Sunday, November 2, 2008

Woodland Pond

One of these days, I'm going to do something with this cute little pond. Right now, I mosey around it, looking at the tracks in the mud, startling hundreds of frogs, stepping over the poison ivy and in the spring, I search for (and find!!!) morel mushrooms.

When it gets dry in August, it is the only water I know of around here and the loads of wildlife take their turns drinking. Right now, they can do that in secret, because the pond is completely surrounded by brush and little trees. Maybe it should just stay our secret.

I have had thoughts that range from clearing most of the small trees and brush from around it, to building a little summer screened house (more like a deck with a roof and screening) so we can sit/eat/sleep out here without a gazillion mosquitoes constantly fighting over drilling rights.

I also have had thoughts of cutting a path that winds around the pond and allows us a nice little walk through this woods. This means a "to the death" battle with poison ivy. I actually have a little patch of poison ivy on my foot right now!




This is prime morel territory. By spring, the leaves will be packed down and more deteriorated, and the morels will push their way through this clutter so we can see them! MMMMMMM, yum!



If you look closely in the middle of this path, you can see a deer trail heading to the water. I basically followed their path to the pond and I mow this regularly.


Speaking of poison ivy, take a look at this thick vine growing up a large poplar. It is a poison ivy vine. It is over an inch across and you can tell by the hairy look that it is poison ivy. It goes up the tree about thirty feet and has its own branches sticking out. I'll probably take my saw and cut through this sometime this winter.


Do you have any poison ivy stories?
My dad tells a story about one of his employees, who was a botanist by training. Apparently, my dad and this botanist, let's call him Tim, were walking through a potential building site and my dad pointed at a vine and said, "Watch it, that's poison ivy!" Tim, said, "Nah," "poison ivy doesn't have berries. I think it is a winterberry." My dad, who knows just about everything, stood his ground and said, "I know poison ivy when I see it and that is poison ivy!" Tim said "bah" and picked a berry and popped it into his mouth and began chewing. He immediately spit it out and said "It isn't winterberry." About ten minutes later, Tim began complaining about his throat and after a few more minutes, my dad was rushing him to a hospital for treatment of a severe case of poison ivy that almost closed his entire throat down!

33 comments:

jennifer's farmily said...

To be honest with you, I never knew that poison ivy grew on vines too. Even though now that I think about it, it DOES make sense. Hmm.

I remember always getting poison ivy right before school started. And you know how when yer younger, you always try to make that great impression and here I would be covered in poison ivy. Not fun! Your dad's story is great. I bet the other guy heard "I told you so" quite often after that!

Amy said...

That is a lovely little pond! The only thing it's missing are some DUCKS!!! I have one or two I could lend you...lemme know!

A friend at work gave me some morels he found in N. MI last year. They were wonderful and I used them in a stir fry.

Poison Ivy, Virginia Creeper and wild grape vines are all a problem here. We cut the vines whenever we find them to help keep them under control. Last winter Jim was hauling in some firewood and one of the logs had some poison ivy on it. He had a red, itchy rash on his face for a week!

The Scavenger said...

I love the pond and your plans sound great. Poisn Ivy dosen't bother me at all thank goodness, I belive I could rub it in my eyes with no problem. It's never bothered me in any way. Great pics.

Chris

Denise said...

YEESH! I had a bad case of poison ivy as a child. I'm also phobic of leeches and cock roaches... All three of my phobia's in one small comment. Sorry! ...leaves of three...

Country Girl said...

That is quite a story. John always says "leaves of 3 leave them be, leaves of 4 worry no more".
We went to the river across the street last summer after getting permission to cut a path to have river access with our canoe. We all got poison ivy but Leah and that was because she didn't help with trail clean-up. We never returned!

Farm Chick Paula said...

What a funny story... I hope botanist-in-training Tim never pops any more berries in his mouth.. jeez, what a dumb thing to do that anyway!!

Susan said...

A friend of ours in our former suburban life decided one sunny autumn day to burn the poison ivy behind his house. If only he had asked! He ended up in the hospital getting steroid treatments for an extreme case of poisoning. It was in his esophagus and lungs. And his eyes were so swollen that he couldn't open them. He was unrecognizable. A difficult lesson learned.

I read a few years ago the best way to kill large poison ivy is like you said--to cut it off at the base. But then, when it sprouts new leaves at the cut, to treat those with an herbicide. It's supposed to kill the roots. You probably already knew this, but thought I would pass it along just in case you didn't.

Loved the pictures!

warren said...

Hey Don,
When we lived in TN, we used to be covered up with those thick poison ivy vines. They are incredible. We have plenty of poison ivy in WV but I have not yet seen any similar vines. The funny thing is, I was never affected by it in TN but I certainly am here in WV. I wonder if they are different varieties? Anyhow, cool pond and surrounding area!

Sandy said...

Great photos and interesting read Don.

Two years ago, I had poison oak three times in one year. I was miserable. I didn't know where i was picking it up from but apparently it was on what looked like dead branches where I was clearing the hill.

I somehow contacted it again the next year even with being careful.

Bob Johnson said...

Okay Don, that is the coolest looking pond area ever, looks like something out of a movie, you guys are so lucky. I don't know if I'd do anything with it.

Shellmo said...

Sorry to hear about your poisen ivy - but really enjoyed your photos!!

laura said...

Beautiful photos--the colors are so cool, you can almost feel the air!
Love the poison ivy story, or parable.

MeadowLark said...

I don't think we have poison ivy out here. But STOP WITH THE MOREL STORIES!!!!! You're making me cry!

We used to pick tons of them when we had the cabin... it's long gone and the area is 5 or so hours away. I miss those times (and those mushrooms) more than I can tell.

Peace to you.

Gibaek said...

you have a pretty little pond!
I wish I can visit your pond!!!

Gwen Buchanan said...

Such a beautiful getaway spot... it must call for you to come hither almost every time you are outside...

I use to have a pond at my old place and I miss that special place.. up on this big ol rock there is no hope for a pond.. so along with enjoying your chickens I will enjoy your pond... Thanks...

Don said...

jennifer: learning sommething new every day is a good goal. too bad you ahd to learn something about poison ivy!!

Ginnie said...

Remember when I had poison ivy at Farm Day a couple years ago, Don? I don't know where I got it (mowing the yard here?) but it was so bad they almost put me in the hospital because it wouldn't go away. It became systemic! In fact, to this day, there are times when I will start itching/scratching the same spots as though the memory still resides there!

But I never knew there were vines like this on trees...or berries. So I just got my education! Again!

Don said...

Amy: I have been thinking about getting ducks, but worry about what to do with them during the winter.

Poison ivy on Jim's face must have been an unhappy time!!

Don said...

scavenger: I have a friend who says the same thing about poison ivy. Don't try it in the eyes tho!!! It is such a nuisance!

Don said...

denise: that is a nasty group of three! I have had several leech moments, they tried to get some dinner "between the toes"

Your log cabin is fabulous!

Don said...

country girl: it is too bad that a plant can change the way we do things. I can understand why you would abandon the river access.

Don said...

farm chick paula: I agree that the botanist was a little on the dense side! There are things you just don't mess with, setting hens and poison ivy, just to name a few.

Don said...

susan: i have heard about burning poison ivy and the problems you can have with the smoke. It is a nasty plant!! Thanks for the info on dealing with it.

Don said...

warren: i haven't done any reading on poison ivy, but now i am going to. THere must be different varieties, as there are different varieties of just about everything.

Don said...

sandy: if poison oak is anything like poison ivy, you can get it in your gloves, boots, etc., and it can stay there and affect you over and over! Maybe it's in your work stuff.?

Don said...

bob: thanks! you may be right that I should just leave it alone. Maybe I'll float some ducks on it...

Don said...

shellmo: what would life be like if we didn't have something to trouble us and keep us on our toes?

Don said...

laura: maybe it is a parable. maybe the druids had some good parables about the prodigal vine...

Don said...

meadowlark: I feel your pain when it comes to morels. we didn't get nearly enough of them this year. I'll let you know next May how the crop turns out!

Don said...

gibaek: I hope you are doing well in Korea! Thanks for visiting me.

Don said...

gwen:i can see how a pond can beckon and this one does. You do have a nice pond just down the rock a bit!

Robinson said...

That "leaves of three" rhyme works great as long as you aren't allergic to Virginia Creeper (which I am). It has leaves of five but still, when I encounter either I get all confused about which number of leaves I'm supposed to be wary of!

Love the pond. I think that if you are going to build a screened house out there you should find a way to do it without having to do much clearing. It would be fun to sit quietly and watch all that wildlife.

MeadowLark said...

Actually, I thought/heard a lot of people were "allergic" to Virginia Creeper. That it was fairly toxic? True? Who knows! But true for YOU at least. :)