Lucy came in screaming yesterday that the handrail had hurt her hand. I looked on her hand and didn't see anything so went outside to check the accused handrail. Nothing there but looked up and saw this:
The paper wasps, back at one of their favorite spots. Luckily we've got two good bee sting remedies all over our yard and I bet you have one of them, too. First up, plantain.
If you don't use chemicals on your yard you probably have plenty of this growing there or coming up through driveway and sidewalk cracks. It is most easily recognizable for the long single stalks coming up from it. Grab a couple leaves and chew them up in your mouth (bitter!) then stick the wad on the bee sting. Plantain is good at drawing out the stinger and also provides pain relief. Plantain is also good on itchy bug bites.
Next up, jewelweed.
Basically everything in front of Lucy is jewelweed. Jewelweed has hollow stems and at this time of year has pretty little yellowish/orangish flowers that look a bit like orchids to me.
If you think you've found jewelweed, the easiest way to confirm it is to mash a leaf up between your fingers. It should get slimy. Jewelweed is also good for other bug bites, poison ivy and nettle sting. Conveniently it usually grows right near nettles. For bee sting you just mash a few leaves in your hand until they are nice and slimy and put it on the sting.