July 20, 2008

poison oak

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Pretty sometimes, but this has got to be one of the most evil plants on the face of the planet -- right up there with nettles...

When I was a little kid I got poison oak so badly that it spread to my face, swelling one eye shut for a few days.   Since then I've been extremely careful to avoid it, and maybe I've built up some sort of immunity because of that exposure, but I don't think I've had it since.   Poison oak always grows with three leaves per stem -- watch out!

Now, nettles are bad characters too -- our variety (growing to a height of six or eight feet) only grow in the immediate vicinity of riverbanks, but that's where I like to hang out.   Nettles sting like a wasp, and the sensation doesn't go away for hours -- truly an evil plant in my book.

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Louise said...

Why is such an evil plant so pretty?

As I child, I had MANY cases of poison ivy and oak like yours--with eye/s swollen shut. Horrible. I only got it once a year, but next year I was fair game again. And avoiding it didn't help; th pets brought it to me. I'm itching just looking at that picture.

I don't live near any now, so it's not a concern, but if I go to the right places, I still get a minor case of it.

photowannabe said...

Great picture, horrible stuff.
Hubby and I went for a hike yesterday and saw lots of the evil plant just showing its color.
I sure try to stay away from it.

Marvin said...

Nice shot of a much-cursed plant highlighted by the sun.

I am not allergic and have never had a reaction. However, I still try to avoid it. They say that one's reaction to the poisonous plants can change. Why tempt fate?

Louis la Vache said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis la Vache said...

Sorta reminds "Louis" of his ex-wife, a.k.a. "World War I," quite the contrast to the very dear Mme. la Vache!

BouBou's said...

So that's what poison oak looks like. I've never seen it before - it didn't grow in our area before I moved (I'm in the middle of the city now). We did have nettles, though nothing that tall. I never got too much of a reaction from them, thankfully. Nettles, at least, have food and medicinal values.


Tomate Farcie said...

6 to 8 feet?!! Wow!!! I've seen(close up and personal, unfortunately) a lot of what you call "nettles" I think, in the countryside in France when I was a kid, but i don't think they ever reached 8 ft! They were short, nastly little things, usually they bit before you could notice you were walking in it. On the other hand, I count myself lucky because I've never had poison oak or poison ivy even though the dog used to roll in it. Thanks for the warning, I'm not sure I would know what to look for.

(I had an "aawwwwwwww" moment with the teaser picture, but I'll tell you why later - that was a teaser comment, I suppose? ;)

Kekiinani said...

Oh my gosh. I cant believe someone else took a shot of poison oak. I did by mistake.. not knowing what it was and everyone thought I was nuts!! I feel much better now knowing other have taken shots of the very cool plant. You have a terrific blog. Aloha, Renee :) :)

Kathiesbirds said...

For a plant that you dislike so much you sure made it look pretty and approachable!

Digital Polaroids said...

Oh, this is so beautiful...! You caught the light perfectly

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