"Don't wish me happiness I don't expect to be happy all the time....It's gotten beyond that somehow. Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor. I will need them all." Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The sign-part 1

One morning on my day off when I ventured outside my gate I found this sign attached to my fence. It had been taped on both sides to make it rainproof and it was attached through eyelets screwed into my fence which runs along the back lane. There is very little vehicle traffic along here as it ends at my neighbours driveway but because of a footpath which trespasses through private property their are people who use it for walking. I am one of them. In case you happen to live somewhere where hogweed hasn't arrived- yet, you may not be aware of the general public hysteria around this introduced invasive and poisonous plant. Did I say poisonous? I meant VERY POISONOUS plant. When I saw this sign on my fence I took it as an insult. After all what kind of an idiotic careless mother would allow this plant around her baby? I guess by now you know it's not hogweed. I wrote a note telling them all this and identifying the plant with its common name. I then asked them to remove their sign promptly. I stapled my sign to the fence above their sign. That afternoon I received a phone call from a woman who I will call Mrs. R. In the warmer months she walks by on a regularly basis. "I didn't put up the sign," Mrs. R said. "but I had a look at the plant," she said, "It's not hogweed it's cow parsnip......." Now cow parsnip is a native plant and it is in the same family as hogweed but it isn't anything near as poisonous as hogweed but it's nothing you want around your baby. But since this was coming from Mrs. R it wasn't a surprise still I was so irritated if I had wings I could have flown. At this point I know you all are thankful to live where you already are. "Do you have a pen? I asked her, " I want you to look this up." Then, I gave her the plants scientific name. I never heard back from her but two days later my sign had been torn down and the other left. Now I am a very busy person. I'm working right now and I do not want to spend my free time removing this harmless plant that has been here longer than I have. So I took their sign and threw it in my stove and put up another sign this one naming the plant with its full and proper name and left it at that. In my next post I will introduce you to the plant that has caused the ruckus.
Sent from my iPhone

17 comments:

  1. "But since this was coming from Mrs. R it wasn't a surprise still I was so irritated if I had wings I could have flown."

    Hahahha! I love this.

    Wouldn't you have to actually eat a lot of the plant to cause damage, even if it were something poisonous? I mean, poinsettas are poisonous but you never really hear of someone accidentally being poisoned by one.

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    1. Er...wait...come to think of it, I have heard of pets having problems with poinsettas, so there's that. Hmm.

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    2. Thank you. I'm glad you can relate to what I'm talking about. I'm not sure whether or not you can ingest it.....it causes severe burns to the skin which can take many months to heal. It can also cause blindness if you were to touch your eyes after handling hogweed. Thanks for commenting. It's nice to hear from you.

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  2. LOL- Everyone needs a neighbor like that. Perhaps you could brew her some "special tea" using hogwart? Just a thought! I have never heard of that plant...nor do I hope to find any of it here. xo Diana

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    1. Mrs.R is a sweet and generous person but she also thinks she knows it all. When you live in a small community you get to know people for their good and bad points: much like family.

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  3. Yes, living in a small community has its negatives as well as positives. it sounds like you're handling it fine.

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  4. Whoever posted the sign should have spoken to you first - it seems you had a worse invasion: an inconsiderate neighbor!

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    1. Yes that's how I felt. I have a phone number and mailbox right outside my gate.....a few steps away from the plant!!

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  5. Dear Ronda ... Nancy said it very well. I too feel like you are handling the situation in the best way.

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  6. Mrs. A probably thought she was doing you a "favor" and had good intentions, albeit very misdirected though! I think you handled the situation very very well, as she came and took down her sign, which shows she figured out she had made a mistake. Not many people want to admit they are wrong, lol! I have never heard of hogweed. Is it just a problem weed in your area, or more widespread?

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    1. Sorry to confuse you. The sign that was removed was my sign. They left their sign up. I have no reason and actually I do not think it was Mrs. R who put up the sign but I do not know who did. After they took down my first sign I put up a second sign with detailed plant information on it containing both the common and scientific name of the plant and that sign is still up. Hogweed is a problem in certain parts of Canada and the United States and maybe elsewhere? It came from Asia with collectors. It has a tropical appearance as it is very large, 9 to 20 feet high with leaves that are several feet accross. It can live in a variety of habitats and is easily spread through waterways. It's worth getting to know the plant as you don't want yourself, pets or anyone to handle it. Large leaves can look enticing to play with for adults and children.

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  7. Hi,
    I think you are doing a great job of handling it. It would definitely make me irritated. Educate them...you go girl! We have so many closed minded folks out in this world. Keep trying to open them up to learning something new!

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  8. For anyone who wants to learn more about hogweed the best place is online. I have many books on wild plants and none of them have hogweed in them as it is more of a recent introduction than the publishing dates of my books.

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  9. Hysteria makes people act in crazy ways, doesn't it? I have heard of the plant, but never seen it and definitely couldn't identify it. I don't believe it's common here.

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    1. It's a good point you've made about hysteria. That plant has been growing there in that same area for close to twenty years and it's been a nonissue until now.

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