A cautionary tale.
So, we’re out there digging and clearing, and R digs up these little white flowers, which, when they pop out of the ground, look just like wild onions! We dig up 3 little onions, admiring the fact that our land is already producing food, and take them across the street to the neighbors (always best to get a 2nd opinion). “Cool! Wild onions!” they say. Seriously, they look like and peel just like onions. They didn’t have the smell though… that’s where we went wrong.
So that night R and I are celebrating camping out, cooking a big pot of soup (complete with our newly found onions), drinking a little whiskey and tequila, sitting by the campfire, enjoying our trees. The creamy potato soup we made was delicious: zucchini, asparagus, garlic, onions. Almost immediately after we got done eating, I felt weird. Not sick, just… weird. I thought maybe it was the combination of already being sick (fighting a cold), with a bit of whiskey, and lack of sleep. I decided I needed to lay down. So we curled up in the tent with Loki and passed out.
I have no idea how long I was asleep before I was AWAKE and not feeling well. I left the tent and wandered aways away, so I wouldn’t get sick right next to where we were sleeping, and puked up dinner. Over and over. I got really dizzy and my eyesight went blurry at one point, so I decided it would be best to be near R instead of off in the woods somewhere. I stumbled back to the tent and continued being violently ill for who-knows-how-long. It sounded like there was a very angry wild cat in my gut, making noises that I didn’t know my body could make. It was freezing cold, I was hyperventilating, shaking, and wondering silently if I should go to the hospital and that those could not have been onions.
When my sick-fest ended, I crawled back into the tent in the fetal position and moaned and coughed for only a few minutes until R was suddenly up and throwing himself out of the tent. He just barely made it outside when his sick-fest began. We didn’t say it out loud to each other until the next morning, but we were apparently both thinking that maybe we should go to a hospital (and we both severely dislike doctors and hospitals). R was thinking of at least taking us to a warm bathroom somewhere to be sick in.
Morning came; we’re alive, weak, and tired. We drove into town for breakfast. We both managed to keep some food in our bellies, and I started googling on my phone to figure out WTF we ate. A bit of research revealed that we mistook wild onions for a plant called Death Camas. Yes, we ate a plant with the word death in it. I’ll let you do your own reading up on the plant if you so desire, but the point is, it’s extremely poisonous and thank goodness we didn’t eat very much of it.
When we got back to Sugar Mountain after breakfast, we immediately went to go warn the neighbors, then we spent most of that day recovering. Drinking lots of water and sleeping. It took a few days for all of my residual symptoms to go away, and it took R a bit longer (I think that’s because it was in his system longer; I got sick almost immediately). So this was the big reason we didn’t get much accomplished during our first long weekend on our land. And while yes, that sucks, and we’re kinda dumb, we learned. Now we know what those things are so we can get rid of them.
I mean, both of us have worked in the woods before, we should’ve known better. As my brother told me right after this experience, “Mother Nature won that round, bud.”