With everyone stuck at home during the COVID-19 outbreak, I see several silver linings to the global "shut-down". All challenges present opportunities. Even being trapped in your neighborhood can lead to an excellent outdoor adventure...maybe in a few months.
Recently I started working a job where I get to be outside most of the day. One thing I noticed is that working outside makes me much happier. Perhaps the high amount of sunlight is preventing seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which I believe impacted me in my last office job. I have heard that SAD can be treated with “light therapy”, where you sit near a special light that simulates sunlight.
Finding edible native plants to eat (foraging) can be a valuable skill. Identifying edible fruits, nuts, and fungi can add something special to your next hike, even if you don't plan to eat them. Here are some suggestions for a few edible plants found around the Mid-Atlantic.
A day after my previous exploration, I discovered what most outdoorsmen/women fear discovering a day after a hike: ticks.
I found not one but two ticks near my, how do you say it, nether regions. The second of which I actually found two days later, which goes to show: even after a thorough search, these little arachnids can be difficult to detect.
I bring up this topic because even if you are already aware of the danger that ticks present, I’m willing to bet that a large portion of the population does not know what can happen after just one tick bite.
With that being said, here are a few basics about ticks and why they are a concern: