Be berry berry careful!

Today the theme is poisonous berries…not necessarily a nice theme but there are some very beautiful berries out there.

Take this one-Deadly Nightshade, or as horticultural boffs might say Atropa Belladonna.

Here she is in varying shades of berry…..

Woody Nightshade you fool NOT Deadly nightshade!

Now then, you have caught me in the midst of a mistake, a faux pas, an idiot fool moment!

All my life I thought this plant was Deadly Nightshade (Atropa Belladonna) but literally 3 minutes ago, whilst checking my facts on the internet I found that this is the Woody Nightshade! Here’s a picture to go with a new fact for me!

Woody Nightshade!

So, whilst I’m reeling with the shock of my years of misinformation, another photo…

That’s WOODY NIGHTSHADE!

So it won’t kill you but it will:  increase bodily secretions and lead to vomiting and convulsions.

ie: Don’t eat it!

And finally, the beautiful purple flowers that come before the berries (Oh I’m all back to front and WRONG today!)

Very Pretty!

On to Black Bryony now which is lurking around my favourite scrumping patches. It drapes itself over blackberry bushes and elderberry trees and….here’s a photo of it doing just that…

Apparently Black Bryony is from the same family as the yam!

And, of course, a close up…

‘Bryony’ means ‘to be full to bursting!’

This is what Black Bryony will do to you: The berries are attractive and they can cause burning and blistering of the mouth and digestive system, resulting in vomiting and diarrhoea. The sap is also an irritant.

I think I will have to stop now as I feel I need to scour the internet for true facts about things I thought I knew! I may be away for some time!

See Ya xx

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Elderberry Rob!

As I have said before….it’s scrumping time so off I went for an early morning constitutional walk across the fields. In my pocket a small bag…(don’t tell anyone but it was a doggy ‘poo-bag’ that my mother had left behind-yes, she does have a dog!) …anyway, it was the perfect sized bag for a little blackberry picking. Oh heavens, there were so many blackberries that I vowed I would come back in the afternoon. I continued on my way but went a slightly different route to my usual one. It was then that I became terribly overexcited by the number of elderberry trees and swiftly after that by the number of elderberries. Then I  knew I would have to come back in the afternoon for elderberries.

 

On arriving back home I set to work de-stalking the little beauties ready to cook…..but what was this?? Ah I had forgotten how much earwigs like elderberries. My kitchen was crawling with them, sticking their bottom claws up defensively!

One of the 35 earwigs roaming around my kitchen this afternoon!

And this is what I made…..

Elderberry Rob moments away from bottling.

So I went back into the kitchen to bottle the cordial and what do I find…..?

2 more earwigs. One trying to get into the fridge, the other scuttling along the bottom of a cupboard…until he lost his balance, that is! And here’s where he ended up…

Oh Dear oh dear!

Can you see him in the cup of rob (which is just another name for cordial).

Apparently elderberries are an invaluable cordial for colds and coughs, but only of late years has science proved that Elderberries furnish Viburnic acid, which induces perspiration, and is especially useful in cases of bronchitis and similar troubles.

Who would have thought it?

See ya xx

Make that Shield Bug do a Breakdance!

What do you think I may have been doing today, apart from nursing that coughing nasty virus? Here’s a clue……

Oh yeah! I’ve been a scrumpin’.

I can’t help myself in September, I just have to get into those hedgerows! This year is amazing for blackberries. Freezer is beginning to fill up. But really now, let me write something about the title!

When I got my haul back to my house, I uploaded (!) the blackberries into the freezer. ‘But wait….what’s this?’ I thought as a small little critter seemed to be balancing on top of a blackberry!

Hold yourself steady there Mr. Shield Bug!

Well imagine my surprise when he leapt off the blackberry and began to dance……

See him spin!

He soon got fed up with that and made his way across the work surface….

Off he goes….

For some reason I decided to put various fruity items in his way. He didn’t flinch once…he climbed over every single one, so much so that I put a little obstacle course together!

Straight up the nut and…..

He can do anything!!

 

The full obstacle course, completed in 31 seconds!

Here’s my last photo of Shenandoah’s exploits in my kitchen before I released him back outside onto some flowers.

Beautiful!

That’s all for now!

See Ya xx