Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hands Feet Seat

I took Wilderness First Aid on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and what I learned is, everything in this state wants to kill me.

There is pretty much nothing in Western Washington that can hurt you. We hunted out most of the major predators over 100 years ago and the ones that are left are rarely, if ever, seen.

MEANWHILE in Arizona

Everything wants to kill you, from the bugs to the animals to the sun its very self. These are the notes I took on the Critters talk we got in this Aid class. Yes I took notes. I cannot help myself.

“Bites Stings and Critters” AKA Things that want to kill Irene in AZ

Watch your hands, feet and seat and you’ll be okay. Don’t put anything where you can’t see it


Black Widows: Unlikely to kill you with a bite. If bitten, wash it and cool it. Monitor.

Brown Spider: Not the same as Brown recluse spider, but related. The best part is, you don’t know you’ve been bitten! The bite will manifest to look like a bullseye. Causes skin necrosis that can go all the way to the bone. Get to a hospital or you might lose a limb.

Tarantula: No venom, but have irritating fiber glass loosely attached hairs. Just don’t touch them. They don’t want anything to do with you.


Centipedes: Don’t go after them, they live in crevices and rocks (Which is the ENTIRE FREAKING DESERT)

Scorpions: (all scorpions glow under a black light Oonse oonse oonse let’s go raving scorps!)

Bark: Smallest. Most venomous

Stripe: Venomous

Giant Hairy: Venomous, least venomous of the three. Wussy looking pinchers, tail still HUGE

Scorpions are not all that dangerous to adults but super dangerous for small kids and the elderly/frail


These are honey bees, all the bees in AZ are Africanized and super aggressive. You get near their hives and thousands will come at you focusing their stings on your eyes ears and mouth. Will not stop stinging you until you are dead. You can’t out run them, you can’t jump in water to avoid them. You need to get inside a house or a car.

They are harmless when they are foraging or when they are “swarming” which means traveling in packs (just like in cartoons!). When they do this they get tired and clump up on a branch. It looks like a black hive that is actually just a football sized wad o’ bees.

One of these landed in a tree right outside my apartment door! Holy cucumbers Batman! They were gone in the morning. Ain’t no thang.

Remember when this scare became a thing in the 90’s, well they never reached WA State, but I was terrified of them as a kid. Now they are literally my neighbors. Circle of life

P.S. What does Africianized mean? Were they not african before? We're these European Honey Bees that decided that africa was the mother land so they started affecting what they think are the behaviors of african bees while the african bees are all, dude, stop co-opting my culture, you're doin' it wrong.


Gila Monster: One of the most painful bites you can get because

1: they don’t let go

2: they are venomous

3: they gnash their teeth while biting

The good news is, they are slow as syrup. Just don’t freakin’ touch them you nerd wads. They won’t bite you unless you try to pick them up. They are rare and it is thought to be a luck thing to see one. I really want to see one. They look prehistoric. What a cutie


Western Coral snake: Elapid snake, venom is a neurotoxin. Get to a hospital!

These aren’t as bad as the E. coral snake, but still, hospital. Red touches yellow, you’re a dead fellow

Rattle snakes: Their bites are defensive, but they are a little more bitey than say, the gila monster, faster too. Their venom is a hemotoxin but some have neurotoxins. Get ye to a hospital, monitor the swelling, take of any rings or anything else that will constrict you. The anti venom is the same for all sps of rattle snake so don’t bother trying to figure out what kind of snake it is.

This is a red diamond back rattler


· The average rattle snake victim, according to the poison control board, are males age 18-35ish who have tattoos and drink. Hmmmmm

Men are usually bitten on the hands/forearms, women on the ankles/calves.

Moral: Don’t pick up the snake dumbass

· Rattle snakes shake their rattles 500 times per minute. Shake it girl!

· Rattler venom travels through the lymph system, so your heart rate or using a constricting band isn’t gonna do you any good.

Not to mention the plants

Cholla (Choy-yah) which comes apart and whole pads stick to you)

Prickly pears (I got mashed by one of these when I was heat delirious, wicked hurtey. My coworker pulled out all the thorns for me. Thanks good buddy.)

I have about a million more things to write about including my first day of extended periods of extreme temps. It was X TREME.

I'm gonna go finish the Ale infused caramels with pretzel bits. I love new kitchen. Love. Even if I did find and kill a FAT COCKROACH in it today. Holt balls roaches are way worse than spiders.

Tomorrow I'm probably going to Pheonix with some friends. Guys! I made friends! More on that later.

(all these photos are from wiki commons)


  1. this makes me not want to come visit, eek! jk, you just have to protect me with your skills.

  2. DESERTS, MAN! COOL/SCARY. Like things that I get really stoked on when I watch them on televisions, but would be perpetually stressing if I actually had to confront. SCORPIONS N KILLER BEEZ ARE SCARY AS SHIT. TO ME ANYWAYS. YOU ARE OBVIOUSLY DOING FINE. IMA VISIT CHUUUUU AT SOME POINT HOPEFULLY SOON!

  3. HELL YEAH HARDCORE. You will survive I am sure of it!