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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