Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Green Hour Connection: Stopping by Woods on a Sunny Morning…and a WARNING!

Ready to explore!!!

Having only been in our new home for a week and a half, there is still plenty of exploring and discovery to be had! On one of our Green Hours this week, we decided to see what was beyond the dead end of our street, about a quarter mile away from our house.  We’d noticed that there appeared to be a few trails heading off into the woods, and had been wanting to check it out.  So we loaded up into Cragbaby’s bright red “birthday wagon” and took off down the street.

"Ready, Mommy? Put the camera away so we can PLAY!"

Within minutes we were transported into a whimsical, woodland experience – we saw baby squirrels playing hide and seek, heard at least 4 different kinds of songbirds celebrating the sunny morning, and even found a creek that will make for great wading fun in a few months!  The creek had plenty of stones that made it easily fordable, and a trail on the other side that led to a neighborhood with a giant field that will be perfect for C and his Daddy to fly radio-controlled airplanes together!

Pointer finger is cocked and at the ready!

Cragbaby found lots of walking sticks, and also some soft fuzzy moss growing in a big clump on the north side of a tall oak tree.  His favorite discovery, however, was a group of delicate brown mushrooms hanging out in the shade underneath a rhododendron bush.  He poked, prodded, and pointed all morning until time slipped away and we had to run some errands.

C is serious about his walking stick.


We enjoyed everything about our woodsy morning expedition except for one thing: POISON IVY!  The trail was clear, and for the most part along the creekbed, but it was quite prolific deep in the underbrush, and I’m sure its gonna do nothing but grow, grow, grow in the coming months.  So even though Cragbaby was frolicking about without a care in the world, I was scurrying around, constantly scanning a few steps ahead, making sure he wasn’t about to face plant into a nasty three-leaved patch.

There were even more mushrooms waiting for us in the backyard when we returned!

So I guess until C and I can have our first plant identification lesson, I’ll have to be doubly careful for the both of us on our outdoor treks, whether we’re down the street, at the crag, or even in our own backyard (yes, last week I also found a small poison ivy clump cozying up next to some irises along our backyard fence, hoping to go unnoticed).

Down with the vile weeds!










I know that I for one spent a good number of weeks each summer as a child suffering from that itchy, oozy, red rash.  In many cases the culprit was our outdoor cat, who liked rolling around in the horrible weed before deciding to shower the neigborhood children with affection. In between my toes, all over my legs, arms, and chest, including one case on my face so severe that my eyes were swollen shut – poison ivy and I have had quite the tumultuous relationship, so I may border on vigilante when it comes to poison ivy prevention.  But whether you have wee ones or not, I think its very important to make sure you know what to look out for – if you’re unsure, or are just looking for some poison ivy fun facts, click here.

Anyone else out there have any poison ivy war stories to share?  I always love commiserating with a fellow comrade!


14 Responses to “Green Hour Connection: Stopping by Woods on a Sunny Morning…and a WARNING!”

  1. Great story. It shows how you don’t need to go far from home to get out wit the kids! I grew up next to 40 acres of woods and would troop through there all summer long in hopes of catching a glimpse of deer, etc. Where we are (pacific Northwest mountains) we only worry about stinging nettles.


    • Thanks for your comment Paul! Yep, the close-to-home adventures are sometimes the most memorable b/c they can so easily turn into family traditions!

  2. Also be careful about burning your brush this time of year. My brother got a HORRIBLE case of poison ivy in his eyes and nasal cavities by inhaling the smoke from burning a pile of underbrush! Great read!


  3. Erica, Poison ivy is so annoying, I agree!

    A few weeks back we went to Governor’s Stable (a local bouldering area) and it was rampant. Almost to the extent that we might not be able to go there w/ the kids until the season is over. . . almost. Gotta love the poison ivy washes that are out there. Also, showering immediately upon returning to the house is a good prevention. . . just in case.

    I’ll take burn hazel over poison ivy any day!


    • Do those poison ivy washes actually work? I’ve never tried them. I agree that the post-outing shower is good prevention. Doesn’t always happen with backcountry camping though…Thanks for the comment, Laura!

  4. Yes, and love the poison ivy warning! RT @adventuretykes: RT @Cragmama: Today’s @GreenHour post #nature #playoutdoors


  5. The worst case I remember was getting it on the back of both knees. The rash would heal and then spread again. It was the middle of a hot, humid Georgia summer, but I finally had to start covering the whole thing in Calamine, bandage the rash, and then put on pants to keep it from spreading.

    Thankfully after that episode, I developed some resistance to it and for a few years I could go frolicking through the poison ivy patch without a care in the world. which was great because the path to the swimming hole was overgrown with poison Ivy.
    I wouldn’t try it with my little guy though. I wouldn’t try it with myself now.


  6. Brandy

    Here’s another “warning” – at Rumbling Bald last weekend ALL of the adults were attacked by chiggers!!! Miraculously, Lukas did not get any chigger bites but he was being held most of the time. The bites itch so badly. I have 22 red blotches all over my back so putting on a bathing suit in the near future is NOT going to be pretty!


    • Thanks for the warning Brandy – I’ve also heard that poison ivy can get pretty bad up at the Bald in the warmer months as well.

  7. Mary

    Every time I hear about poison ivy encounters I think of a Simpsons episode where Homer walks around saying “if it has three, leave it be, if it has four, eat some more!” I have no idea if that is accurate or not, but it reminds me what poison ivy looks like. Cragbaby is so cute! I hope you are happy and well! xoxo
    5 minutes ago · Like


  8. Linda

    here’s a site to help you identify the poison ivy, oak and sumac. there a little image of a camera at the top of the article which you can click to get an image of the little crummy stuff. Your granddad and my brothers used to get horrible cases all up and down their arms and legs mostly. Best defense seems to be to cover up, and remove the clothes asap, wash them, and take showers too.


  9. Great post! Ah — poison ivy… it’s one of those things in the small list of not-so-great things about the outdoors. We published a little guide to parents last year that you might find helpful!

    Yay for Green Hour challenge!

    Anne Keisman
    National Wildlife Federation


Leave a Comment Life is in the conversation.


Your email will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN