"The poisonous weed, being in shape but little different from our English ivie; but being touched causeth redness, itchings, and lastly blysters, the which howsoever, after a while they pass away of themselves without further harme; yet because from the time they are somewhat painefull, and in aspect dangerous, it hath gotten itselfe an ill name…"One of the drawbacks of traipsing about in the woods is poison ivy and it's irritating oil urishiol
Captain John Smith, circa 1609
. For the resinous oils in the poison ivy plant can infext and irritate you no matter what time of year it might be, even mid-winter. Which is exactly what happened to me ...this weekend.
The absence of snow cover makes for excellent firewood harvesting times. And while I was able to harvest what will likey cut into a cord or two of firewood [ash and maple mostly], my skin also harvested a dose of poison ivy oils.
Mind you, I knew I was working with wood that had thick fibrous roots with attachments resembling hair, and which I knew to be poision ivy roots. But I figured I was protected, was wearing long sleeves and heavy gloves. I lopped off some of the vines, tossing them back in the woods. But I hadn't counted on what happned next. The next day, however, a small but growing rash was evident on the forearms around my left eye [I'd probably rubbed it while working] and, since I had to pee while working in the woods, I also got the oil on some very tender body parts
. [Don't look if you are squeamish
The next day, while out ice fishing
I began to sense the peculiar itching underneath the layers of clothes. I knew what it was. I had gotten caught by the poison ivy anyway.
Regrettably, this is not the season that I could use my natural remedy Jewelweed
which grows plentifully down the road from my permanat woodpiles. Now it's only a matter of time to wait until the painful after effects go away. This cas was severe enough that I even tried using watered-down bleach, which worked when I was up in the Adirondacks and nothing else was available. It burns, but it also successfully dries out the skin. But for now it's me with a bottle of Technu
, generic Benadryl [it doesn't cut down on the itching far as I can tell, but it numbs me to sleep
] and a whole passel of paper towels to wipe away the weep.
Labels: allergies, climate change, FDA, global warming, nature, poison ivy