Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hairy vine, no friend of mine.

Wish I learned that one when I was a kid.

We have both been blessed with a lack of immunity to urushiol, the irritatingly itchy oil of poison ivy. Jason got the first case back on the first of March. There were no "leaves of three" to indicate to him that the vine he was whacking with the axe in order to clear a path for our deer fence should be avoided. In fact, there were no leaves anywhere because it was still winter.

So a tree expert alerted us to the fact that this perennial weed takes many forms. Fine. That hairy vine climbing up the wild cherry tree at the NE corner of our garden is off limits. Easy...

... if only. I got a case from cleaning up some rocks that must have touched that very hairy vine. Then I got another case while I was clearing a spot in the middle of our field to plant our perennial horseradish roots.

And finally today, after two days in a row of sunny, warm weather, the leaves of this persistent plant have shown face. Shiny, red, mini ones... climbing up the door of our tool shed, lurking next to our sunflower plot, and I even weeded one out of our arugula rows.

But we're in this for the long haul. We'll have to learn to live with this species, because it won't go away, no matter how deep you dig.

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