Any country girl knows what poison ivy looks like, and we've got handy-dandy, rhyming, old-world adages to remind us if we forget.
But there are a few things that most people don't know about poison ivy:
1) It can think, it can plot, and it is smarter than you
2) It has zombie qualities; if you kill it, it will still infect you
3) It wants to reproduce with human women, to make human ivy babies
4) If you let a goat graze on poison ivy in the spring, and you drink the goat's milk, you won't get poison ivy that season.
I don't have goats anymore, so I have yet to try out that last bit of country wisdom, but the first three I can attest to.
My big old farmhouse clocks in at around a century old, and I've got a couple azaleas in the front yard that might be able to claim the same. They're big. Bigger than me. Bigger than my car. So I thought, hey, I'll cut those back a bit, and clean out the poison ivy creeping all through it. Good thought.
While wearing shorts. Bad thought.
I cut it down, tossed the little wilted, poisonous remnants, and then (it appears) proceeded to sit on them at some point during the day as I circumvented the azalea. Oops. Long story short, those leafy little buggers have a heck of a reach on them, and I've got poison ivy in places that it's not kosher to scratch in public.
So, does anyone have a goat that grazed on poison ivy in the spring? That would be really helpful.