I was out surveying my neighbor's kingdom on my trusty steed today.
As I cruised the trails, I found myself trying to minimize any possible contact with any greenery around me. Most of it was poison ivy or poison oak. Yuk.
You see, I'm fighting a war. Poison Ivy is the enemy.
My husband might say I'm paranoid. I say I have reason to be. Early in our marriage, I had an unfortunate run-in with a bunch of poison ivy roots in my flower garden. Being pretty ignorant of poison ivy in general, and not aware that the roots (even at the end of winter, before they've sprouted anything green to know what is what) are just as noxious as the weeds. I vigorously pulled up dead matter and roots with my bare hands. Lo, and Behold, I ended up with poison ivy completely covering my hands and forearms (and various other secondary contact areas, including my husband). My fingers swelled such that I couldn't bend them. Jude had to wash my hair for me, because they hurt and I couldn't use them, anyway. It took 3 weeks to get back to functional, and several more for the sores to go away. Needless to say, I have been wary of it since then.
There is LOTS of poison ivy in the land around my house. It grows like trees. In some fields, almost all the leafy greenery you see is poison ivy.
This is the extent of my paranoia:
I don't touch the neighbor dogs or cats. I could get it from their fur!
I (the anti-chemical gal) purchased some Roundup for poison ivy. Yes, an herbicide. And I sprayed it generously all around the huge patch growing right against the house and our outbuildings. I have been considering spreading the love to other areas that infringe upon my personal comfort zone - like the stuff growing along the edge of my yard and around my trees.
I have seriously contemplated purchasing goats for the sole purpose of eating the poison ivy. Unfortunately, the nature of goats is to eat everything else, too. And I'd have to get a whole herd for the quantity of ivy around here.
Clothing that might have come in contact with poison ivy, or touched something that might have touched poison ivy, is treated like harzzardous material.
Sometimes, I feel like I need to wear the white hazmat suit just to step into the woods.