Well, that was a bit of a surprise. I picked up a package of “Salt & Chilli” preseasoned pork chops intended for the grill, because it was GF at a reasonable price and didn’t look too bad for something quick. (And it was tasty.)

But, even though it was looking pretty chiliriffic with plenty of visible pepper flakes? I still figured it was probably more British hot. Maybe more like a basted with Thai sweet chili sauce heat level?

NOPE. I was kind of glad I’d planned to have that with some leftover cheesy broccoli rice stuff, because it was on the edge of what I find pleasant vs. overwhelming. Not quite what I was expecting.

I may actually go back after some more while they still have it on special, because the flavor balance was better than expected. Just probably not to feed Mr. C too. He’s fine with some heat, but still.






















Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is an invasive herb in the carrot family which was originally brought to North America from Asia and has since become established in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Northwest regions of the United States. Giant hogweed grows along streams and rivers and in fields, forests, yards and roadsides, and a giant hogweed plant can reach 14 feet or more in height with compound leaves up to 5 feet in width.

Giant Hogweed sap contains toxic chemicals known as Furanocoumarins. When these chemicals come into contact with the skin and are exposed to sunlight, they cause a condition called Phytophotodermatitis, a reddening of the skin often followed by severe blistering and burns. These injuries can last for several months, and even after they have subsided the affected areas of skin can remain sensitive to light for years. Furanocoumarins are also carcinogenic and teratogenic, meaning they can cause cancer and birth defects. The sap can also cause temporary (or even permanent) blindness if introduced into the eyes.

If someone comes into physical contact with Giant Hogweed, the following steps should be taken:

  • Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and COLD water as soon as possible.
  • Keep the exposed area away from sunlight for 48 hours.
  • If Hogweed sap gets into the eyes, rinse them with water and wear sunglasses.
  • See a doctor if any sign of reaction sets in.

If a reaction occurs, the early application of topical steroids may lessen the severity of the reaction and ease the discomfort. The affected area of skin may remain sensitive to sunlight for a few years, so applying sun block and keeping the affected area shielded from the sun whenever possible are sensible precautions


Extra note: if you live in Oregon, New Jersey, Michigan or New York and see one of these, call your state’s department of agriculture to report it, and trained professionals will come kill it before it can produce seeds and spread.

Frankly, if you see one in general, probably call your DOA and see if there’s a program in place.

Do not burn it, because the smoke will give you the same reaction.

If for some ungodly reason there isn’t a professional who can handle it for you (and please, please use a professional), the DOA of New York has [this guide] for how to deal with it yourself.


Fucking invasives. Signal boost.

Re-reblogging because I checked Snopes, and not only is this shit true, but the text on this is pretty much the same as it is there! Stay safe, kiddos.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, these are currently the states and provinces in North America where Giant Hogweed is present. Even if your state/province is “clear” that doesn’t mean that it is not there. If you see Giant Hogweed in your yard or anywhere please call your DOA! This stuff is mad deadly!

[Image Source]

Also here is a human for size reference. Since they are huge it should be easy enough to see and spot when fully grown.


The burns can also be very bad, far worse than any poison ivy. Just Google ‘Giant Hogweed Burns’ and you’ll see. It can cause bad blistering, red painful rashes, and more. Please be careful of this plant!

They exist in Austria and Germany too. Please be careful!

Also, if you are in the Iowa/Minnesota area (maybe farther, I don’t exactly know), there is a close relative (also invasive) with yellow flowers called wild parsnip.

Flowers (source):

Leaves (source):

It only gets to about half the size of giant hogweed but has all the same toxic effects. The plants in the pictures look small but I’ve seen ones at least 6 feet tall with stems two inches thick.

A lot of pictures available of giant hogweed are fullsized and in bloom. Just because it lacks the flowers doesn’t mean it’s not hogweed! It is dangerous well before that point.

As seen above, another important detail when identifying them can be the stems. They often have this reddish speckling, and are covered in bristly hairs. Like the rest of the plant, you should absolutely not touch them either.

You can see here how the redness is mostly on larger, older portions of the stems.

For those of you in Ontario, here is a link to some more information via Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program . It has details on the plant’s growth, removal methods, and groups you can report sightings to.

Unfortunately I lack information on herbicide use, but if the responsibility of removing giant hogweed somehow falls to the owner, please research local laws/restrictions concerning the use of things such as glyphosate (roundup). It is always possible to make things worse instead of better, so exercise caution in all areas, not just the handling/disposal of the plant.

This is not bullshit. My sister works for the Cooperative Extension in New York and this is a big P.R. focus for them. They have trouble because somebody may spot some of these on a neighbor’s property and call it in, but they can’t get permission to go in and take it out because the neighbors think it’s “pretty” or they “natural” and want it to stay.

Here’s another thing about it that makes it dangerous and maybe might scare some people into doing something about it: this time of year, (winter) the dried stuff is tailor-made for attracting kids: long, light, jointed. It looks like bamboo and they will use it to frame up little huts, make beaded necklaces, use as “sword.”, etc. The worst is it’s hollow which makes it perfect for BLOW GUNS.  Imagine getting that stuff on your lips….

I work at an environmental science college and can also confirm this.  This stuff is bad bad bad news.

To all you aspiring herbalists and just nature adventurers: please, pelase be careful

Giant Hogweed is very real, just always the note of caution that it resembles a bunch of normal plants, and some of the original scare posts conveniently omit the details like the giant size that are one of the big giveaways. There’s lots of other plants like Queen Anne’s Lace that look the same but are a lot smaller, so keep in mind the “human used for reference” pic above. The link below has full info plus a linked pdf of all the lookalikes.


Yeah, I just saw the burns, disgusting.

As an aspiring biologist, especially interested in poisonous plants and the like, DON’T TOUCH THIS PLANT! I often take very small cuttings from common species on hikes to study and classify, but I know which are irritants and which are not.
I suggest looking on these websites for a very BASIC knowledge of skin-irritant causing plants. This information is invaluable on hikes, while camping, traveling, gardening, etc. I consider these sources to be useful and very accurate:




The DNR just posted it’s in my state too, and as far as Illinois and Nebraska. Be safe sweeties!


Holy shit this is in MAINE? *shudder*

signal boosting, because this is such a dangerous plant.

*is off to investigate if this has been found in her town*




Deep Frog

do you think this is what lovecraft meant whenever he described something as being beyond description

I hate how Tumblr often posts shit like this without any way to follow back to the origin for context. Does anyone know how this thing was achieved?

After scrolling way too far back through notes to find some explanation:

Deep Dream frog

(A little context: Google’s surreal ‘DeepDream’ image algorithm goes viral)


the whole idea of “stay in school!!!!” is great and all but hard to hear when you’re someone who couldn’t stay in school

so here’s a post for every person who’s had to drop out of school. whether it was do to illness or money or just because you didn’t want to be there, you’re no less of a person for dropping out. you own your own life, and you’re just as important as people who were able to graduate 







I look after friends, and friend of friends kids a lot, and the personalities molded by the people around them is so… obvious. Kids who have parents who allow them to be themselves are, confident, out going, happy to talk about things they like, have no issue telling you “yes I’m happy with this” “no I’m bored”

But the kids whose parents/authority figures don’t support them? Scared to tell you what they like because they don’t want to be made fun of. Quiet, scared to form an opinion, if they don’t like something they just suffer through it because they don’t see their happiness as something important, as something anyone cares about.

And a lot of parents prefer it? They would rather have a quiet kid than a happy one. It’s so disgusting. Don’t even fucking have kids then. Get a pet rock, you’ll have more in common.

And a lot of parents who have kids who are afraid to form or express their opinions and emotions often tell their kids it’s ok for them to express how they feel, but the moment they do they’re guilt tripped, mocked, told their problems aren’t valid/important/a big deal, they tell other people without their kid’s permission, made fun of/told they’re childish, etc.

There’s a lot of that. Parents who want to know what their kids are thinking and feeling only to make the child more vulnerable to abuse, manipulation, humiliation.

There’s so many people who should never have children.

Sometimes my kids are on my last fucking nerve and I have to remind myself, “I WANT them to tell me if something is or isn’t okay, even if it’s the 500th time today that something small and random was upsetting – maybe they’re having a crappy day, and me telling them to knock it off wouldn’t help at all”.


Deuce and I have managed to raise a VERY self-aware, emotionally developed child.

Which means ALL DAMN DAY LONG, I’m hearing, “Mom, I’m so sad and mad and frustrated!!!!!!!!” or “I don’t like that, you’re making me feel upset!” Alllllllllll day.

“Yes, kiddo – I get that it’s frustrating that your Lego keeps falling apart but… y’know, Lego be like that sometimes. Maybe you gotta try a different way or try to figure out why that piece doesn’t fit.”

“Yeah, I KNOW it’s upsetting to be disciplined but you just threw your food across the room and that’s not acceptable. I AM NOT happy with you right now and you WILL receive a consequence for that action. I’m sorry that makes you upset but… y’know, consequences be like that sometimes. Next time, let’s try to remember a better way to react so that we can both feel happy instead of upset.”

It is exhausting. So many times, I’d much rather just say, “Enough! Just be quiet. Figure it out. Don’t make things worse.”

But he needs to know he’s safe to talk to me about things that don’t feel right/good. He needs to know it’s important to me that he is happy and comfortable. And, most importantly, he needs to learn how to acknowledge these feelings (oh boy! has he got the hang of that!) and healthy ways to deal with and work through them.

I am not a fan of the emotional outbursts at all. Sometimes I worry that I’m too impatient with them. But I’m lucky that I have a kid who can say what he feels, calm down, then find a solution in under 30 seconds every time he has an outburst. I hope, as he grows older and is less impulsive, the outburst portion will dissipate altogether.

I will NEVER make him feel bad or guilty or stupid or like a burden for any feeling he expresses to me.

I feel like there’s another nuance to this, and I saw it especially as I got older, where you have parents who are good at never directly mocking/judging their own kids (at least to their face) but they constantly judge and mock other kids and people in front of those same kids.

So, sure, your parent might swear they’ll support you no matter what you do, but if you’ve spent all of high school listening to that parent mock all the kids that wanted to participate in or study a particular thing, of course you’re not going to trust that they’re not secretly going to mock and judge you, too, if you wanted to do that thing.