Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Winter Break, California Newts and Posion Oak

During the first week of winter break, Beth and the kids had been taken up with Angela Behrens and the kids to look for salamanders. You will find the pictures on 12/23/2009 on Our Picture Site. Here is a funny movie of them being chased by cows.

The movie stopped because the bull came a cross the ravine and began following them.

What makes this movie even funnier is when you know that Beth has grew up around farm animals!!!

I had taken the second weekend off and we decided to go back up so Beth could show me the area. It is amazing that there are so many places within 15 minutes of our house for us to explore. The hike was pretty harmless (so I thought). It had rained a couple of days before, so the ground was a bit moist. However, we found the cache we had been searching for. And a bonus. The following are some pictures from that day.

So as I was putting away the Newts, Emma starts saying "Papa, come here quick!!! There is something that will sting and kill you!!!" She had been turning over logs looking for more newts and salamanders and came across this:

This is a Western Woodland Scorpion. They mainly stay near the coast and are located from California as far north as southern Washington State. Their sting is like a bee sting. We never knew this even existed outside the desert, less nearby.

The day came to an end and we had our lunch. There is a fun tree to climb and the kids were all over it.

The following day, we decided to hike the Rim Trail around the Lafayette Reservoir. It is a fun trail, and Myles can finally walk most of it. These are some of the pictures:

Well after 40 years of reciting "leaves of three, let them be" and following urban myths like, Poison Oak is only poisonous when it is red, I think I got a little cocky. I mean, over the years I have hiked in many different areas, Lake Shasta, Washington State, and definitely had no problem taking "deer" trails. Well it finally struck.

It was the most painful and maddening three weeks. Besides the initial reaction to poison oak, I also had an allergic reaction. The funny thing is that I didn't realize that I had poison oak until a week latter when the allergic reaction happened. I finally went to the doctor who gave a steroid to help with the reaction. Since it took me a week to understand what it was, Beth unfortunately was exposed, though did not have as bad a reaction.
Here are some of the pictures of the onslaught.


  1. Yay!! I'm the first! Nice post, glad your legs aren't crusty any more! : )
    Love ya!!

  2. I am so glad you are a blogger now! I cant wait to see more Latham adventures!