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Pontifications on Poison

Being some ramblings on events associated with poisonous plants.

Monday 19th March 2012

After the excitement of yesterday's blog entry (three people retweeted my tweet announcing it and the number of people who visited the page exploded), I thought I'd go for a peaceful rural post after this morning's walk along the River Tweed near Norham.

It is a particularly well tended stretch of river so many of the poisonous plants presently putting in an appearance are unlikely to survive to full maturity but it just goes to show they are there and most people pay no attention to them.

It was a coldish start and the signs of brightening up never came to much but nor did the promised gusty winds so, on balance, it was a very pleasant spring morning.

River Tweed at Norham

The first sign of spring was of the animal rather than vegetable type.

Young lamb runs to mum

I think the Vinca minor, lesser periwinkle, is a garden escape rather than a true native but it was a welcome bit of colour in the embankment.

Vinca minor, lesser periwinkle

There was quite a lot of Conium maculatum, poison hemlock, but previous years have seen it brought under control quite quickly.

Conium maculatum, poison hemlock

And the buds of Aesculus hippocastanum, horse chestnut are stunning both before and just as they burst.

Aesculus hippocastanum, horse chestnut


Aesculus hippocastanum, horse chestnut

And, finally, for those who trust the old wives' tale about lots of berries meaning a bad winter is on the way, here's an ivy bush, Hedera helix, still covered in berries even though the birds will readily eat them if hungry.

Hedera helix, common ivy

I'm giving a talk tomorrow morning in Dunbar so it's nice to have seen that the 'Lethal Lovelies' are still around.