Spring is in the Air


While walking on the beach yesterday, it was clear that springtime is just around the corner. There were lots of funny looking bugs thrashing around in the wet sand, including bees (who can still deliver a nasty sting if stepped upon). Best things to do if stung is to be sure the stinger is not stuck in the wound, get back home without impacting a bunch of sand in there, clean it and administer a baking soda poultice. Other potentially nasty things include the yellow-bellied sea snakes that occasionally wash up. A sea snake that is not hanging out in it’s normal underwater rocky outcropping is a dying sea snake. It will do no good to try to push it back into the surf, they are going to die soon. Handling the thing only increases your risk of coming in contact with their extremely dangerous venom. Sea snakes are not vipers, meaning they cannot inject their venom into you. They have to chew on you for a while. After that happens, you have about 45 minutes to live unless you can get to a clinic that stocks the anti-venom. But that aside, if you or your dog are running, not paying attention, or whatever, if you step on one of these things it could get ugly, so be careful. Just leave the snake alone. Next, if you like to wade in the water, especially at slack tide, do watch out for sting rays. They move through the area in the spring time and have this nasty habit of becoming frightened by your unexpected approach. The best thing to do is drag your feet in the sand and use your toes to throw little scoops of sand ahead of you. Or just take a dog with you and let him romp around. Their skinny little legs are a lot harder to hit. If you are struck by a sting ray, you will know it immediately. It really hurts… bad. You will see a very small cut at the strike site and you will be crying. Best thing to do is get yourself home and immerse the site in as hot a water bath as you can stand. Keep soaking the foot in very hot water for as long as is necessary. Some folks say to make a “tea” with the ubiquitous salt bush but this is not necessary. Finally, springtime always brings jelly fish. If you tangle with one of these beauties, retreat to the condo and make a poultice from Lowry’s meat tenderizer or better yet, pure MSG.
Have fun at the beach!!

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