Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Ain't Bull Sh*ttin' About the Poison Ivy!

When I walked the fence Friday tying yellow ribbons on the wire as a safety measure in preparation for Wally's homecoming, I discovered a few things that had to be taken care of first thing Saturday morning.  Last year a large dead limb fell across the fence.  I was able to heave that limb off the fence without too much effort.  Friday I found that the rest of the tree had fallen across the fence in the same place.  It had to be sawn apart before I could move it, but the numerous limbs were fairly small in diameter, so it was not too difficult to cut the tree into pieces I could handle.  The bad news is that it was in a spot of tall grass and poison ivy, the bane of my existence.  Once I had removed the big tree, a hated juniper was growing directly beneath the fence, growing through the strands of wire.  It had to be cut down - at ground level - where the poison ivy was happily growing.  I had no choice but to get down and rustle around in the poison ivy, sawing this way and that, telling myself I would be extremely careful to bathe with Clorox water later.

I also found that when my cattle-raising neighbors had 'somewhat' repaired the deteriorating fence shared at the east end of my pasture, someone had thoughtfully left all the old hedge posts laying on my side of the fence, hidden in the grass where the sharp pointed ends could cut my horses legs and hooves.  I also found an enormous wad of wire someone had wrestled into a large, dangerous ball and thoughtfully hung on my side of the fence, some of it still buried in the ground.  At least it was visible to Ginger so she had avoided getting tangled in it all this time I was unaware such a hazard was in the pasture.  I also found a piece of crumpled aluminum siding in the grass where it was like a multi-bladed razor waiting to cut into unsuspecting legs.  And as you may easily guess, there were beer cans, hundreds of feet from the road.  What I did not find was my missing 'no hunting' sign. 

I do not know if this is some unspoken rule of fencing that I am unaware of, that the party repairing a fence leaves dangerous crap lying on the neighbor's land without saying anything about it.  Maybe it was an honest oversight.  What I do know is that after my fence was put in, and before I turned Ginger lose, I had worked diligently to clean up all hazards I could find. If those fence posts had been already lying along that fence, I would have found them and removed them then.  There was so many posts that they literally filled the back of my truck.  The wad of wire was roughly five feet in diameter.  Thanks to a recent rain, the ground was soft enough I was able to pull the buried ends out.  I had no idea how far it might go when I started pulling it up.  I had to work pretty hard at it, but eventually I got it all out of the ground and into the back of the truck.  The harder I had to work, the angrier I became.  I would never do such a thing to any neighbor.  Since I am not a big cattle rancher, not a descendant of the first settlers, and since I only own a measly 26 acres, it must be acceptable to leave trash on my side of the fence. How much I wanted to stack it all in one big pile right inside the gate on the other side of the property line.  I did no such thing of course.  There is only one person to be angry on this side of the fence but a whole dynasty of people who would be mad on that side of the fence.  My daughter helped me unload it at the landfill later that afternoon and I tried to dispose of my hard feelings with the trash.  The good news is that Ginger had not been harmed and I found it all in time to keep Wally from unsuspectingly hurting himself.

So that was Saturday morning.  I took the requisite Clorox bath later that afternoon, taking care to pour the holy water over every place poison ivy could possibly have touched me - except my face and neck.  When I woke up Sunday morning, I was pretty sure there was going to be a reckoning with the poison ivy.  By 9:15 Sunday night, it was so bad that I went to the ER.  I am going to post the brutal truth from the ER, but believe me, and my vanity assures me of this, I am much more attractive than I appear in this photo.  And I do not think this picture does justice to the angry red swollen face.  It was spectacular! 
With Poison Ivy
Without Poison Ivy

1 comment:

Li'l Ned said...

oh no no no nooooooooo. We have no poison ivy here, nor poison oak. But when we go bushwhacking (ie mountain bike riding or hiking) on the West Side (of the Cascades) we take the anti-poison oak treatments, before, during and after. I have never heard of the Clorox treatment, but it sounds brutal. Have you been taking your ETS?