Some Things to Watch for While Hiking

 

1. We will encounter posion oak on nearly every hike--learn to identify all its seasons:

 

Here's some good information about poison oak:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxicodendron_diversilobum

See these suggestions for treating it.

 

2. Deer ticks can carry lyme disease.They are common in many of the areas we hike in:

 

From left to right: The deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) adult female, adult male, nymph, and larva

 

For more information about Deer Ticks go here:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/

 

3. The sting of Yellow Jackets (wasps) can be painful and itchy for several days. Yellow jackets are common in late summer and the fall time. They are especially aggressive if their nest (which is often located at ground level) is distrubed

Here's more complete information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowjacket

 

4. Stinging Nettle can cause itching and white spots for up to 24 hours if you brush up against it. Learn to identify it:

 

 

Read more here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinging_nettle

 

5. Mountain Lions can weigh more than 150 lbs and are spotted regularly in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Attacks on humans are very rare but hikers should know what to do if you have an encounter with one.

 

 

Read about what to do if you come face-to-face with a Mountain Lion:

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/sheley50.html

 

6. Mosquitoes can be very annoying much of the year. Effective and safe insect repellents can be found at local health-food stores. It is important to re-apply them while on the hike. Deet-based repellents should be avoided since there has been some research indicating they are dangerous to health.

 

 

Lots of interesting facts about mosquitoes can be found here:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/mosquito.htm