Last summer, I was riding my bicycle along a path by the Don River when I suddenly skidded, lost control and lightly fell, face first, into the greenery below. Normally this would not be a major problem, but, as luck would have it, the plant below was Stinging Nettle.
The Latin name for this European import is “Urtica”. Urtica means to burn. It was a good lesson for me on why this plant is called “Stinging” Nettle. The skin on my face was still stinging 24 hours later.
Stinging Nettle is sprouting now at the upper Scarborough Bluffs.
Today’s walk took place in constant snowfall – either flakes or tiny pellets which made bird photography difficult. Too bad, because in addition to the birds I was able to photograph, we saw Red-tailed Hawk, Raven, Crow and Turkey Vulture overhead.
Risen from half frozen muck,
peepers give voice to awakening soil,
chanting a sharp, piping whistle. – David K. Leff (b. 1955)