Written and images on this blog are Judie Ryan's sole property unless otherwise indicated.

Monday, September 18, 2017


No, not the supervillain of DC Comics fame. The beautiful fall red leaf that attracts many an unknowing hiker. I'll never forget the FALL HIKE WITH A PARK RANGER FOR TODDLERS I took when Julia was about 18 months. We were going to go on a fall walk and pick leaves to make a wreath, all under the supervision of a park ranger. Lots of parents and kids came and we all followed the ranger down the dirt path into the colorful woods. Now, I grew up about half my childhood on my grandmother's farm  We hiked all the time. I knew that poison ivy was the most beautiful and colorful leaf in the forest, but as evil as Batman's sometimes nemesis, Poison Ivy.

As every child and parent was drawn to its lovely color to pick for their fall wreaths, I waited for the ranger to point out the dangerous plant. She didn't, and I have no idea what would have happened if I hadn't called out to the ranger and said, "Don't you think you should teach them about poison ivy?"
She finally showed them what it looked like and told them not to touch it.

This is how poison ivy can look, all over your body. Close up and
far away on your legs.

 Not only does it itch like crazy, it's contagious. Look at the up close picture. See the watery raindrop-looking spots, if they pop and you get the juice on you, you will get poison ivy. I had a friend who didn't know much about poison ivy. So when she got some on her hands while gardening, she thought nothing of it. When she went to a square dance. Her first allemande left, broke the blisters on her hands. By the time she'd "right and left granded" she'd give everyone in her square, including her boyfriend, poison ivy and they didn't even know it until later. After every square had switched partners multiple times, you can guess what happened. More later.

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