Living in a wooded area, I often run across plants that catch my eye. This plant is one that I’ve seen along roadsides, with its shiny black and purple berries and bright magenta stems both catching my eye. A google search informs me that this plant is known as pokeweed. Happily, the plant has not poked me in the eye while catching my eye.
Happily also, I have never been tempted to try the berries, as they (along with the rest of the plant) are “highly toxic to humans.”
Clearly, as evidenced by this berry-less stem, something likes to eat the berries. It seems that several types of birds and non-human mammals can eat them. And, a bit more poking on the web (as well as some info that my daughter learned in a summer camp class) informs me that pokeweed can also (in spite of being poisonous) be eaten by human mammals: “Pokeweed is one of the signature edible native plants of America, with a strong role in Native-American, African-American and Southern cultures and cuisines.” (Read more about pokeweed, aka inkberries, aka poke salad on this post.)
Now that it’s December, the pokeweed around here is dried up and shriveled. (But I still found the leaves and black berry stems to be interesting to look at.)
This morning we awoke to the surprise of a world blanketed in white. (I suppose I could have checked the weather last night, but I didn’t.) In any case, I found myself drawn to the details of snow and the various plants it landed on and around. The last of the colorful fall leaves peaking out into the snow were particularly eye-catching.
Still not ready to give up on daily blogging, still not finding time to really write much. Here is a photo of a leaf that caught my eye for looking like a group of 3 distinct leaves. (This was from a few weeks ago, when the grass still looked pretty lively, and while the colorful leaves were plentiful. Now we’ve moved onto the stage of bare trees and dried out brown leaves on the ground.)
This was a tree that caught my eye, on the edge of the Boston Common. It led to me having various flights of fancy, including imagining that the brickwork was a last resort following the willful disregard of requests to birds not to set up their homes in the tree’s hole. (I like to think that the tree once boasted a “no trespassing” sign like the one in this older photo I took of a tree somewhere in my town.)
Here is a selection of some photos I took on Sunday on my excursion into Boston. I wasn’t looking for patterns, but apparently they found me.
Steps off the Common.
Wall detail inside the Boston Public Library
Arched ceiling inside the Boston Public Library
Fire escape on a building near the Common.
Headstones at the Granary Burial Ground
Organ pipes in King’s Chapel
I took quite a lot of photos on my excursion into Boston yesterday. While many of them were to document historic monuments for my son’s scrapbook project, I naturally took a bunch of things that caught my eye. Something that definitely caught my attention was the flocking behavior of some pigeons. It was fascinating to watch them swoop and turn as a mass. The first flock we saw, I barely managed to get a couple of shots with my phone before the pigeons decided to perch on a rooftop.
A couple of hours later, a flock caught my eye when my real camera was at the ready.
At the end of the day, I was amused to see this one little guy on the underground platform at Back Bay Station, apparently waiting for the same train we were. I can only assume that the flock was getting on his nerves, and he decided to fly solo for a bit (as it were).
Tonight I am grateful both for having a flock to be a part of (my friends and family), but also be able to have some time alone to do my own thing.
These are some photos I took of bittersweet back in September. I first saw the unopened yellow berries, and didn’t actually recognize them. But then I saw the open ones, with their characteristic red berries in the open yellow shell, and realized that they were bittersweet. (I guess that makes it a bittersweet realization.¹)
I’m finding myself too tired tonight to write much. I am barely holding my eyes open. I was going to take a rain check on the gratitude enumeration, but I thought of something bittersweet for which I am grateful. I am grateful to have known amazing people who are now gone, but not forgotten.
¹ Honestly, I did not come into this post intending to make a pun. It’s like they come to me unbidden.