We often refer to things about the environment as “Mother Nature.” The word mother conjures up many nice things that our mothers are doing or did for us. In many ways nature provides for us, but Mother Nature also has a different side. She sometimes uses things against us. Some things are so small that we can’t see them and other things are huge.

There are things like viruses and bacteria that make us sick though we can’t even see them. They can reach us through the air or from bites by ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. Plants also can be dangerous. Some plants don’t kill us but can sure make us miserable: poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac.

Some things that are made from plants have been devastating to humankind. We are all familiar with the opioids made from poppies. Other plants don’t kill us outright but do so slowly, like tobacco. I don’t know whether it is the nicotine that gets you or just that fact that you are taking smoke into your lungs; maybe both.

Then there are the big things. We have hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes and sometimes just strong winds; all are part of “Mother Nature.”

We try to deal with whatever she brings. Then there is that disease called “O—L—D”. “Mother Nature” creeps up on us and before we know it we are “old.”