Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ditch Patrol 09

The ditch Patrol has been off line for a while this summer. Had to have an implanted spinal infusion therapy pump replaced earlier this month at UVA. That went well and with the cool summer I don't have much excuse for not going out.

We also have a new power chair/scooter lift for the van that simplifies things a lot. I'll stick on a few pics below. Engineering marvel!

Here it is on the ground, scooter loaded and ready to lift...
Thirty seconds later at the push of a button...all loaded inside nice 'n neat!

Can you believe I haul all this junk to photograph weeds?!

I'm going to try to get going on the hummingbirds soon although we have very few this year ??

This AM's find is commonly called "Common Nightshade", "Horse Nettle" or "Bull Nettle" (Solanum carolinense if you care). Found it in a ditch (where else!) over in Wilderness Battlefield. It is in the Nightshade (Potato) family. All members of this family , including potatoes, contain the potent neurotoxin solanine which is why you sometimes hear this plant family called the "Deadly Nightshades". Although toxicity is primarily of veterinary interest as livestock can become poisoned by injecting the plants in quanity, humans can become poisoned from ingesting raw, young green potatoes. Form the brief amount I read, the incidence of poisoning is low in humans although it isn't a good idea to eat young green potatoes and potatoes eaten raw should be peeled.

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