Current nemesis: Poodle dog bush (Posted 31 May 2012, 06:28pm)
34.4969, -118.3439

The dreaded poodle dog bush.

Over the last few weeks there has been a new hazard - poodle dog bush. This bush springs up after fire and we have been passing through the area devastated by the Station Fire in 2009. It has purple flowers and a strong sweet smell.

If you make contact with the bush it can cause skin irritation that hospitalised a couple of hikers last year. It is certainly worth avoiding and we have been taking detours to get around the worst patches. This has meant a few extra miles and some road walking. One of the detours had views of Los Angeles in the distance which was some consolation.

We had managed to avoid contact until a few days ago. I took a short detour around a bush and on my way back onto the trail I collided head on with it. The brim of my hat had blocked a branch from my view and it hit my hat, went down my face and along my arm. I used some of my precious water to wash off and then had a good scrub when we came to a small stream. The irritation takes awhile to arrive so it is a waiting game but I am fine so far. Fingers crossed.

Poodle dog bush is yet another thing to add to the long list of hazards. We are already looking out for poison oak, snakes, ticks, bears, bob cats and mountain lions. This is quite an adjustment coming from safe New Zealand but I am surviving.

The dreaded poison oak.


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