Spring Greenery

Poison OakOne of the prettiest plants in the woods: poison oak (known, according to one authority, by two Latin names: Rhus diversiloba (old) and Toxicodendron diversilobum (new)). Kate and I were driving home Saturday from Moraga, a town east of the hiills, after spending a few hours preparing food for our bike club’s annual century ride. We were taking the back road through Canyon, a hamlet hidden in the redwoods and eucalyptus on the lee side of the Oakland hills, when we spotted the “Stop the Malarky” sign below. Getting back into the car, Kate said, “Poison oak.” There was a profusion of it mingling with blackberry vines on the roadside.

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