Saturday, July 25, 2009

Peaceful Moment Thwarted

Driving into the driveway today I spotted more ripe wild red raspberries on the edge of our woods and yard. After parking, I went behind the garage and carefully plotted a path to the berries, being careful in my capri length pants to avoid the poison ivy, poison oak and the virginia creeper. Having just healed from an itchy allergic rash I didn't want a new allergic reaction to start!

I'd not ventured to that side of the berry patch yet this year and there were many berries ripe for the picking. I plucked them off and was popping some into my mouth. They were delicious.

I looked at the clusters with the berries in various stages of ripening. The sun was coming through and dappled light was playing on the leaves as they swayed a bit in the breeze. I had a moment of reflection of the beauty of simple things in nature.

I started asking myself if the light was right for photographing them, or should I wait for later in the day? I was debating this and wondering if I should stay put and pick more or go fetch the camera and take photos before any more were picked.

Pain! Pain!



My thoughts came to a screeching halt as my ankles were suddenly being zapped. I looked down to see tiny black ants on both of my ankles and at least two dozen more fastly crawling on all sides of both sneakers, making a dash for the skin on my bare legs.

I jumped away, not knowing if I was still standing on the ant nest.

Then with one hand full of berries, I used the other to swat my legs repeatedly to kill the ants (a painful act in and of itself), then moved to smacking my sneakers and socks to kill those critters. At the same time I was looking to the ground to see if I was in a safe place now. I was not, so I hopped around to another patch of ground that was absent of poison ivy.

My legs were inflammed and red from being swatted. Not seeing any live ants on my person, it was time to find an exit. It was not easy to find the fastest route out of the weed and briar patch that would not put me in direct contact with a poisonous plant or another ant nest, since the entire place seemed teeming with ants. Once I found a route, I got the heck out of there ASAP.

To heck with nature! I was so happy to enter the safe interior of my house.

I'm going to have to figure out a Plan B if I'm to harvest any more of those wild red raspberries!


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Is there a way to get rid of the poision ivy?


christinemm said...

Hi Elisheva,
The poison ivy that was hand pulled on June 13 is already grown back, some a foot high already.

I don't want to use toxic chemicals on it as it is next to the edible garden plants I'm growing AND we have well water.

I did resort to using some Round Up which I normally do not use. However we have had such a rainy spring and summer that the Round Up washes off before it can be effective and do its killing. Other times the Round Up seemed to work but it has grown back.

The Poison Ivy also grows under Virginia Creeper and hides under there. So the best course would be to "kill everything on the ground" which again is not easy to do when trying to not use chemicals or Round Up.

The Poison Ivy also is growing up from underground inside of my raised beds where the veg and herb plants are. It is terrible!

I have so much Poison Ivy and Virginia Creeper and what looks like Poison Oak in my veg garden that I'm afraid to walk in it now.

I just got some free wood mulch and will make the paths thicker to see if that thwarts weed growth on the paths.