Note: A different version of this post originally ran on May 18, 2010. Several people have recently told me they don't know how to identify poison ivy, so I thought rerunning this might be useful.
I'm super allergic to poison ivy (sometimes I swear I get it just by looking at it) so I taught myself how to identify it in every season.
Today, I offer these photos to help my New England readers avoid poison ivy. This is what poison ivy looks like now.
Notice the differences in the color and size of the leaves. Poison Ivy can look very different even in the same area. All of these photos were taken within roughly 1/4 mile of my house.
One thing that is consistent is the presence of three leaves in a cluster. Usually those leaves are shiny. Sometimes those leaves are mostly green.
Other times the leaves are more red. (Especially when they are first sprouting in the spring).
Sometimes it grows low to the ground like in the photos above. Other times it climbs up posts, signs, and trees as in these photos:
This one is about 3 feet tall.
This one climbs about 20 feet into the tree.
These last two photos are NOT poison ivy. This vine is sometimes confused with Poison ivy because it climbs the same way and has similar shaped leaves.
But look closely... there are 5 leaves in each cluster and the leaves are more jagged.
One final tip: poison ivy thrives along the edges. That is, in the area where one ecosystem transitions to another. For example, some of these photos were taken along the edge of a field where it transitions into forest (in partial to full sun), others along the edge of a brook (in partial sun), still others along the edge of a road (in full shade). Also watch for it along the edges of parks, paths, or trails.
Do you know how to identify Poison Ivy? Do you have any other tips?
Want to learn an instrument in the New Year? My son @dantecusolito is accepting students for guitar, ukulele, and bass. He teaches ages 5 through adult. All lessons happen at 88 Hatch St. (Hatch Street Studios) in New Bedford, MA. Please share this with anyone you know who might be interested.
Email email@example.com for more information. @southcoastlessons
It’s not all airplanes all the time over here. Sometimes @dantecusolito takes a break from building planes to build a ski bike.
Now if we would only get some snow...
For 5 years now, I’ve participated in @juliefhedlund ”12 Days of Christmas for Writers.” It’s not about setting goals or making resolutions: it’s better. The email series provides a process for reflecting upon my accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned, while also celebrating things I’m grateful for from the last year. Then I take all of that to set my intentions for the next year. For the final day of exercises, she encourages us to get creative and make a cover for the booklet we created along the way. I’ve always been artsy, so I really get into this day. (Note: This is not required). Here’s what I made this year. If you look closely, there are words and numbers built into the design.
I’m grateful for this year of my book launch. #FlyingDeep is out in the world, which makes me so happy. My grade 4 teacher even came to my launch! I love that the pic of my family is on the bottom right, just where your eyes land last. They’re the best part of everything.
Happy New Year from my family to yours. Cake baked by my daughter. #2019
Tom and Hank Poitras #BreakingUpXmas @southcoastlessons
@hatchstreetstudios in New Bedford, MA.
There’s something for everyone! #BreakingUpXmas @southcoastlessons @hatchstreetstudios in New Bedford, MA.
Music. Food. Dancing. Crafts for kids. Selfie booth. Jamming. Vendors. Now until 6pm @hatchstreetstudios in New Bedford.
#BreakingUpXmas begins @southcoastlessons @hatchstreetstudios. Going on until 6pm. Music. Dancing. Food. Cookies. Jamming of all kinds. Come on down.