nature is an asshole

A month ago, we discovered that our backyard had grown a fair amount of poison ivy. So we poisoned it right back. It wilted and shriveled and left behind a bunch of (still poisonous) dead brown vines. But it kept growing back! WTF? Well, it turns out that the BIG LUSH GREEN TREE behind the poison ivy? IT IS A GIANT POISON IVY TREE. Like seriously, a whole poison ivy shrubbery that’s 6 feet tall and 15 feet wide and 5 feet deep. You do the math – that’s a fuckton of poison ivy. I think it’s actually growing on a real tree, which would also explain my confusion. The leaves are bigger and darker than the little vines I’m used to, so I didn’t believe my dad when he said it might also be poisonous. But after staring at it from the bedroom window every morning and seeing leaves of three (oh noes) and reading poison ivy identification guides… yeah, it is.

Now, I don’t spend much time in the yard. And this lush copse of noxiousness isn’t in a place that I regularly go. But this shit spreads like crazy, and we still have to mow that portion of the lawn (which will get toxic oils all over the lawnmower, a common means of transfer to skin). So we have to get rid of it. I am not a big fan of herbicides, but it sounds like a good spray of RoundUp is the only thing that really kills it and goes to the roots to keep it dead. The RoundUp also kills anything else it touches, so it’s killing a bunch of grass in the area. Other people might see this as a downside, but I don’t really like grass. So that’s win-win. It’s headed into two neighbors’ yards, so we sprayed with care… hopefully if we poison the roots it’ll shrivel everywhere.

Unfortunately, the stupid plant is still toxic for a long time after it dies. The oils don’t wash away easily, so dead poison ivy has to be handled like live poison ivy. So we’ll have to bundle up in old clothes and clear away the vines when the herbicide has taken effect on the stupid poison ivy tree. Someday, the world will be safe again.


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