The perils of summer

Even if you love gardening, this year we had the heat and the bugs. And the humidity…and the sun. Hasn’t been pleasant at all.


The Pocono Record is fortunate because we have a one of the best weather watchers around. Ben Gelber is a meteorologist in Ohio, but his roots are in East Stroudsburg, and his parents help him keep track of every degree day in the summer and every snowflake in the winter.


This is important because the National Weather Service only keeps tabs from the airport up in Mount Pocono. You guys on the higher plateau have been cooler than those of us in lower elevations.


Anyway, Ben told us Friday that East Stroudsburg hit 90 or higher 20 days this summer, including 15 in July. “The key to the record may be the exceptionally high humidity much of the month, based on some of the highest dew point temperatures (absolute moisture content of the air) I have seen on a consistent basis, at least since July 1995,” Gelber said.

 You know what that means? Misery for anybody spending time outside.

 Add to that a dose of poison ivy and you can quickly get knocked out of the game. Last Saturday I was poison_blogout in the garden almost all day and really made headway. By Sunday afternoon, my face burned. By Sunday night my face was puffy and my eyes were starting to close. I had a rash on my cheek, my chin and even into the hairline. So much for my homeopathic remedies. Off I went to the doctor.


My doctor said many people have been making trips to the doctor this year for allergic reactions to poison ivy. She recommended taking your clothes off by lifting your shirt carefully from the collar. That way you won’t be bringing ivy oils back against your face if they are indeed on your clothing. I say I don’t need to touch it all, but there certainly are basic preventions you can do.


One of my sources giggled a little because I did a whole prevention article in June. She asked if I knew what it looked like. Yes, I do.

Do you know it can take many forms? Yes, I do.

Do you wear gloves? Yes, I do.  Hate ’em but I’m not stupid. 

Did you wash them? I will now.


Then Linda Wiles from the Penn State Cooperative Extension told me the heat and dryness is making poison ivy more toxic than ever. Yes, I know.


Heading back out tomorrow. Wonder what perils will await me this time.

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