Pictorial blethers

By blethers

After hours in the garden

We waited for the sun to appear today, as promised by the Beeb weather app, and weren't disappointed. It was actually after 5pm before the sky brightened and cleared, and we were well into the depths of Benmore Gardens - again - by then. This is an area I rarely visit, in a hollow below the level of the pond that features so often in my photos, where a little burn runs through muddy banks with a stepping stone to facilitate access.

At this time of year, however, it's colourful: the skunk cabbage lines the water and a huge red rhododendron blooms above it. I like the way the late sun slants down onto the massive branches of the bush, though I don't think its flowers are anything like as prolific as usual.

I'm amused by this bit from the Wikipedia article about skunk cabbage:
While some consider the plant to be a weed, its roots are food for bears, who eat it after hibernating as a laxative or cathartic. The plant was used by indigenous people as medicine for burns and injuries, and for food in times of famine, when almost all parts were eaten. The leaves have a somewhat spicy or peppery taste. Caution should be used in attempts to prepare western skunk cabbage for consumption, as it contains calcium oxalate crystals, which result in a gruesome prickling sensation on the tongue and throat and can result in intestinal irritation and even death if consumed in large quantities. Although the plant was not typically part of the diet under normal conditions, its large, waxy leaves were important to food preparation and storage. They were commonly used to line berry baskets and to wrap around whole salmon and other foods when baked under a fire. It is also used to cure sores and swelling.

I don't think I'll bother ...

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