I posted this for the first time in 2012, but it’s a good reminder now that Autumn is here once again, and I thought it was worth a repost. It’s fun to collect colorful leaves to press or use in projects, but there are still some plants to be aware of as you collect.
Many adults and children collect colorful Autumn leaves for projects and pressing, but beware, poison ivy is still growing, and it’s leaves are now cloaked in a gorgeous array of crimsons and golds. The urishol oil stays active on the leaves and vines. Picking up even one leaf for pressing can cause a nasty rash. When the poison ivy leaves fall off the vine, they fall solo, not in groups of three. This makes it impossible to follow the wise proverb of, “Leaves of three, let it be.” It is much harder to identify poison ivy when it has fallen off the vine. One thing to look for is an oblong shape, and many of the leaves have a notched appearance. Take a good look at the veining on the leaf in the above picture…that’s a good clue too.
If you see a leaf that might be poison ivy, take a look around to see if you can spot a vine with berries that look like the sample in the photograph above. If you see these berries, don’t pick up or brush against any of these vines or leftover leaves.