On 23 February an errand took us down a small gravel road off County road #1 in Stormont Dundas & Glengarry County, a few kilometres south of Mountain, Ontario. Fred noticed a telephone pole with a Poison Ivy vine climbing up it right to the height of the wires, so on our way back out, we stopped to take photos and break off a specimen.
I have only seen the climbing kind of Poison Ivy a couple of times north of the US. Once on the Bruce Trail near Collingwood, and once in Toronto. The thing I find most sinister about Poison Ivy vines, is the way the stems are fastened tightly to the tree trunk (or telephone pole in this case) by dense red fringes of aerial roots with the kind of aggressive vigour that one would only expect in highly competitive and diverse tropical forests! This one had plenty of tufts of reddish rootlets embroidering its multiple grey vine stems to the pole, but the spookiest thing was the way that a few of the thickest stems emerged from the top of a metal tube that was fastened to the side of the pole. They filled the tube nearly to bursting and seemed to explode from the opening, reaching its several tips to nearly touch the telephone wires.
This vine must have been splendid with clusters of white berries this fall, as now every branch-tip is decorated with the delicate skeletons of bare fruiting stems. I took several photos. We will return to check it in the growing season.