Spring is a wonderful time of year. The trees wake up from their winter’s slumber and leaves open spreading a canopy of shade. Flowers parade their colors as boldly as the peacock displays its feathers. Gardeners till the soil and begin the planting for summer harvests. All the splendors of nature come forth in a burst of newness. But, alas, along side of this wonder there lurks those sneaky villains of itch. Among the emerging beauty quietly grows plants that show very little mercy to its victims: the dreaded poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac.
Unfortunately, I have had some pretty bad reactions from exposure to the stuff. Over the years, I have learned to avoid it as best I could limiting the number of times I have had it. ‘Leaves of three, leave them be’ has been my outdoors motto forever. I avoid anything with three leaves just to be safe. When I was about 9 or 10, in the middle of winter in New England, I had a severe case of poison ivy on my face that caused my eyes to swell nearly shut and required medical attention. To this day I have no idea how I had come in contact with it. Shortly after moving down here and while clearing overgrowth from the front of our home, I was introduced to the other poisonous plants. Luckily the rashes were contained to my arms. My son has apparently inherited my sensitivity and has been dealing with rashes on his arms and legs off and on for about a month now. It had a few years since I’ve contacted the itchy rascal, but my luck has run out. After working in the garden Friday and finding poison ivy growing nearby, we carefully disposed of the plant. I never came in contact with it, but I woke up about 4:00 Sunday morning with my neck itching like the dickens. Somehow I’ve got it. So, I’ve applied the tried and true Calamine lotion and praying that this will be the end of it. I have been trying to keep Sundays as a day of rest, but yesterday I had to wash everything to be sure the oils did not linger anywhere. I am thinking however, that I may have got it from Willow. We have never had an outdoor cat before and I know she gets into everything. It may be on her and she is sharing it with us. Maybe she’ll need a scrubbing too?
Luckily, pink is my color. At least it is this week.
If you would like more information about poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac, check out these sites.