Friday, October 12, 2012

Beautiful trailside demon duo! Poison Ivy & Poison Sumac

all photos by Jonathan Schechter
Photo above Staghorn Sumac (red sumac) --safe to touch

Colors are near peak and  woods, trails and wetlands pull at hikers  like magnets tugging on iron filings.
 A week from now some woodland visitor and trail hikers will be itching and scratching and wondering
 where the  rash  came from. Poison ivy and poison sumac do not sleep autumn or winter away. 
The volatile oils remain active all year.
These photos are meant to help identify poison ivy, poison sumac  and are meant to accompany the
Trailside Demons  hiking column that will appear in the Sunday, October 14th edition of The Oakland Press.

Poison Sumac
She is looking closely--not touching!
 Poison sumac likes 'wet feet' and is restricted to wetland areas. It takes on a brilliant scarlet color in autumn and is
 usually the brightest colored plant in a Michigan wetland.
This photo is from Rose Township, Michigan and is modeled by Erika Pratt of the Novi Parks Foundation.

Poison Ivy climbing a tree on the banks of the Shiawassee River

In autumn poison ivy can be orange, red or scarlet. Every part of the plant including the
leaves, stems and roots remain rich with rash-causing oils.

Virginia Creeper  (safe to touch)

By early October the harmless creeping vine, Virginia creeper changes in color from
dark green to brilliant.scarlet.  Some people avoid this five-leafed plant fearing it
is poison ivy. It is not  and is safe to touch.



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