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Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Neighborhood good for the Soul!***

Here we are my dear readers...heading into my favorite season of the year-of ANY year!  It's the red, orange and yellow season...AUTUMN!  And, are you ready for it?  I bet you are!  The smell of that crisp new air, that accompanies autumn's entrance...such a delightful embrace! And, oh, the 'falling leaves' are bound to drift by my window, sooner or later! But, in Fort Worth, most of the trees don't start turning colors until November.  Instead of the beautiful reds and oranges, the leaves turn brown, dry up, then you have to clean them up in your yard! Just kidding-some trees do turn beautiful, and I hope to send some lovely autumn photos your way this year!

Oh's the wonderful air that sets me 'aglow', and the sights and smells of apples and pumpkins (well, I don't know about pumpkin smells)!  But, how about that mulled cider?  Or any cider?  Halloween is just around the corner, and the mums are in full bloom!

Here's what's going on at our local Kroger store!  Gorgeous, huh?
~photo by Suzanne

It's that time of year when I love to take a stroll through the neighborhood with my camera, of course, and look for fun fall things!  And, since our trees aren't displaying fall colors just yet, I've been focusing on the many other beauties in my neighborhood.  There is one adorable home I drive by every morning that has a beautiful plant in front near the driveway.  I have admired and enjoyed this plant for several years now, and, vowed that one day I would stop by and photograph it.  You see it only blooms in the morning, so you have to be an early bird, and show up at just the right time!

~Angel Trumpets * photo by Suzanne * September 24, 2013

Isn't this beautiful?  It's called 'Brugmansia', aka Angel Trumpets, and boy, is it a big one!  I get to watch this plant thrive and show off every day.  I wanted to stop and meet the homeowner and ask a bit about the plant.  I have seen her outside deadheading the has such large buds. I think you can see some of them in this photograph.

*** These plants become large trees or small shrubs, with quite a lot of branches.  They are actually native to South America, along the Andes from Venezuela to northern Chile, and also, south-eastern Brazil.  Most of these plants are fragrant and attract moths and butterflies, who store the plant's alkaloids, later to be used as a defense mechanism against predators for the adult butterfly.

*** Today, Angel Trumpets are mostly grown as flowering, ornamental plants, but, have also been grown in many South American cultures for medicinal uses.  One such use was as a ritualistic hallucinogen for divination, to communicate with ancestors, as a poison in sorcery and black magic.  It has been applied as an ointment for treatment of dermatitis, arthritis, headaches, and, as an anti-inflammatory.  Some South American cultures have used 'Brugmansia' as a treatment for unruly children, and, mixed with maize beer and tabacco leaves, it has been used to drug wives and slaves before they were buried alive with their dead lord!  Ugghh!  ...Shall we move along?

*** Let it be known, that all parts of this plant are poisonous...OH NO!  I got up close and personal with this one for a real good look!

~photo by Suzanne * Fort Worth, TX * September 24, 2013

The plant contains Scopolamine hyoscyamine (what the?) and several other tropane alkaloids.  Mind you now,  if you ingest any part of this plant, it can cause confusion, diarrhea, migraine headaches, paralysis of the smooth muscles, and death.

*** Do I dare continue?  Well, the hallucinogenic repercussions of the Brugmansia when drank in tea form can be horrific!  According to Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, a young man amputated his tongue and private parts after drinking one cup of Brugmansia tea!  It induces a powerful trance with violent and sickening after effects, and, possibly insanity.

*** I hope I didn't spoil the fun of this plant for you, dearest readers...just stating the facts ma'am (and, sirs!)  This is a lovely plant, and, in warmer climates, it is capable of flowering year-round.

This is a very thirsty plant that needs to be watered well and often. I did get to meet the owner of this lovely specimen.  Her name is Pat, and she has a great yard full of gorgeous plants.  She did tell me that her Angel Trumpet plant attracts you can see in my photo above, there are a few bees in the angel blooms, and they were plentiful around the entire plant as I photographed it.  I had a great visit with Pat, and she invited me to come by anytime to photograph her plants and get additional tips from her about them.  She had several plants that I am not familiar with and would like to investigate further.

I hope this post finds you all well and happy.  It's really getting festive in my neck of the woods, what with Halloween coming around soon.  I hope to have our little Scootie here for Tricks or Treats!  Here is a photo of him when he just turned two, on his first Trick or Treat excursion!

~ Halloween 2010 * 
What a pro...he already knew how to sort out his candy and count it at the age of 2.  Kids are born with Halloween skills!  

Thanks goes out to:

*** A special thank you to my neighbor Pat!  You have a beautiful yard!

Thank you my gracious readers for taking the time to come by and check up on me!  I've been staying out of trouble, but, 'you-know-who' over at the KardKorner is bugging me to help her with a Halloween post.  I know, I know!  Time's rolling's just around the corner!  I'm coming, oh Kard mistress!

Please say hello if you get a chance, I welcome any and all (well, within reason) comments!  Hope the weekend brings you fair, fall weather and much laughter!

Got Pumpkins?
~Photo by Suzanne

See you soon! ♥