Vines on the Pines or Name Your Poison, Ivy




                              This is poison ivy





         This is shinola.



Knowing the difference between the two will prevent you from saying “Shit, I caught poison ivy”.



This is also Poison Ivy, from the Batman comics. Rubbing up against a girl dressed like this at Comic-Con will probably cause a rash…followed by a severe beating from her steroid enhanced boyfriend. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait until next year to attempt that fantasy, so let’s move on…



DSC_0315 When I learned we were moving to the area known as “The Ivy League” I had no idea it referred to the flora and fauna right outside the back door. Between the tranquil, meandering North River and our new house is a botanical minefield of deadly Toxicodendron radicans. My introduction to the fun of poison ivy was in New Jersey. I was working in the yard and there was a little vine growing up a tree…I pulled the vine off and threw it in the trash.

Later, Amy brought out a refreshing glass of lemonade for me and I hugged her as thanks.

She immediately broke out in a rash.

I seem to be somewhat tolerant – she is not. So now I must look at P.I. eradication techniques if I ever want to get her out of the house.

The neighbor told me that if you get a goat it will eat poison ivy. Much like teenage boys, goats have special enzymes in their guts that allow them to eat plants that are poisonous to other animals.  This seems like a great idea until I found out goats will also eat Christmas trees. The thought of marauding bands of goats breaking into houses in December and destroying the holidays like “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation III” is making me rethink that idea.

There is a whole bunch of spray solutions I discovered.

  • A solution of Vinegar and oil…I’m not sure how making the backyard smell like Italian dressing is suppose to work.
  • Another suggested mixing 1 gallon of water and 3 (yes, three) pounds of salt to spray the vines. I believe this is the exact formula the Egyptians used to preserve mummies.
  • The Gin solution – Mix 1 oz gin, 1 oz apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon baby shampoo, 1 quart water. I’m thinking by leaving out the soap and water, one could drink it yourself and not worry about the poison ivy.
  • Take a tea kettle full of boiling water and slowly drizzle on the very base of the plant.  This might take a few applications over a few days, but will eventually do the trick. This method is for people who garden in their bathrobes.

For the brutally macho it is suggested one wades into this field of infection and manfully tear it out by the roots. In the comments section of that blog there were 273 suggestions on how to treat severe poison ivy rash.

From one of the tree-hugger sites I learned that poison ivy is a” native plant of great wildlife value. Humans are the only known creature allergic to poison ivy. If it is not growing in an area where people walk, let it be.” I’d like to invite these folks to a picnic in my backyard…

So the obvious answer for me is to blast away with a sprayer full of Round Up and Agent Orange.

Ya know what? there isn’t too much funny or interesting about spraying plants.

So to end this piece with a semblance of order I present two of the most baffling signs in Massachusetts.



I desperately want to know what you have to heave out of the Lexus to get nailed for 10 grand. Are we talking dead bodies or radio-isotopes?

In either case Whitey Bulger and Homer Simpson better watch their ass.






This, on the other hand completely defies explanation.





So as the sun gently sets on the slowly dying Toxicodendron radicans we end this adventure with the hazards of the Ivy League.  Boola Boola

Join us again for our next episode

Long goodbye

Day 79 no Aloha Shirt sightings


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