04-26-2009 eye of the beholder

eye-of-the-beholder

ISO 200 1/500@f5.6 -.7EV

Jimsonweed is part of the potato/nightshade family and is poisonous. It’s also called Jamestown weed, devil’s trumpet, locoweed, mad apple and stinkweed. Locoweed takes its name from the Spanish loco “crazy,” referring to the behavior of animals when they eat the plant.

The name jimson weed was derived from Jamestown, Va. – shortened from Jamestown – the place where British soldiers were seen acting strangely when they were called upon in 1676 to suppress Bacon’s Rebellion. It’s unclear whether they were sabotaged or had ingested the herb accidentally, but one military man was described in historical accounts as kissing his comrades, another running after feathers, and a third sitting naked, grinning like a monkey. Not surprisingly, they were also overcome in battle by the protesting Colonists.

The plant has been described throughout history as a toxin famous for its mind-altering properties. There are references to it in Homer’s Odyssey, and Shakespeare’s plays: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Anthony and Cleopatra. It was also known to be used for the medicinal treatment of colds and asthma, and for religious purposes.

I found this specimen growing along the sidewalk, beside many sunflowers… see “transit of the sun“. Following Jim T’s lead, I desaturated it somewhat with an additional sepia tone for a bit more interest.

~ by myVelleity on April 26, 2009.

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