Poison Ivy

Today’s Xkcd hits a bit close to home for me.

Xkcd for June 6/30/08

One of my fun surprises when I moved to Atlanta was just how big poison ivy can grow around here. A tip: if you’re hiking in Georgia, don’t lean against the four-inch-thick hairy vine that’s growing up the side of a tree. For that matter, don’t lean against the hairy vine no matter how thick. Where I lived in New Hampshire, poison ivy was always a ground plant, growing in small clumps or bushes, so I got me an edumacation the first time I had to go to the doctor for a steroid shot.

Now I hear that increased CO2 concentrations can lead to explosive growth of our hairy-stemmed poisonous friend. Anecdotally, I can attest that I have a ton of poison ivy growing in my yard this year. It wasn’t there previously; this is new growth going to town with a vengeance. We’ve been forced to bring out the nuclear weapons (Roundup™).

So, watch out hiking in Georgia; if you’re working with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, always always always wear long pants.

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3 Responses to Poison Ivy

  1. zerj says:

    We have at least a 2 inch think vine in our backyard here in MA. Roundup and for good measure I sawed off a 2 inch chuck near the base of the tree.

    Our nasty trip to get a steriod shot came from us trying to dig up some ground to plant a row of blueberry bushes in early spring. The ground was loaded with Poison Ivy roots from dormant plants.

  2. Bill says:

    Zerj: We know a person (from Texas Tech) who was slash/burning some property of his and ended up inhaling smoke from incinerating poison ivy plants. It has apparently caused some serious long term health issues.

    I don’t like poison ivy. I used to not be allergic to it when I was a boy scout rambling around NH. Now if I even look at it I itch for days, plus if I get into it more than a little I become an oozing welt anatomy lesson. Yuck.

  3. Annie says:

    Our yard isn’t too bad this year – but that’s because Mike has been militant about spraying the stuff down for the last 6 years. We do have it popping up in a few new places. But we went hiking by the river the other day and the leaves were the size of salad plates.

    I, too, never got poison ivy until a few years ago. In fact, I was so immune that I had never bothered to learn to identify it. That quickly changed after a simple afternoon of yard work lead to a nice itchy rash across my face (from brushing hair & sweat back).

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