Growing up in the woodland areas of the SouthCoast, I was always playing outside or in a cornfield. Going on hikes through the woods was a hobby of mine and I can't tell you how many times I've passed by this yellow plant without knowing what it is or what it can do.

It's called wild parsnip and although it's usually in rural areas such as Westport and Dartmouth, mostly in fields, there have been sightings in New Bedford, too. It's a raggedy weed that produces tiny yellow bunches of flowers at the top. It is however, not to be mistaken for cow parsnip, which produces white flowers.

"We have them wild in the area," said Brenden Buckless, Outreach and Stewardship Coordinator at the Westport Land Conservation Trust. "It's a bi-annual plant where the sap from the plant causes phytotoxic burns if exposed to the sun after skin contact."

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Buckless compared it to milkweed, which is irritating, but not poisonous.

"It's important to remember that when walking around wetland areas with sandals, you're more likely to come in contact with these irritating plants," Buckless said. "Take for example the stinging nettle plant: it's going to feel like a bee sting if you brush up against it. Like I alway say, 'leaves of three, let it be.'"

Also, be weary when bringing your dogs on hiking trails or even when you let them out in your wooded backyard; they can also transmit the oils and the sap from these plants on their coat, so it's key to wash your hands thoroughly. If by accident you rub or touch your eyes, blindness can come as a result, so be cautious.

"Don't let it discourage you from going outside," Buckless said. "The best thing you can do is to know the plants and your surroundings and to not be afraid of it. Westport Woods is a great and safe place for families who want a nice manicured area, so they can enjoy the outdoors without these irritating plants."

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

Welcome to the Jungle: Meet Kari's House Plants

I may not have any kids or even any pets, so my plants are my babies. I'm certainly learning as I go, and as you'll see, some of them struggle from time to time, but with my boyfriend's blessing, I'm slowly turning our apartment into a green oasis. Keep in mind that I only name the real guys and gals that you're about to meet, but that I also have a handful of fake plants scattered around our apartment to liven up the place.