Interpretive Point #2
#2 Poison ivy is a woody vine that thrives along much of the CERA Trail. Because contact with poison ivy can cause dermatitis, it's important to know what it looks like and to avoid touching it. Poison ivy grows as a hairy vine that climbs upward on tree trunks. It also grows as upright woody stems from an underground runner. Between April and October, poison ivy will have leaves arranged in groups of three ("leaflets three, let it be"). It also has white berries in the autumn ("berries white, poisonous sight"). Avoid touching any hairy vines or any leaves arranged in groups of three. Dermatitis from poison ivy usually begins as an itch that quickly becomes red and blistery. Wash any exposed skin with soap and water after finishing this hike, and launder your clothes promptly. On a more positive note, more than 60 species of birds eat poison ivy berries, including northern flickers, mockingbirds, and downy woodpeckers.