Poison Ivy

My theme for the summer is “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. So there’s one job around the house that has been terrorizing me for years: tackling the profusion of poison ivy behind the garage. It had started growing out from behind both sides of the garage and was attached to the roof in such a way that I was sure it was damaging the structural integrity of the roof. So in June when I came across a set of garden gloves that come up over the arms like falcon gloves, I knew the time had come.

So Saturday I took it on, documenting the full process. First, it’s hard to capture just how much poison ivy there was. This is the view from the driveway:
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But the really scary part was the canopy of ivy that had grown down the length of the alleyway between my and my neighbor’s garages.
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Clearly the only way to take this on was to suit up, get in there, and start pulling vines down on top of myself. Now, I don’t think I’m allergic to poison ivy, but I’m not interested in finding out after spending the day wrangling several hundred pounds of it. So I choose my outfit carefully: jeans, thick knee socks, boots, t-shirt, and long sleeved shirt. To protect my head and neck I wore another t-shirt with my face sticking out the neck hole, and a baseball cap. But the hands were my biggest concern. First, a pair of latex surgical gloves:
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Then long sleeves down over the gloves, then falcon gloves:
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The thing I hadn’t really considered is that once you start, you can’t really stop. I couldn’t get a glass of water, sit down for a break, or really do anything until I was ready to unsuit and throw everything in the wash. So it was do or die time, me vs. the vines. I pulled down an insane about of plant material. Slowly I got from fully obscured to this:
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To this:
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to this:
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And finally, this:
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Of course if you look at it now it looks like a crappy dingy alleyway filled with old wood. But I know what I’ve done in there and feel good about it. And so far, so good on the poison ivy – not one pustule as of Sunday morning. Fingers crossed….

2 responses to “Poison Ivy

  1. I gotta give you props for this. Come and help me clear my wild parsnip by headlamp light?

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