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Poison Oak

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.

Postby giantbrookie » Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:41 am

fedak wrote:Rob, Thats a good picture, decent hi-res photos of poison oak are hard to find online.

Never been particularity susceptible to the stuff myself (knock on wood) and heaven knows I've crawled through enough of it.

Something to be careful about is that sensitivity to the stuff commonly increases the more you are exposed to it (like many allergens). As an undergraduate (more years ago than I care to count) I was impervious to poison oak's effects. Given that geologists, including geology students taking field classes commonly have to deal with this stuff, I found this a big advantage in that I was willing to get to rocks that other students didn't dare go near. The lack of sensitivity crashed in a big way the year after I graduated. I was doing field work in San Francisco in some open space near Laguna Honda hospital (yes there are areas with lots of poison oak in the City). It was winter or fall and all the leaves were off of the branches. I recognized the branches as poison oak but I didn't care--after all I was impervious, right? Some of the branches scratched my skin, including my face. Within a couple of days I was a royal mess.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html

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Postby fedak » Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:53 am

Yeah, I'm aware that senitivity tends to increase with exposure.
One of these years a Ventana trip will push me over the edge. I keep expecting it to happen but so far so good.
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Postby will_jrob » Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:55 pm

After too many run-ins with poison oak, and its results, I also tread cautiously on overgrown Coastal trails. A lot of times you may recognize me by the hands-up posture, sidling between brush trying to avoid contact with the three-leafed menace.
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