Weekend Trip to Oakville - Photographs and Flora

We went to Oakville to see my parents on Saturday. Took a few photos with my new camera - both of James our little boy, and of some flora.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
James in my mum's arms, watching the excavator at work, with my dad supervising.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Curious James.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
James in my mum's arms, watching the excavator at work.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
James and my mum.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
James and my mum.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
James carrying a nice stick.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
James and my dad.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Spring and my mum.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
James and my dad.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
James and my dad.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
James running towards me!

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Northern Oat Grass (Chasmanthium).

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Northern Oat Grass (Chasmanthium).

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Ginkgo biloba

They are very long lived plants and can live thousands of years and are a living fossil (a tree that seems to be the same as a species seen in fossils and has no close living relatives) (thanks to Mervi of Saami Arts for this information).

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Berries of Lily of the Valley - contains compounds less powerful, but related to the cardiac medication / plant Digitalis. Also a diuretic when made into a tea.

This must be used with caution and is better handled by an experienced herbalist as the berries can cause paralysis and severe respiratory distress. The cardiac medicine was usually made as a tincture from the leaves. It contains several active cardiac glycosides but all parts of this plant are toxic if mishandled (thanks to Mervi of Saami Arts for this information).
"Lily of the valley, along with scilla and star-of-Bethlehem, are early spring bulbs commonly used in gardens. All contain poisons called cardiac glycosides, which act rather like the drug digitalis.

Children, especially, have been poisoned by eating the berries of this colonial bedding plant.

An extract of lily of the valley was once used as a medicinal heart stimulant, but it has now been replaced in pharmacology by digitalis, which is an extract of foxgloves."
James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Sweet Alyssum is part of the Mustard family. The flowers have a wonderful honey-like smell, very fragrant. The stems and leaves can be used in salads.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Yellow Wood Sorrel flowers - tasty, tangy, edible leaves. Known as Shamrock in Ireland. I photographed some at Pinetree Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park in June 2009.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Hens and Chickens - tasty, succulent, edible.
"Hens and chickens (Sempervivum sp.) is a cactus-like succulent that looks a bit like a swollen artichoke. It’s known as a stonecrop, which appropriately means it grows in dry, rocky crevices. The Latin word “Semper” means “always” and “vivum” means “that which is alive,” a reference to its hardiness.

Hens and chickens is native to the Middle East and Africa but grows across North America and is cultivated as an ornamental in landscaped yards, though it sometimes escapes gardens to become feral.

The leaves are fleshy and have a crunchy texture. The flavor is mildly sweet with an astringent kick. It is surprisingly drying for such a water-rich plant, which creates the odd experience of quenching your thirst while puckering your tongue. Still, it is tasty raw. You can also use the plant medicinally to soothe skin irritations: squeeze the leaves to apply juice on insect bites and minor skin irritations."
James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Pond with goldfish flickering about.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Taken from the passenger seat of the car, under an airport flightpath.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Airplane descending for a landing.

James at Sheddon - September 18, 2010
Almost home, trees from the highway.

Cheers,

Mungo

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