Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why This Photo Is Creeping Me Out

Looks like a pleasant enough photo...a nice sturdy tree...some nice spring time greenery. Our tent was situated just to the left of it. We wanted to be near some trees so during the day if we wanted to take a little nap in the tent, it would be nice and cool and shady.

Here is a closer look at the pretty leaves on that tree.

Some pretty green leaves...a touch of red...uh oh. How many leaves are there? Three? Hmmm - "leaves of three let them be."

Here is a close up view of the large ivy climbing up the tree in the first photo...

It sure is hairy and rooty looking - very unusual. Hmmm "Only a dope would swing on a hairy rope." "Hairy vine - no friend of mine."

So why am I creeped out about these photos? Because they appear to be poison ivy. And we camped next to it. And later found some on the ground around the tent where we walked in sandals and bare feet. But the worst part is this.

I used that tree to dry my towels on. There was a low "branch" sticking out and I thought I'd dry my towels like the pioneers and just "hang" them on a branch. I did this for a few days. Towels that we then used to dry ourselves off with after we went swimming or showered.

It wasn't until today that my dh happened to see his towel hanging there and had the wherewithal that I was lacking, and inquired as to what type of vine was growing on the tree.

Now I was hesitant to hang the towels on the tree b/c you know, there are ticks out there! And I was worried that I might hang my towel on a branch covered in ticks and then end up getting covered in ticks. Or at least getting one or two ticks.

Soooooo - now that I am back in civilization and have access to the internet, I have been looking for info. and photos on our friend Ivy.

I am hoping and praying, that my family falls into the category of the 50% or so of folks that are NOT allergic to poison ivy. Only my dh has had it before...and I'm thinking his towels was only on the "branch" today and he did not use it.

So needless to say I am very creeped out!

I showed my dd the tree and said "does this look like poison ivy?" She's only 8 - but she's smarter than me, retains a lot of what she reads and sees and knows a lot of "facts". "No." she said, relieving me for a moment. It has 3 leaves but it doesn't have a red stem (I did find some with red stems later). "But" she continued "I did see some poison ivy over there", and points off to another area she had been wandering around in.

So if you are a poison ivy "expert" - and you don't think this is poison ivy - I'd be glad to hear about it. If you are an expert and have a personal horror story of poison ivy - I DON'T want to hear it. At least not until we are out of the proverbial woods.

I beg to differ with the following information I found:

"For those who are allergic to the plant, its benefits are often overlooked. Poison ivy is an early colonizer, often taking hold in the scars we leave and beginning the slow process of rebuilding the landscape. The plant requires very little nourishment or moisture (less than 10 inches yearly). It is virtually pest free, the roots provide erosion control, and it attracts and sustains wildlife. Though no poison ivy occurs in England, it was imported for its fall color. It was subsequently introduced into Australia and New Zealand where the plants act as a garden backdrop."


Heather said...

Yeah, looks like poison Ivy. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Was the middle leaf longer than the other two ? If so, it's poison ivy !