Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The song birds really loved flitting through the dried poison-oak. I couldn't tell what they were or if they were picking at the seeds. Since I don't carry binoculars with me on hikes (sheesh, I can barely tolerate carrying my point-and-shoot), I wasn't about to get closer for a better look.

For anyone who enjoys outdoor activities in California, it's a good idea to learn to recognize poison-oak throughout its many seasonal variations. Click my previous poison-oak posts for more pictures and information. Even the bare winter twigs can cause a rash in many people. And as my husband learned the hard way, animals that run through the brush can collect the rash-inducing oil on their coats. He helped a lost dog named Lola on December 8, 2010 and even now still has poison-oak rash scars. While I love dogs, especially ones that don't jump on me and knock me over, I will go to great lengths to avoid touching any dogs I meet on trails.

ps - I'm starting to use an alternative common naming convention for plants, where if the last noun is not the actual thing, then I hyphenate. Pacific poison-oak is not a true oak, like coast Douglas-fir is not a true fir. I've also seen poisonoak as one word. To read my rant on common naming conventions, see my bat star post. If anyone has any thoughts on this, I'd love to hear from you.

4 comments:

texwisgirl said...

I think for me the dried vines are even more dreadful for poison ivy here than the greened up versions. :)

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Ha! Pure unadulterated evil here, but only because Mr. Curbstone breaks out in a rash within about 50 feet of this stuff. It actually doesn't bother me (yet). However, that said, it's a fantastic habitat plant. As such, we've only eradicated it in the orchard proper, the rest of the property we let it run amok, but only I venture there unguarded.

Susan said...

We have poison oak and ivy here...and luckily, I'm not affected. Not so luckily my neighbour is...even wood smoke if someone is burning wood with ivy wrapped around it carries the oils, and when that lands on his skin, can cause an eruption. It's a wild world out there!

Nature ID (Katie) said...

twg, do you ever get poison ivy from your dogs?

Clare, Mr. Curbstone sounds like my Mr. He already has another rash outbreak. Of course, it doesn't help that he trail runs all the time.

Susan, that's very interesting that burning it can also carry the oils.