Saturday, 29 June 2013

Day 180 : belladonna

I've definitely become more observant since commencing my 365 project. My aim is to secure a photograph a day and it starts from when I leave my front door each morning. Much of my daily inspiration is drawn from what I see around me, and it’s made me so much more aware of the minute changes to my environs that occur day-to-day. I would never have been so aware when reluctant flowers finally throwing off the austere mantle of winter, when tiny buds are emerging and then bursting into bloom, when spiders have spun new intricate, sparkling webs, when hungry caterpillars have been munching through a field of leaves and when a new surprise plant springs up from nowhere.

Today an innocuous green leafy bush has a sprig of deadly nightshade poking through from its nether regions. I can't recall when or who told me about deadly nightshade but I have an innate need to recoil, isn't that poisonous? I'm intrigued, I can't see where it’s growing from, the bush is too thick. Maybe a witch lives there, I believe belladonna has all sorts of venomous and hallucinogenic properties and was attributed to be used to make “flying ointment” - a trippy tincture that ’gives you wings’ perhaps. The name Belladonna comes from the Italian 'beautiful woman' as it was ingested to dilate the pupils to make them look 'more beautiful'.

Well I have no intention of eating the flowers or the leaves and if I see any of those little berries (devil’s tomatoes!) I'm keeping a very wide berth. Tomatoes are from the same family and I give them just as wide a berth, well you never know, they don't look trustworthy! And I'm well aware that the genus also includes potatoes, those I don't fear however, anything that tastes that good mashed with butter or sliced in cream and garlic can't be that bad!


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