Thursday, July 17, 2008

Paul's Personal Mission

From Paul:

What goes around…

This will make me sound like a pessimist and, really, I'm not. I'm just passing on my observations. Can I help it that I notice things that others would rather not see?

The weeds are thriving this year. Woodsorrels (both Oxalis dillenii and O. corniculata) are rampant. Pokeweeds (Phytolacca americana) are flourishing. In our own yard we've been trying to keep black medick (Medicago lupulina) at bay (to little effect).

Then there's the poison ivy.

One of my personal missions in life is to make sure that as many people as possible know what poison ivy looks like. If I don't accomplish anything else important, I can rest assured that I have helped a few more folks avoid contact with the stuff.

That's been both easy and difficult this year. Easy because it seems to be growing very vigorously this year (probably due to the increased rainfall we've experienced this year, but I understand we can expect increased growth rates as atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels rise). That makes for lots of samples to show off. Difficult because with so many "samples," I can't keep visitors to our gardens from coming across them before I have made sure they've been "introduced."

So, here's a sample of Toxicodendron radicans (Rhus radicans). Consider yourself safely introduced (no need to shake hands!), and go forth keeping in mind the old saying "Leaflets three, let it be." (Is it just me, or can you hear Paul McCartney singing that, too?)

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