Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Poison Control

Do you recognize this plant?

Yes, it's the time of year when this obnoxious weed invades my yard. Leaves be three, leave it be, they say. Yeah, well good luck with that, unless you intend to spend the next four months indoors. In my little corner of paradise, poison ivy grows everywhere.

It's pretty easy to spot twining up the trunk of a Japanese cherry tree.

It's not as easy to see in the grass.

And here it cleverly hides among cute, inoffensive English ivy.

Every year I get out the sprays to rid my piece of ground of this itch-inducing plant. I'd rather not resort to chemicals, but there are few alternatives to ridding oneself of a plant that can't be touched. Did you know that a person can get a poison ivy rash without even touching the plant? All you need is to come into contact with something (gloves, shoes, clothing, pets) that brushed against the leaves. (This actually happened to one of my aunts, who got a reaction from washing her husband's blue jeans. Sounds like as good an excuse to avoid the laundry room as any.)

But here's the worst part. No matter how much I fight the creepy creeper, it always comes back the next year. Just when I think I've won, it invades from another direction.

As I had the spray out for the third time this year, I realized it's a lot like the sin in my life. I fight it constantly, but every time I think I have it under control, I find it growing in another spot. Like poison ivy, this is a battle I will fight for my entire life. Fortunately, I don't fight alone as there is one who gives me the ultimate victory.

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one

    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.
    -- Psalm 32:1-5 (NIV)


  1. Half of the trouble is recognizing it, right? Poison ivy, and sin!
    May you be itch free this year...

    1. Well, as to being itch-free, I had out the bug bite stuff last night and was slathering it on my arms. (I was picking blackberries and raspberries yesterday. Guess I didn't go heavy enough on the bug repellent beforehand.)

      But as to poison ivy, did you know about 15% of the population isn't sensitive to it? I seem to either be in that 15%, or I get extremely mild reactions. (A couple times I thought I might have gotten poison ivy based on the way the bumps look, but I never had more than 3 or so. Unlike my dh, who even went to the doctor on one occasion when he had it especially bad. There's a reason I'm the one assigned to get rid of the stuff!)

      My grandmother didn't get a poison ivy rash. She could wade through it and it didn't bother her. Until the day she developed a sensitivity to it and got the worst case you've seen.

  2. Great post! It's so easy to let things just creep up a little at a time until you're so enmeshed you can't get out.

    Thank God, His mercies are new every morning.

    1. It's easy to let the little things slide -- until the day you wake up and realize you now have a big problem.

  3. Thanks CJ. I'm so glad you showed a variety of pics.

    I've never been in contact with poison ivy but up here we're nearing the end of tick season. It started earlier this year with 10 times more ticks - grass and wood - possibly because of our mild, snowless winter?

    Anyway, if Nelson comes in with a tick it will drop off him and gravitate to me on sight. I'm petrified of them and haven't been out much this year.

    We had Stinging Nettle in our garden when we lived in Alberta. I didn't now what it was and grabbed a handful while weeding. Ugh. Will never do that again.


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