If you are like me, depending on what I want to do during my free time dedicates my opinion of the weather we have been having since August.
When my free time is focused on wanting to be outside with the calves, I appreciated it not raining.
However, when I want to enjoy a cookout with my friends or want my fall flowers to bloom, the lack of rainfall really upset me.
However, there may be some changes for you to be outside enjoying the Indiana countryside in the coming weeks. For that reason, this week's column focuses on dealing with some of the hazards you might come into contact with.
If the conditions are safe for having a fire at a campsite or grilling, remember not to use underbrush that you have cut out of the woods for your fire. There is always a chance that the smoke from the fire might contain oils from poison ivy. That oil can get onto the food and cause you to get blisters inside your nose, throat and breathing passages. So when touching plants and deciding what to burn, remember that if it has "leaves of three, Let it be!"
Occasionally, while outside, individuals get bitten by snakes. In Indiana, most snakes are not poisonous. However, if you aren't sure if the snake is poisonous or if you know it is poisonous, after the bite occurs, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately. They have experts there that can help you during your time of need.
If you are one of the last ones out there camping on the weekend, remember not to use random plants you see growing as a food source. Some plants, like poison hemlock and water hemlock, have roots (or tubers) that resemble wild carrots or parsnips. However, if you would decide to eat them in a stew or raw, they can be fatal.
If you or someone you know eats anything they aren't certain of the identity, remember to contact emergency personnel, like the poison center, as soon as possible to get help.
Some individuals will choose to treat their yard this fall with a pre-emergent herbicide. When doing so, remember to follow all instructions on the label. Those instructions are there to keep you and everyone else who might come in contact with the chemicals safe.
Thus, if it says to wear gloves, a long sleeve shirt and have eye protection, then please do so. In the event that someone does have a chemical splash on their skin, clean them off instantly by washing their skin with soap and water and then rinse it with running water for 15-20 minutes. While they are cleaning up, take off any clothing that has been contaminated with the chemical and look at the label of the herbicide for further instructions.
In your home and outside in the yard, there are numerous possible substances that you and your family can come in contact with that can be poisonous.
Thus, it is always important to know what hazards are around you and know what to do if you come in contact with one of those hazards.
If you or someone you know is suspected of having come in contact with a poisonous substance, remember to contact the poison center at 1-800-222-1222 for help.
Don't wait hours before contacting them because sometimes, seconds are what count.
As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 1-812-829-5020 in Owen County or reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.
Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:
* Nov. 6-19 -- North American International Livestock Exposition, Louisville, Ky.,
* Nov. 10 -- Owen-Monroe Calf Sale, 1 p.m.,
* Nov. 13 -- Nature Gift Ideas Workshop, McCormick's Creek State Park, 1-3 p.m. $3 per person,
* Nov. 16 -- Clay County Extension Board Meeting, 6:30 p.m., and
* Nov. 17 -- Sheep and Goat Marketing Meeting, Putnam County Extension Office, 7 p.m.