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:
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.
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:
Then long sleeves down over the gloves, then falcon gloves:
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:
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….