Recently we asked our Facebook friends and Twitter followers to tell us their worst nature experiences. While a few got political (Kristine Downing Watching BP poison the Gulf of Mexico) most stuck to personal experiences of rashes, wild animals, insect bites, snake scares, skunked dogs and, of course, memorable peeing experiences, which emerged as a sub-genre all its own. Here are our favorites, which best expressed an unenviable nature experience with haiku-like grace. (Note: A few Facebook replies exceed the Twitter standard of 140 characters, but if they were succinct, we've included them here. And, we corrected a few tiny typos only where they would confuse the meaning of the story; otherwise they appear in all their raw glory.)
Jeff Flowers When I was about thirteen, I had a jelly fish swim up my swim shorts once. Needless to say, it got a very sensitive area... But that's not the worst part, my mom insisted on putting meat tenderizer on the "affected area." Ah, memories.
Jim Cripps Tree branch whacked me in the eye; it took hours for medical attention. 'Doc' used X-Acto knife to take the splinters out of my eyeball.
Teresa Schoellkopf Trying to find the dock at night - in thick fog - at Chilhowee Dam. Used the key alarm on the pickup! Ta Da!
Jeff Yeager Coyotes peeing on my tent. Me peeing on a rattlesnake in the dark. My brother peeing in the tent (he thought the zipper was open). Anyone want to go camping with me?
Carol Wells Saw praying mantis on hummingbird feeder & thought "great nature pic!" Returned w/camera & mantis had caught hummingbird. And was eating it.
Dawn Manning Henrichon Had a coyote stalking me in Little Yosemite Valley. He could smell potential death from exhaustion. Followed me for quite awhile. Ha. I didn't die.
@chassitymahaska a snake dropped in from a tree overhead while i was riding in a canoe. please believe, i abandoned ship immediately. SOS!
Aimee Jackson chiggers on my nether region from peeing in the woods
Jen Hayward Benzal Tick-bite fever in SA, tick somewhere you do NOT want a tick.
Karen Blake ALL 3 DOGS on rio grande outside Taos, getting skunked on a month long camping trip. (about midway) and barreling into the tent. Let me tell you, shopping the next day in Taos was a breeze. Every store cleared a path....LOL!!!!
@rxcupcake My worst nature experience happened when I was about 12. Had to pee on the side of the road and mosquitoes attacked my butt!
@ReadyOnTheSET Walking over a log that housed a beehive...had bee stings EVERYWHERE!
Elizabeth Sweetman Canoeing Plum Island against the tide, horrific supercell blast. Trapped! Abandoned boat, ran/swam for safety under bridge, barely made it.
Kerry Armour A very large very unhappy rattle snake right where I stopped to pee! Didn't even see him in the dead grasses he blended so well. I managed not to have a VERY embarrassing snake bite!
Bethany Blevins Night 'turtle walk' in Belize, got swarmed by mosquitos, jogged 2 miles back only to find my ankles swollen into cankles with some nasty lesion-looking welts
@glasswalker a full grown male bison charging my Focus was the worst nature experience of mine.
Lea Cox riding out numerous hurricanes and tropical storms while stationed on a ship homeported in Mayport, FL. Thank the good lord I have never been seasick!
@SushiGirl_1223: Getting food poisoning overnight while sleeping in a tent on the banks of the Potomac River on a 2 day fishing trip. Ugh!
Sean McKernan Caught in a car mere yards from the path of a rain-wrapped tornado - the front-end of the fully-occupied vehicle ('84 Buick Regal) was lifting up higher than 45 degrees and slamming back down on the road, while the hail seemed determined to break the windshield...
@AshLilee Trying to capture wild kitten, dove in to briar patch. Cut up arms, face, legs, chest & got poison ivy that lasted 2 weeks.
Nina Michaela Villamar Siquijor Island, Philippines: Fiesta Time, early morning while I was just getting to know the beach front, I saw local folks busy at the beach. As I came closer, I saw the water turn red and brown from washing pig innards in the water. I was so disgusted and terrified at the same time. I was not able to swim the waters for the whole duration of my trip.
Natalie Guiglio Laatz Years ago having our tent surrounded by wild boars during the night and trying to get in it, in the great smokey mts. of Tenn.
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