Somewhere in Orford…

Here we are. You, reading this and doing whatever it is you do. Me. Lying in my bivvy, listening to the mosquito horde about 6 inches from my face thirsting for my blood, thinking about you and the mud on my feet.

No. Actually my hands are kind of covered with a horrible combination of dirt, salt, possibly traces of DEET, and who knows what else including the egg and Kraft cheese sandwich I ate only moments ago. I forget why I thought Kraft cheese slices were a good idea. Rookie mistake, self. Next time get the good cheese; your stomach will be pleased, your soul will be in less despair, and your egg sandwiches will be divine.

But also, my eyes are itchy and I keep rubbing them like a two-year-old with no self control, so I deserve what I get. I would like you all to witness that I made a resolution yesterday to take a moment every evening and be clean. With, like…. soap and things. So far, from that momentous decision, the record stands

Life and/or mosquito attacks: 1

Sail: 0.

This is why my z-lite smells like a gym mat on its shiny side. Shoot. Maybe someday I will be less smelly. But I do have some really nice soap, with citronella in it, so we all live in hope.

In other news, here is the plant I use on my blisters when I get them.

It’s called “jewelweed” and likes water, so check in moist areas, like stream valleys or drainage ditches. Grows in the same places as nettles and poison ivy, and is purportedly an antedote to both. Crush the leaves and stems, and put the juice on your injury. I’ve used it once on my blisters, and left the plant to soak its good self into them overnight. In the morning, they were fine and I walked on them all day without a problem… But maybe also my feet are like glorious specimens of… um… never mind I can’t think of anything.

As with any plant, pick sustainably (some foragers say 1 out of 10, if you’re taking the entire plant) but jewelweed is everywhere, it is one where you can easily pass thousands of plants in a day, so if you find a patch, you should easily be able to get what you need.

For identification, the leaf edges are kind of distinct (one ruffle per leaf vein, and the tips of each serration tend to be more rounded. You’ll notice similar plants with sharper serrations). My personal tell is the stem and petioles (wee stems between the main stem and the leaves) are translucent, and very smooth and clean. Not fibrous, no fuzziness. Plants can be identified from a few inches high, and grow to ~3ft, with a single stalk.

Also, hear ye, hear ye, let it be known that I finally found cattails not in-the-middle-of-a-pond, that I could easily reach without falling in… and they were indeed good to eat. Tasted a bit like raw corn, the peeled stem did.

Anyhoo, I did not mean to lecture you about plants. But here we are. Eat good food.

Choose good cheeses.

Clean thyselves.

-sail

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