From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Poison Ivy

"Leaves of three, let it be."


"Leaves of three, let it be."

I have a small patch of itchy welts between two fingers of my left hand. It looks and feels a lot like poison ivy, so I washed it with Isaac's special poison ivy soap and put some calomine lotion on it. If it is poison ivy, I probably had second-hand contact through the cats or possibly the firewood.

My mom was very sensitive to poison ivy. My sister Charlotte breaks out terribly from it, and Isaac is very allergic to it also. So is Dennis. Keely has had it several times, but I don't think she is as sensitive as Isaac.

I wasn't allergic to poison ivy at all during my younger days but I exposed myself to it too many times, and now the allergy has developed. I remember wading knee-deep in poison ivy to go fishing and not even breaking out. I wouldn't dream of doing that now!

Poison ivy should be one of Kentucky's state symbols. It's everywhere, in both plant and vine forms. One way it spreads is that birds eat poison ivy berries and deposit the seeds everywhere. It's a very beneficial plant for wildlife, including small to large mammals as well as birds. It's odd that it's so poisonous to humans.

I read once that birds will plant a friendly habitat for themselves in your yard, if you will let them. The article said to identify the area and stop mowing it. Then, put up some wires in the area for birds to perch on. In a few years, many seeds in the bird droppings will sprout and grow, and the birds will soon have all their favorite foods growing right in your yard. The article mentioned that poison ivy would probably be one of the plants that springs up.

This spring, I'm going to try to kill some of the vines that have sprung up around the trunks of our trees. I'm going to sever the vines from their roots and then paint Roundup on the stumps with a paint brush. I will leave the vines on the trees so I don't have to handle the evil weed anymore than necessary. I hope they will die after they are separated from their roots.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.