawdust to avoid binding up nitrogen in the soil. Personally, I prefer using compost, sand, and leaf mold to amend soil to the needs of a particular plant.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: gnu
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 02:04 PM

Seems doubtful that asbestos vermiculite would be found in potting mix in this day and age. Anyone know for sure?


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: gnu
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 02:08 PM

Found this on the internut at The Garden Geek...

Up until 1990, about 70 to 80% of the vermiculite used in the U.S. was mined in Libby, Montana. The processed vermiculite from Libby was often sold under the trade name "Zonolite". W.R. Grace was the company that owned the mine from 1963 - 1990. A problem specific to the Libby mine was that the vermiculite deposit was also associated with tremolite asbestos, a rare naturally-occurring mineral. Health problems associated with asbestos have been known for many years; however, it is uncertain just how long the health problems have been known at the Libby plant. Due to the high amount of asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesotheloioma related deaths among workers and family members associated with the Libby plant, the mine was closed down in 1990. Because ten years have passed since the closing of the mine, it is unlikely that any of the vermiculite used today comes from the Libby, Montana mine.

Vermiculite is currently mined in South Carolina and Virginia as well in South Africa, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Japan and Russia. The largest mine today is located in South Africa. No asbestos related disorders have been reported in any of the major vermiculite mines except for the Libby, Montana mine. Testing done by EPA and the Ontario Research Foundation found that no asbestos could be detected in the vermiculite from the South Africa mine. Based on these reports, it can be reasonably assumed that vermiculite used today does not contain significant amounts of asbestos.

When using vermiculite, as well as any other material that inherently contains dust sized particles, it is recommended that dust control measures be adopted and/or personal protective equipment (dust masks) be used to protect against dust inhalation. Keeping the vermiculite moist will greatly reduce dust problems.

If it is known that Libby vermiculite was used in a garden bed, health risks can be reduced by simply covering the area with sod or mulch to ensure that dust from the area is kept to a minium. As a last resort the area can be excavated by professionals and sent off to a landfill.

For further information on vermiculite and health related issues please refer to the following web sites:

http://www.vermiculite.org
http://www.epa.gov/region01/qa.html
http://www.mcn.net/~vermiculite/overview.htm


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 02:11 PM

I sometimes use folded newspaper at the bottom of a pot to help retain moisture. Also in the bottom of trenches for runner beans and sweet peas. Seems to work quite well.
I feel terribly sorry for the poor miners of vermiculite who are/have been exposed to the asbestos dust. Mesothelioma is a dreadful and nearly always fatal disease.


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