For the most part, it's everyone's favorite season. It seems that we all are a little happier, spending more time outdoors and enjoying the warm weather.

With the summer months comes a variety of fun things to do while outdoors. We can enjoy all of the local lakes and bodies of water in our area, walk, bike, or hike along trails and even explore places that we haven't had the chance to see before.

There are always fun and new things to do in the Hudson Valley. I enjoy being outdoors in mother nature and visiting new locations. While outdoors, I tend to see plants, flowers, greenery, and wildlife. 

However, it's a good reminder to be mindful of what you touch while outdoors.

From picking fruit to planting flowers and laying in the grass, the warmer months are simply the best. However, there are also things that Hudson Valley residents should be aware of.

This invasive plant that causes burns has been spotted in the Hudson Valley.

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Hudson Valley residents should be knowledgeable about this plant, what it looks like, and what to do if they have touched it. You may have it right in your backyard or may have seen it before. I saw this plant many times and never knew about it.

Giant hogweed is known to be throughout New York State. Since the early 1900s, this weed has been spreading.

Why is giant hogweed considered dangerous?

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This plant has a chemical that can be toxic, known as Heracleum mantegazzianum.

What should you do if you see this plant?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the sap is most toxic when the plant begins to flower in early summer. However, it's recommended to leave it where it is and to not touch it. For the most part, this plant can be found near damp soil such as streams and ditches. It's important to have your eye out for it regardless.

Lastly, take a picture and make a note of the location. Report it to the DEC which can be done by email or by phone. There's a Giant Hogweed Information Line which is 845 256 3111.

What happens if someone touches giant hogweed?

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Everyone has different reactions but some may experience severe burns and or blisters and permanent scarring. It is recommended to see a doctor if this appears. However, the NYS DEC recommends cleaning the area with soap and water and ultimately covering the spot for 48 hours. This plant can actually grow to 7-14 feet (in height) and can produce around 20,000 seeds.

Have you ever spotted it before in the Hudson Valley? Have you seen this plant in New York State? Let us know below.

* Be sure to share with those who have kids, friends who are outside a lot, and people who have pets.*

Nature Is Calling! And You Can Answer at Any of These 10 Great New York Parks

Now that warmer weather is here, we encourage you to start thinking about visiting some of New York's great parks. Here are ten parks, some are smaller and a bit off the grid, that we think you should consider for a summer of 2022 visit!

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Welcome to some of the best Nature Trails, Historical Landmarks, and all-around great views right here in the Hudson Valley!

The Valley is filled to the brim with amazing places you can go right now, so what are you waiting for?