Last night, after work, I picked up MP and took her on a spur-of-the-moment two-hour mountain hike. The trail we chose cut through rocky and woody terrain alike. MP’s agility and endurance blew me away. Figuratively AND literally. Nothing will hammer home the stark reality of the sorry shape of your ass quicker than a four-year-old JOGGING ahead of you, up a MOUNTAIN.
After making it to the top (which, I’m tellin’ you, HAS to be some kind of record for her age), and relishing her accomplishment for a good amount of time, we began our decent. The path was framed by an almost unreal number of wildflowers. The surrounding terrain was a blanket of orange, pink, purple and blue. And I KNEW we weren’t supposed to pick. But temptation got the better of me, and by the time the two of us reached the trailhead we had amassed two spectacular and highly illegal bouquets punishable in these parts by a hefty fine.
Getting our booty off the mountain was no easy task. Guiltily, I TRIED to conceal our pickin’s from other trailblazers (or fellow “ROCK stars, heh heh,” according to MP). Not so easy with a preschooler wildly waving her bunch ‘o flowers like a deranged ringleader.
At any rate, we made it. Once home, Grammy quickly identified each species, save for a few. One in particular stood out. The centerpiece of my arrangement. She looked it up. She found it.
Mountain DEATH Camas
Death camases contain an alkaloid that is extremely toxic and has been responsible for the death of livestock, especially sheep, and humans. American Indians and early settlers were poisoned by mistaking the bulbs of these plants for the edible bulbs of camas.
Beautiful. The Flower of Death went immediately into the garbage. My hands went immediately into the sink to be repeatedly washed with antibacterial soap. If it’s been awhile, and you haven’t heard from me Doogs, the Death Camas did me in.
Which would suck. But if that turns out to be the case, have no doubt, I’ll be on the other side with one of those bad boys behind my ear, laughing in the face of … stupidity.