Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Looking for Stars

This morning the temperature was below 90 and a slight breeze was blowing, making the humidity easier to bear, so I went for a little walk looking for stars in nature.  This isn't an easy task and I had to keep my eyes peeled for the smaller things. These were my favorite finds and the first three I posted in my Picture Inspiration class with Big Picture Classes. I went looking for anything with five points and that could be considered a star or star shape.  Sometimes you might need to squint your eyes or look sideways and stretch your imagination to see the stars!!
 This is the center of one of my Vincas.  The Vincas and the Lantana are the only flowers that are surviving the heat.  I thought it looked like a white star was bursting out from the center.  Also, if you look closely, the very center has a five point star shape in the circle. I didn't see that until I uploaded it to the computer!

Rust is a natural process!!  After searching the cab of a 1940 Ford Pickup that is covered in rust, I finally found one burst of rust that looked like a star! I was wishing my oldest grandson was here. He likes to go on photo walks with me and I'm sure he would have enjoyed looking for a star of rust!!

I couldn't remember exactly what these bushes were called,  so I went to good old Wikipedia. These small flowers are left when the berries fall off pokeweed, better know to southerners as Poke sallet or polk salad. Pokeweed is a herb that is poisonous to mammals, but the leaves can be eaten in their early growth stage. However, the berries are eaten by birds, which are not affected by the toxin because the small seeds with very hard outer shells remain intact in the digestive system and are eliminated whole.

Since pioneer times, pokeweed has been used as a folk remedy to treat many ailments. It can be applied topically or taken internally. Topical treatments have been used for acne and other ailments. Internal treatments include tonsillitis, swollen glands and weight loss. Dried berries were ingested whole as a treatment for boils. Grated pokeroot was used by Native Americans as a poultice to treat inflammations and rashes. Especially to those who have not been properly trained in its use, pokeweed should be considered dangerous and possibly deadly.  There's no way I'm going to eat polk salad!!!

Pokeweed berries yield a red ink or dye, which was once used by aboriginal Americans to decorate their horses. Many letters written home during the American Civil War were written in pokeberry ink; the writing in these surviving letters appears brown. I remember as kids we used to mash the berries, take a stick and write with the ink.   A rich brown dye can be made by soaking fabrics in fermenting berries in a hollowed-out pumpkin.  As Mr H found out, the berry juice can stain your shirt if you sit back on one when your riding the lawnmower!! Now, since I've told you everything you ever wanted to know or not know about pokeweed, we'll move on!  Back to star shapes.
Of course, you can't have a star prompt without a picture of the brightest star we can see!  The sun is the star at the center of the solar system.

This is one of the plants in the haworthia species in my succulent dish garden. I though it looked like several stars stacked on top of each other.  Use your imagination, OK??

A wonky star-shaped leave.  In quilting there are wonky star patterns that are not symmetrical but still have the star shape. This leaf reminded me of one.

When I wander through the woods, I have to be on the lookout for snakes, spider webs, which I CANNOT stand, stray dogs and poison oak!  It makes looking for things to shoot a little more challenging.  I'm always having to stop and look where I put my feet!! Other than the poison oak, that is everywhere, I didn't find anything but this turtle!!  I didn't even run into a spider web!! 

 It was a great morning!!


  1. Great star captures. Especially love the rusty star.

  2. Wow, you found lots of stars! Love the turtle.


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