Tuesday, September 21, 2010

21 bud salute

I am fascinated with things that are both lovely and dangerous at the same time.

A short list is as follows:







Scuba Diving


Datura- A flowering plant that is part of the potato family. Also a Nightshade. Highly toxic if ingested. Has been used for centuries in ritualistic settings and for healing. Also called Belladonna and if you get toxin on your hand and rub your eye, your pupils will be dilated for quite a long while. Women did this on purpose during some long ago time as a beauty enhancement.

The first time I saw a Datura, it was along side of the road one summer. I first noticed this fast growing vine that sprouted almost overnight. Right in a spot that a Javalina had been smashed the spring before.

Within about 15 days, it had HUGE white trumpet flowers, but they seem to wilt as soon as they blossomed.

I looked up the plant based on the description and became very interested in it. That was 10 years ago and until this July, I have been just content to spot one on occasion while travelling around.

This July found us in Elgin, AZ (wine country) for a 5K race that Keith and our youngest daughter were running in. There was Datura everywhere. So I begged Keith to dig me up a root to take home. We only had a butter knife that I snitched from the B & B. He did not cover his hands, but I made sure he washed them vigorously and I got rid of the knife.

I came home and put the bare root in the planter and within a few days, she came back to life.

She has blessed me with 21 little buds. She blossomed for the first time 2 nights ago, but that bloom did not even make it until morning.

These photos were taken last night around 7PM. She is trying to attract the Sphinx Moth for some sexy plant pillow talk, but she will also settle for a bat. I noticed today that our local hummingbird crew is very interested in her as well, but I have not seen them feeding.

This variety I have is a wild sort. Also called Jimsom Weed. But there are other more tropical colorful versions that I envy and will have once we move to Mexico.

A great fictional book to read that Datura has a leading roll in is Hot House Flower-9 plants of desire. It takes place mostly in the Yucatan and is entertaining. It wont rock your world with insight and knowledge, but it is exciting and easy.

That's all I have to say about that...

Friday, September 3, 2010

A one way ticket to Africa.

I have been a bit distracted for the last month or so.

Our youngest daughter (here she is at 10 years old, her birthday outfit. Taken from our home in Auke Bay, Alaska.) is on a flight right now to Africa. With a one way ticket.

She will be working and living at an orphanage for at least 3 weeks, but may stay longer.

This child is a work of art. God was in a very whimsical mood when He created her. Probably the same day He created Rainbows and Koala Bears.

At 25 years old, she has travelled most of the world and has owned her own business and home. She was born in Alaska, so she has that "why wouldn't I do that" sort of attitude.

However, this trip she is going solo. And that is both a moment for us to be proud and terrified.

She has spent the last 7 weeks with us here in Scottsdale preparing for this trip. Well, I have been preparing, she has been buying stuff and eating as much Taco Bell as she could.

Although the trip begins in Africa, she will go on to Prague for a month or more to take a course on teaching English as a foreign language and then to South Korea to teach. Or wherever her travelling feet (or wings) take her.

People love her. We love her.

So here's to you sweet child. May you see all there is to see in this great world. We miss and adore you.


(here she is this July in Elgin, Arizona. Wine Country, she has Keith ran a 5K race as a team for Keif-Joshue Vineyards)