Monday, June 1 2009
For the past several days I've been digging a trench connecting the greenhouse to the northeast corner of the house. Into this trench I've already buried a certain amount of cable (both a four-conductor 12 gauge power cable and four separate CAT 5e cables — you can never run enough data cable). There were several problems with any possible alignment of this trench: it passed over much larger buried cables carrying electricity from the meter to the circuit breaker box, it climbed a steep grade, passing between two large closely-spaced trees (and the roots meshing between them). Worst of all, the alignment took the ditch through a substantial patch of Poison Ivy (which, while otherwise rare around here, runs in a line from 41.930954 N, 74.107836 W to 41.93089 N, 74.106828 W). I'd had to dig a much deeper ditch through this same rash-inducing line when I'd dug the greenhouse's drainage trench. The Poison Ivy had been less conspicuous there, and I'd come into contact with it without knowing it. The resulting rashes hadn't been debilitating, but I would have preferred to have avoided them. In today's ditch digging, the Poison Ivy was impossible to miss. I came in contact with it several times, and some of the roots I found myself grubbing through barehanded must have belonged to the noxious plants I'd taken care to rip out. So whenever I took a break from the digging, I was careful to lather up the exposed parts of my body and then hose them down. I'd contacted Poison Ivy several times in the past few days, but so far I've yet to develop a rash. This provides good support for the effectiveness of soap and water as a post-exposure preventative measure.
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