Monday, January 3, 2011

My Town Monday: We have it; you don't want it

Hurray for Monday! It means my charming, lovable, noisy, messy children go back to school after two weeks off. (I am so looking forward to some quiet writing time.) And Monday brings My Town Monday posts.

Question: What is something we have here in San Diego (other places have it too) that you don't want?

Hints:

-It will be particularly lush this year because we've had so much rain.
-Captain Beechey, a 19th century explorer, took samples from California back to England for their gardens.
-Your pet can carry it on its fur.
-It can be very pretty in November.
-You're likely to run into when hiking.
-It contains an oily sap called urushiol, which causes an allergic reaction.
-The amount of urushiol on a pinhead can be enough to cause rashes in 500 people.
-Don't burn this plant. Both the ashes and the smoke can be bad for you. The smoke can get into the membrans of your respiratory system.
-This plant regenerates quickly after fire.


Answer: You're all so smart that you've probably guessed the answer. It's poison oak. And perhaps many of you have suffered from the itchy rash that turns into oozing bumps. Yuck.

Poison oak in San Diego in November. Pretty, eh? There can be three, or even five, leaflets. Remember this poetic warning: "Leaves of three, let it be."

Beware! Even when the weather is sunny and lovely, wear long pants and long-sleeved t-shirts when hiking. Especially this year.

For links to more My Town Monday posts, please pop over to to the official My Town Monday blog. Happy New Year!



sources:
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/health/529-Rains-Create-Poison-Oak-Bumper-Crop--95125869.html
http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ww0802.htm
http://www.scripps.org/articles/1001-poison-ivy-oak-sumac

9 comments:

debra said...

We have it's cousin, poison ivy. As we say, "Leaves of 3. let them be."

Travis Erwin said...

After having a bad poison ivy experience I plan to avoid all of the deadly three leaf stuff. Just more proof vegetation is the devil.

Gabriele Goldstone said...

Just looking at it gives me the itchy shivers. Our family has had bad experiences with poison ivy. Evil stuff!

Barrie said...

Debra: a poem to live by! ;)

Travis: Ha! I know a day will come where we'll meet in real life over a salad. And I will take a picture and post it all over cyberspace! :)

Gabe: I don't see how calamine lotion would be at all helpful.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I'm so clueless with the poison oak and poison ivy. I guess I'm lucky that I've never gotten any on me because God knows as a kid I ran around everywhere in shorts with bare feet!

Susan R. Mills said...

Thankfully, I've never had to deal with poison oak.

Charles Gramlich said...

We've got some of this growing in our back yard!

Smol Dusaran said...

Thanks for the warning!

cheska said...

Since I have very sensitive skin, I have to make sure I don't come across that plant! lol