Sunday, September 30, 2012

Datura Pod

When I was on my walk the other day I did a double take when I saw these incredible pods.  For years I have walked by this same driveway that always has angel trumpets growing at the edge, but I never noticed the pods before.

When I looked it up on Wikipedia I found a few interesting facts.  The name Datura comes from the Hindi word for "thorn apple" and I can definitely see why.  It also belongs to the classic witches weeds, along with the deadly nightshade, henbane, and mandrake (remember that from Harry Potter?) and was a well-known, essential ingredient in love potions and witches brews.  Most parts of the plant contain hallucinogenic toxins and, if ingested, will cause an unpleasant delirium and possible death.  The white flower of this plant is as big as my hand, trumpet-shaped, and quite striking and is sometimes called Moonflower.

When I read all this I picture lots of little witches alighting from their brooms on a full moon evening in October gathering these seed pods for their potions.  I just know I won't be harvesting any Datura flowers for flower arranging this fall and I hope to avoid any such love potions this Halloween!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tomato Joy

We've had a plethora of beautiful cherry tomatoes from Hazelfield Farms this year.  They looked so cute in this green pyrex bowl I had to take their picture.

Still hoping for some warm days but fall is definitely here.  I may just have to get my sunshine from these tomatoes which appear like little balls of sun.  Pure tomato joy!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chicken Feeder Light

I am so excited to finally post my new chicken feeder light!  Last spring my mom and I came across this light in a booth at the Springfield Antique Extravaganza.  I liked it but I hadn't done any research about such things and I decided I could look around online.  I took the woman's card at the booth and put it in the bottomless pit that is my purse.

When I got home I did some research to try and see if I could make my own but I couldn't find any that I liked as well as the one I saw at the show.  Then I just plain got busy and forgot about it for a good four months.

Finally in August I came across the card in my purse and my birthday was coming up so I decided to splurge.  I called the number on the card hoping against hope that by some miracle the woman still had that exact light.  I guess it was my lucky day because she still had it!  Now this beauty lives in my basement thanks to a little handiwork from my hubby.

While I was downstairs today George came down and found me totally enraptured while taking photos.  His comment was, "I'm not sure I see it like you do."  I assured him that after I was done with these photos that he too would fall in love with the chicken feeder light.  I think that's why I like photography.  I want other people to see things as I see see the beautiful lines and patina in a chicken feeder light.  I'm not sure if George fell in love, but I am totally smitten.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Canaan Valley, West Virginia

My friend Christina told me about a great app for the iTouch called Autostitch and I love it! I used it recently on a trip to Canaan Valley, West Virginia.  You can take as many pictures as you want and it stitches them together.  I can't say I love the quality of the iTouch photos, but you can get some neat panoramas with it.  Unfortunately the blog is not the best place to display a panorama, but you can click on it to make it larger.

This lake was near the house we rented and we biked around it and had some great hikes up in the Dolly Sods area.  We also visited Blackwater Falls State Park to see the falls and hike out to an amazing overlook at Lindy Point.  It was really beautiful country and reminded me of my old bear project days in NC.  No bear sightings on this trip but one can always hope.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Turk's Cap Cactus

One of my favorite inhabitants of St. John's was the Turk's Cap Cactus.  This cactus is native to the West Indies and is characterized by a large cylindrical cap called a cephalium.  When I did a web search I found it described as "grotesque, unusual, and bizarre," but I personally would describe them as incredibly cute.  If it weren't for those rows of sharp spines you might want to pick it up and give it a snuggle or punt it like a football.  It is also clearly a very tenacious plant, often barely clinging to life by a withered-looking umbilical cord emerging from a dry rock bed.  If I lived in St. John I would want my whole yard filled with these pot-bellied wonders.  If this drought continues here in Cincinnati my wish may come true because cacti may be all that will grow in my yard.