Poison Ivy
Leaves of three, let it be. Good advice for people entering the woodlands. Poison Ivy does not affect all people, some are just not bothered, but it is possible to become sensitive at any stage of life, so knowing what it looks like and avoiding Poison Ivy is a good idea. It will grow as a vine attached to a tree (note the many rootlets on the 3 vines pictured), picture 1, or as a small plant (leaves of 3, let it be), picture 2. It is worth noting the 5 leafed Virginia Creeper toward the upper left of the picture. It is common around here and grows in the same habitat. If you see Virginia Creeper then there is a reasonable chance that Poison Ivy is near. The reaction with your skin is caused by an oily chemical in the plant called urushiol. If you think you have contacted the plant just rinsing with water will not wash it away, although it may help to spread the oil if the water is warm so depend on cool water and soap to help remove the urushiol. If the contact took place more than 15 minutes earlier you may be out of luck, but you might lessen the effect. It is worth knowing that your pets, or your pants and shoes passing through the nasty weed may also bring the chemical into the house where you come into contact. Remember that Poison Ivy likes broken areas, like the edges of fields, roadsides, or home landscaping. It is not usually found growing in the middle of a woods that has not been disturbed for many years.

Example Pic 1 - Example Pic 2
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