Timberwolf Creek Blog

Poison Ivy and Serendipities

Ok, I’ll admit it: I’m askeered o’ poison ivy.  It hasn’t ever attacked me before.  I’m one of those people blessed to start out in life immune.  Didn’t even know what it looked like when I first got to the mountains, until I was weeding one day and a neighbor cried out, “What are you doing!!?!” as I yanked out the vines barehanded.

Then, come to find out, you gain sensitivity to the oils, each time you’re exposed.  Well the last thing I wanna do is ‘gain sensitivity’, now right?  Along the climb up the learning curve, jewel weed (a.k.a. touch-me-not) entered the picture.  Jewelweed is nature’s response to the nasty uroshiol oil in poison ivy.  As a matter of fact, if you do find yourself exposed, grab a stem of jewelweed and crush it in your hand, then wipe the juicy mush on the exposed skin -voila!  Neutralized.

Now, when I say nature’s remedy, I do mean it – Mother Nature (Note: used as a colloquialism, not a diety – I’m just sayin’.  I get letters.)  Where was I?  Oh, yes.  Mother Nature.  Nature has contrived to grow jewelweed under the same growing conditions as poison ivy.  How handy is that?!

Since mostly my gardening is done at the Creek House and the Black Bear Cottage in the Woods, I figured I’d be most likely to get exposed there, and then not notice until I got back to my little cabin.  So one day, I pulled up some jewelweed plants and parked those babies right outside my front door.  They are happily propogating there, awaiting my moment of need.  Matter o’ fact, they’ve grown into a raggedy little grove, there.  Some of those plants are as tall as I am!

And in the meantime…. serendipity…  At this moment, they are blooming in profusion – bright orange pendants, bobbing in the sunlight.  And a super deluxe extra added bonus this morning?  Hummingbirds.

Well, I’ll be.  Hummingbirds.  I don’t have to fix a feeder, and I don’t even have to weed.  Poof.  Hummingbirds.  Just stand at the kitchen window, pour a cuppa coffee, and enjoy.

Sweet serendipity.

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