Jewel weed and Dykeman Park

jewel weed

Nature provides hidden surprises.  If you know how to use the surprises,  sometimes  it can really help you.  Poison ivy is an awful thing, but there is a common weed that will help if you get poison ivy itching on your skin.

Poison ivy is a thing that some people are allergic to, and some not.  If you get it, you get little bumps of watery blisters on your skin and one of the world’s worst itches!

Jewel weed grows along creeks and ponds, always within a few feet of the water, usually right on the banks.  It’s called jewel weed cos if you turn the leaves over and hold them under water, the veins on the underneath side of the leaves do an amazing thing with the light, and it looks like hundreds of tiny crystal  jewels laying on the leaf.

Here is a close up of some leaves and a flower.

poison ivy


The jewels on the leaves seem  like magic, but the true magic of jewel weed is the juice you get when you smash the leaves. If you get poison ivy, you should locate a place where you can get some jewel weed.  Take a nice hand full of jewel weed leaves and rub them between your hands, hard, to extract some juice from the leaves, and rub the juice and the leaves themselves on the area where the poison ivy is broken out on your skin.  Get as much of the juice on your skin as you can, and let it dry there.  Within a few hours the itching should stop, and the spreading of the poison should stop too.  The chemical in the weed changes the chemical in the little blisters on your skin.

I took these pictures at Dykeman Park in Shippensburg.  It’s a beautiful peaceful place with large ponds, preserved wetlands, fish that the local fish and game raises in the ponds, ducks and Canadian geese that pass thru in season.   It’s laid out with benches and bridges and it’s a good place to go and relax, take a picnic or hike, and see lots of nature all in one place, preserved and protected for all to enjoy. You will see beautiful birds, maybe a turtle, and hear bull frogs croaking as you walk along the trails.  Trails are kept open so you can walk around behind the pond in the wetland preservation area.

Some of the fish in the ponds are Palomino trout, which are beautiful fish, especially when the sun shines on them.  Here’s a picture of one of them, this one almost 2′ long, and several other pictures of our peaceful place to visit in Shippensburg.





Dykeman Spring

wet lands

Dykeman Park


There is a lot of history in  the area too, connected to the Dykeman House as well as the Hatch House at the edge of the one pond.  If you’re coming to this area, you should take some time to go to this interesting place.

6 responses to “Jewel weed and Dykeman Park

  1. Lovely captures! That park looks so beautiful. Thanks for the tip on poison ivy – jewelweed grows in a lot of places here so if I ever have a problem with poison ivy I will remember what you said about it. I didn’t know they did that when put under water. You learn something new every day! 🙂

    • Thanks Jackie! Good, I’m glad to be able to provide info that’s helpful to people as well as just fun. If you can get some jewel weed, you should try looking at it underwater; it’s amazing. That fish, he sort of swam up there and asked me to take his picture, lol. They keep their breeding stock in that big pond and then stock local streams with young fish. If someone catches a Palomino, they get a cash prize if they turn it in to be recorded. This big one (and several more his size, as well as big regular trout) is breeding stock that stays there tho.

    • It is peaceful. We get loads of Canadians in their migration, stopping for several days to rest, too. It’s a good place for children of all ages. I took my son there to feed bread to the ducks and geese when he was little. Once the Canadians followed us to the car and tried to get in, lol. I guess they wanted more bread!

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