June 17, 2016 |
Upper Merion Township is going to the goats - "Green goats," that is. About two dozen of the little ruminants have been brought in to chow down on invasive and unwanted vegetation at Bob White Park at Falcon Road in King of Prussia, the township said. The goats will roam within a fenced-in enclosure and are expected to devour about 95 percent of the unwanted plants less than six feet tall - roots included - including poison ivy, sumac, and any type of plant with thorns. "We're really happy to be here," said Larry Cihanek, founder of the "Green Goats" program.
August 24, 2015 |
There are a lot of things Sean Hartmann likes about his job as a tree trimmer. It pays well, and the roadsides where he works are often beautiful, especially in the spring and fall. But he definitely does not love poison ivy. It's everywhere. Hairy vines the size of his forearm climb the trees he must cut. Even if he can manage not to touch it, it winds up on the chain saw and in the wood chipper. Fragments fly all around him. Until this year, the result was constantly blistered, oozing skin.
July 27, 2015 |
On a sunny May afternoon, dressed for the heat in shorts and a T-shirt, I yanked stubborn vines from long-ignored trees and shrubs, making way for a new flower bed. After four hours of effort, I felt pretty pleased with the result. Those good feelings, however, didn't last. About 85 percent of the population is allergic to poison ivy, and 10 percent to 15 percent are extremely allergic, according to the American Skin Association. I learned that I fell squarely in the second camp.
March 29, 2015 |
There's an important rule in medicine: don't treat members of your family. It's a good rule, and I'm pretty good about following it. I would never go so far as to prescribe controlled substances for a family member, but it's hard to avoid offering a diagnosis from time to time. My husband got out of the shower one day and began drying off his back. "Ouch!" he said. "What's wrong?" I asked. "Something hurts. " I looked at the skin of his back. There was nothing there.
November 8, 2014 |
Q: A couple of weeks ago my husband (whom I love dearly) and I attended my college reunion. While there, I ran into a former lover (also married), whom I hadn't seen in 25 years. I'd had only one or two drinks but it became clear that we were both still wildly sexually attracted to each other. We exchanged numbers. I've been sick and guilty about it ever since, because I didn't tell my husband and because I'm obsessed with seeing this man again - just to catch up. Can you help? Steve: What could possibly go wrong?
June 29, 2014 |
Dennis Nippins, 6, of Maple Shade, was in his third week of kindergarten when an angry red rash appeared on his right ankle. The rash at first resembled poison ivy but without the typical fluid-filled pustules. It turned into a wider circular pattern, then bubbled up into welts that eventually became scabs. Once the scabs vanished, the cycle started again. At the pediatrician's, the doctor diagnosed poison ivy. But four visits later, the rash remained on the boy's ankles and had spread to his arms, legs, face, scalp-even the inside of his ears.
May 31, 2014 |
Refresh houseplants. It's warm enough to move houseplants outdoors to the deck, patio or a bare spot in the garden. Even if you can only garden indoors, take time to check each plant to see what "refreshment" - repotting, fertilizing, pruning - is needed. If roots reach through drain holes, transplant to a container three to six inches larger in diameter. Add enough fresh potting soil in the bottom and sides, positioning the plant's soil surface to be at the same level as in the previous container.
May 31, 2014 |
Pat Gusoff had what Umar Mycka calls "a yard full of trouble" at her Bustleton home. It wasn't so much the honeysuckle, mulberries, bittersweet, chokecherries, and English ivy, although they can be a nasty business. No, it was all those shiny, three-leaf shoots of Toxicodendron radicans, the dreaded poison ivy. Mycka knows this North American scourge intimately from four decades of work as a gardener/groundskeeper at the Philadelphia Zoo. Since 2008, he has also had a small business (idontwantpoisonivy.com)
July 31, 2013 |
The new grounds crew workers at Haverford College have four legs and voracious appetites. The small Quaker college is using a herd of goats from Eco-Goats in Maryland to pare back an overgrown tract filled with a thicket of invasive vines and shrubs. The herd of 29 living lawn mowers arrived last Monday and will stay until the end of the week, munching its way through an impenetrable 11/2 acres across from the duck pond on College Lane. "They'll work their way in and clean it up," said Bill Astifan, assistant director of the campus arboretum, the oldest in the nation.
July 29, 2013 |
One in a series of occasional articles about the regional effects of climate change and how we're coping. Even though she'd been walking in the woods for only a few minutes, Jen McIntyre was in distress. Tears were running down her cheeks. She couldn't breathe through her nose. "I feel like this is our new reality," McIntyre said recently of the allergies that have begun to plague her. McIntyre, 43, of Mount Airy, never had allergies, aside from reactions to the odd dog or horse.