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October 19, 2017

Archives for September 2013

Poison ivy and poison oak still threats

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Poison ivy and poison oak still threats

Jim Gilbert's Nature Notes: Redemptive words for poison ivy

Western poison ivy grows as a knee-high shrub statewide. We are now seeing patches of it that have begun displaying beautiful yellow and red autumn foliage colors. The shiny leaves always have three leaflets, with the center leaflet featuring a longer stem. The plants grow in forest areas but also out in the open. Small, light-green flowers appear in June, and clusters of small, berrylike, pale-yellow fruits are ripe in September and hang on through the winter.

The common native poison ivy plants can be a nuisance to humans because of the serious skin irritations they cause, but they’re good ground cover that helps control erosion, is visually attractive and has considerable wildlife value. Included in the list of over 50 species of birds that eat the seeded fruits are sharp-tailed grouse, ring-necked pheasants, wild turkeys, black-capped chickadees, white-throated sparrows, yellow-rumped and Cape May warblers, and several of the woodpeckers. Black bears and rabbits are among the mammals that eat poison ivy leaves, stems and fruit.

It appears that only humans are susceptible to the toxic, oily compound that’s carried in the plant’s leaves, stems, roots, flowers and fruits. Sensitivity to poisoning can vary from person to person and can change during the course of a lifetime.

Jim Gilbert’s Nature Notes are heard on WCCO Radio Sundays at 7:15 a.m. His observations have been part of the Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendars since 1977, and he is the author of five books on nature in Minnesota. He taught and worked as a naturalist for 50 years.

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Jim Gilbert's Nature Notes: Redemptive words for poison ivy

Calvin’s poison warning

Calvin Klein is apparently trying to deter nosy neighbours with warning signs about “poison ivy and ticks”.

The designer is reportedly determined to prevent interested passers-by from wandering around his $75 million property, which has been under construction for three years. During the summer, curious residents have been looking at the mansion in Southampton, New York, with some even driving past several times.

Insiders have told New York Post that signs have been erected outside the residence warning: “Caution, Poison Ivy and Ticks present: Do Not Enter.”

A representative for the fashion legend has explained Calvin is simply trying to protect his modern new home and ensure people stay safe.

“[Calvin Klein] has always had security at his houses over the years. Yes, there are signs warning of ticks because the deer are rampant out here and people are warning of late of the grave danger Lyme disease presents to anyone exposed,” the spokesman told the publication.

Calvin has also seemingly decided to beef up his security measures. He has hired a team of guards to patrol the grounds, with several men “in crisp white shirts and black pants” stationed at the end of his driveway.

In addition to the watchmen, cameras have also been set up in strategic positions around the estate.

One neighbour has described the minimalist glass and wood mansion as a “fortress”.

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Calvin’s poison warning

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