Most of us know that we need to avoid poison ivy out on the trails. I can tell you from my hike yesterday here at Devil’s Lake State Park, that it’s out there.. a lot of it! But, do you know it when you see it?
Most of us were taught as kids the old “Leaves of 3, leave it be.” warning as kids, but it’s not always that simple.. and there are quite a few plants out along the trails that are perfectly harmless, but have “leaves of three”. Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Raspberries are just two examples. Then to make things more confusing, poison ivy doesn’t always play by the rules. It “mostly” has leaves of three. It’s leaves are usually jagged, but not always, sometimes shiny by not always, usually grows on the ground, but can vine up a tree as well! That said, once you look at enough of it, you’ll usually recognise poison ivy in all it’s forms.
The poison Ivy in the picture above is classic. This is what you’ll usually see lying in wait along the trails of Devil’s Lake State Park. If you get into it, you may experience itching, red streaks where you rubbed against the plant, hives and in time some people even get blisters. Ew! For what it’s worth, about 15% of you won’t react at all! For most of us however, we will show signs of an allergic reaction.
According to UW Health, if you have a poison ivy reaction, you’re best options are to soak the area affected, apply a wet cloth or use calamine lotion. They also advise NOT to use topical Antihistamines, anesthetics that contain benzocaine or antibiotics that contain neomycin which could cause further problems. Of course if you find yourself having extreme reactions such as trouble breathing, swelling around the face, eyes or genitals, or spreading oozing blisters get to a medical facility right away. Follow This Link For More Details.
Specifically at Devil’s Lake State Park, there is a lot of poison ivy out there. You tend to find it right along the hiking trails where the plant can compete for sunlight. For this post, I took the photos on May 28th, on the Steinke Basin Trail.
Now if you’re really worried about poison ivy, I’d suggest wearing socks, shoes and jeans.. and staying on the trail at all times..
Have a look at the photo below.. What plants do you see?