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?
“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailor take warning.”
Any sailors in Oklahoma last night would be happy for sure.
Mary Ann Newcomer says
Honey, the VERY idea of copperheads turns me into a screamin’ meemie. YIKES!
That sounds like a mammoth task – good thing you aren’t allergic to poison ivy. I’ve yet to encounter it – thankfully, it doesn’t grow here. It must feel great to have this job taken care of.
Oh, honey-bunny, I adore your way with words– ‘…unfortunate growth habit.’ And don’t we all from time to time? 🙂 Your sky photo is lovely. It was clear over here.
Love and hugs,
CA, no higher praise than yours, my friend.~~Dee
bill / prairie point says
Be sure you don’t burn the poison ivy. The smoke is worse than touching it.
Hi Bill, absolutely. Thanks for bringing it up as I’d forgotten to write about that part. The smoke can get into your lungs and make you very sick. It happened to HH.~~Dee
Brenda Kula says
That red sky is something else! Sounds like you’ll be resting up, hopefully. A full weekend for you. My grandmother had poison ivy every time she went near any. But I was like you, it didn’t get me!
Hi Brenda, thanks. I struggled with how best to display the photos. Glad you could still see the sunset.~~Dee
I’ve often thought I’d love to have wooded acreage, after hearing about your weeding, (and snakes), I think not. My neighbor was just in the hospital recently from a bad case of poison ivy. He was cleaning his yard and didn’t know what it was.
Hi Robin, you don’t have to keep up with it. Some of my neighbors certainly don’t. 🙂 We just want the part around the house to be tidy.~~Dee
I wish I could say I wasn’t allergic to poison ivy but that would be a huge lie!! I have had my engagement and wedding ring cut off twice due to poison ivy rash and swelling cutting off my circulation!! It was horrible. NC has alot of poison ivy too, but I have managed to keep away from it for the 4 yrs. we’ve lived here. Keep up the good work weeding all your property!!
Hi Sherri, oh yes, we work on the property nearly every weekend. Goodness, poison ivy is terrible for you. I wouldn’t go near it without some Technu or something else.~~Dee
One of the few things I can say about Arizona in the summer (or anytime for that matter) is the red skies at dawn and sunset, more often than not. Besides red, there’s violet, orange, yellow and some blues almost every time. It’s all the particulates in the air–and I guess we have a lot! The only good thing about dust storms this time of year is that we’ll have even more beautiful sunsets.
Your sunset is beautiful!
Thanks, Aiyana, and by the way, I love Arizona sunsets myself.~~Dee
Beautiful shot of that red sky! Love the other pictures too – even the poison ivy is pretty. We have a lot of the stuff around here. I’m cautiously beginning to think I may be one of the few not allergic to it, too. I’ve been in contact with it without any effect a number of times. I do try to handle it very carefully, and give it a wide berth when I see it, but gardening professionally also often means digging up poison ivy in so many gardens around here where it seems to thrive, especially those in or next to heavily-wooded areas.
I’ll continue to be careful with it just in case though. I have a friend who got deathly ill from poison ivy – spent two weeks in the hospital, one of them in intensive care. The stuff scares me, even though it seems to have no effect on me.
Linda, I am still careful too because you can become allergic at any time. HH wasn’t until he inhaled some that was burning nearby. It got into his lungs, and he’s been allergic ever since. BTW, everyone, don’t burn the foliage.~~Dee
Alauar Parrish says
Wow now that’s a lot of weeding. I am tired just hearing about it. I don’t think I will complain when I go out tomorrow to do some weeding. I am also very allergic to poison ivy very much so. I have had it so many time. So I am so careful when I do my weeding now. Your photos are so beautiful. I love your garden. You have a wonderful and weed free week.
Sorry, you’re so allergic. ASW has had steroids twice for it when his allergy got out of hand. Thank you for your kind words.~~Dee
Carol, May Dreams Gardens says
Clearing brush on 6.5 acres makes my weeding out of purslane seem like child’s play!
Oh, I don’t know, Carol, it’s all relative, you know?~~Dee