While thunder rumbled around us (not too close,) and the skies went from cloudy to clear to cloudy again, HH, ASW and I cleared brush on the 6.5 acres of our property other than garden. Many of our trees have an unfortunate growth habit. Their branches grow downward as if the leaves are trying to touch the soil. Sumac, poison ivy, Virginia creeper, and other weedy brethren grow upward. If left unchecked, it creates a tangled web of thorny vegetation which is snake heaven. Copperheads are common in our part of the state, and we don’t like giving them any natural cover close to the house. One vine we encountered had prickly, cactus-like stickers while another resembled a grapevine with wicked reflexed thorns. I’m not a native plant expert, so I can’t tell you their names. However, either one will pierce leather gloves if you don’t handle them right.
Above, are a couple of the trees we finished trimming.
We are often under a burn ban in Oklahoma by the end of June, and brush piles sit for many years undisturbed. This isn’t a bad thing if they are far from the house. They provide some cover for birds. However, because of our rainy weather, we felt yesterday was the day to burn one which had grown over large. We dragged a hose over to the pile before starting the burn. We are still allowed to burn brush in our state, but we don’t do it very often.
My husband and son are both extremely allergic to poison ivy. Surprisingly, I am not. I am allergic to so much else the natural world has to offer; however, I can wade through poison ivy with no ill effects. Just in case you don’t know what poison ivy looks like, I took a photo of it. As you can see, the saying “Leaves of three, let it be” is true and applies to poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. In Oklahoma, we don’t have poison sumac, so watch for these leaves or the oak shaped version. Steer clear, and you’ll be safe from urushiol, the chemical which causes the rash.
After we finished our day’s work, I walked down into the back garden at dusk and took more photos. It was a little late, and the flash over exposed some of the plants in front, but I wanted to show you the sky. Isn’t it beautiful?
Any sailors in Oklahoma last night would be happy for sure.