A Darker View of Nightshade

 

The pretty purple flowers and silvery leaves of a common Texas nightshade, Solanum elaeagnifolium, spread along roadsides and ditches across Texas: from coastal prairies to the hill country, to the panhandle, and beyond. 

As its flowers fade, the developing fruits take on the appearance of small green tomatoes; in time, the fruits turn yellow and become even more appealing.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a fruit to use in jam or jellies. Poisonous even in its early stages, the fruit becomes increasingly toxic as it ripens, helping to explain why birds and mammals allow it to linger on the plant well into winter.

On a dank, rainy day at the Brazoria Wildlife Refuge, this nightshade — already missing its leaves and skeletal in appearance — caught my eye. The dark, water-filled canal behind it seemed the perfect background for a poisonous plant; a shutter speed of 1/1600 magnified the effect.

 

Comments always are welcome.

 

eclipse

 

I wake and spend
the last hours
of darkness
with no one but the moon.
She listens
to my complaints
like the good
companion she is
and comforts me surely
with her light.
But she, like everyone,
has her own life.
So finally I understand
that she has turned away,
is no longer listening.
She wants me
to refold myself
into my own life.
And, bending close,
as we all dream of doing,
she rows with her white arms
through the dark water
which she adores.
                                                       “Moon and Water” ~ Mary Oliver

 

 

Comments always are welcome.