Tuesday Newsday – Recognizing Poison Ivy (Cuz It’s Everywhere)

August 31st, 2010

We went camping this past weekend. Captain’s chairs, tent, hot dogs, marshmallows…and yes, wine (as noted by the photographic evidence above).

One other thing we expected but didn’t welcome–poison ivy. No one got it (a miracle in and of itself), but there were plenty of opportunities. But you expect that on hikes through the woods.

I’ve never gotten it myself (I might be in the 15%  immune, but I’m not going to tempt fate). My dad has the worst reaction to it. Oozy, puffy, swollen. OK, enough. Ick.

These days there’s more of this nasty itch-inducing plant and in the most unlikely places. Poison ivy has recently been found in cities, major ones like Manhattan, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston.

Even though the leaves will turn red or orange in the fall, they’ll still be  poisonous even after falling from the plant, so knowing how to spot it knows no season. I love the fantastic graphic on the left column of this article for a breakdown of quick facts about poison ivy, like what to do if you touch it (within an hour, rinse with lots of cold water and wipe exposed areas with alcohol), and the misconception that poison ivy leaves are always shiny. They’re often dull. Who was the PR person for that rumor? Excellent job. Bravo.

An unusually moist spring and a hot summer have conspired to produce a particularly abundant crop of poison ivy this year, leaving more Massachusetts residents than usual scratching their skin raw.

Scientists believe the plant might also be gaining in potency because, especially in cities, it is thriving on increasing carbon dioxide levels, partly the result of burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests.

Landscapers in the region have reported an increase in house calls about poison ivy, whose clear, liquid oil causes telltale streaks of red skin, rashes, and blisters.

“It’s everywhere. It’s out in force,’’ said William Bartlett of Bethlehem, Conn., who has removed poison ivy for more than 30 years around Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. “I usually don’t get busy until the beginning of June. I was busy since the 10th of April this year.’’ Read more…

Have you ever had poison ivy?

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2 Responses to “Tuesday Newsday – Recognizing Poison Ivy (Cuz It’s Everywhere)”

  1. Glamamom says:

    Thankfully no! Looks like a lovely trip!

  2. Cheryl says:

    It was a fantastic trip. Except for my waking up at 4am convinced I heard a bear. Which of course, I did not. :)

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