As you can see, this is a brilliant display of red poison oak leaves.

Poison Oak

Winter will come soon and the leaves will fall away leaving thin stalks that look harmless. I learned this lesson a few years back. The path that cuts through this natural growth of poison oak is steep. I decided to take a short break sitting amongst the reed-like stems. They looked so ordinary without leaves.  The next day I had itchy poison oak. I learned to be wary of these plants, and to notice what poison oak looks like when it is “dormant.”  I learned not repeat this mistake.  There is an old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you … Fool me twice, shame on me.”  Well, I haven’t been fooled with this situation again.

It is important to remember that when someone, some event, or some experience has an unpleasant outcome… learn from this and don’t let it happen again.

 Lesson: We get wiser through learning from our mistakes.