feeling the burn

I don't know about you, but I didn't grow up with nettles. Poison ivy, yes, but not this stinging, sprawling, sneaky bastard of a plant. The thing about nettles is that try as you might to avoid them, they trick you. You're innocently entangled in the raspberries, surprise, your entire arm has just bumped up against one or twelve of these plants that seem almost indecipherable from the surrounding vegetation. Collecting clover for the rabbits and you accidentally grab onto a nettle plant and your hands and wrists are aflame with their telltale welts. Or maybe you're cuddling with a gentle beast of a ewe and lo, she's been sleeping in them so now you have the nettle burn on your neck. It never ends.
And you know what? It really f$&?!% hurts.
The silver lining is that unlike poison ivy, it doesn't spread and it fades relatively quickly. I also continue to be enlightened on its many other uses and supposed health benefits. We're talking nettle soup, nettle tea, nettle dye, nettle bread.... it goes on. I have dabbled in all of the above but cannot count myself amongst the converted.
For all that I will miss when I must make my (all too soon) return to the states, these gnarly nettles will most certainly not make the list.
Goodbye and good riddance. May your burn not long linger.