Category Archives: poison ivy

Run in With Poison Ivy

Poison ivy produces urushiol to protect the pl...

Poison ivy produces urushiol to protect the plant from herbivores. In humans this chemical produces an allergic skin rash, known as urushiol-induced contact dermatitis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I think I did it now, I believe I touched a bunch of poison ivy. I was in the process of mowing my back lawn, which hasn’t been done in a while. The majority of the lawn is weeds, more than have been there in the past, possibly because of the unseasonably hot weather we had this year.

There is some grass in the yard, but mostly violets. There is a new week which I hope to kill soon using white vinegar, if I ever remember to buy some at the store. I’ve used white vinegar on weeds before, and it works great.

In one section of the lawn I noticed an odd looking plant I’d not seen before. It was like a vine growing there. I try not to mow down anything I don’t want to get stronger, as many things will do, so I bypassed it as I made my sweeps around the yard. Finally, it got to the point where I needed to dig out the thick grass that eventually sticks to the bottom of the mower-from not mowing often enough. After I took care of that job, I checked out the vines. While pulling on them, I noticed that they pulled easily, traipsing their way through my lawn. I pulled out about five to ten vines before I got to wondering whether they might actually be poison ivy.

Years ago, in about the early eighties I had a run in with poison sumac, although I didn’t know it until the symptoms began to show up on my legs. It gave me two huge water blisters on the front of my thighs. I think they were about the size of a baseball. The hardest part about it was as I walked the liquid in the blister bounced along, nothing comfortable in that. When the poison sumac ‘bit’ me, I never saw before-hand what the leaves looked like.

Tonight, I set the vines on an old swing we have in the back yard that  no one uses, and immediately came into the house, after putting the mower into the garage. I took off my watch and glasses and thoroughly washed my arms and right eye, which I had rubbed before realizing what it was I was touching.

I’m hoping I was able to wash off all the plant oils before they embed themselves into my skin.

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