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Plants

The Pleasure

Lessons from the Poison Path

As many a seasoned hiker can tell you, an incautious encounter with poison oak can turn a happy memory of a forest walk into a drawn-out ordeal of incapacitating anguish. The merest brush against the plant’s green and ruddy leaves—or even its bare stem—is apt to trigger a singular suffering perversely described by some as the pleasure.

Despite centuries of hard-won wisdom among Native Americans and colonial settlers alike, many mysteries still surround the wily nature of Toxicodendron diversilobum. How does the plant adapt and morph to thrive in a variety of wilderness environments? Why are some people seemingly immune to its toxins? Can its excruciating rash re-emerge on its own years later? And, most perplexing of all, could the plant be possessed of an intelligence beyond human understanding?

With illustrations by David V. D’Andrea.

Staple-bound zine
24 pages

$9.00

In stock

A Green Man with poison oak leaves for a face emerges against a background of orange California poppies. Below the Green Man coils a snake.
The Pleasure
$9.00