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We are known as PaWingers or just The Wingers by our Geocaching friends. When we found our first cache we had to come up with a name to log the find. We came up with this name simply because of residing in Pa. and because one of our many passions is cruising this beautiful country on our Honda Goldwing. Aside from geocaching we are passionate about most anything outdoors including hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling and biking. We are blessed beyond words with a wonderful son and daughter in law. We're also blessed with some terriffic family and friends. We consider ourselves very fortunate due to the fact that after being married over 40 years we still enjoy these things together.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast, what's up with that!!  This post deals with an awesome looking plant called a Foxglove.  The "beauty" part of this title really doesn't require an explanation.  It's a cool looking plant that we actually had growing at our home and have seen it growing wild in places.  Not far from our home there is a back road that has Foxgloves growing like crazy on both sides.  Actually this is how we were introduced to this plant and decided to grow some along with the numerous other flowers we have.  We no longer have these and I'll explain why.

This  is where the "beast" comes into play.  Foxgloves are extremely toxic.  The roots, sap, flowers, seeds and leaves are all very poisonous even when dried.  Some people just get skin irritation and hives while others get far more serious reactions.  The leaves of the upper stem are particularly bad, with just a nibble being enough to cause death. The upper leaves of the stem are more dangerous than the lower leaves. Foxglove is most toxic just before the seeds ripen. It tastes spicy hot or bitter and smells slightly bad. This plant is so poisonous that ingesting only .5 gram dried or 2 grams of fresh leaf is enough to kill a person.
What really makes these dangerous is the lure of the flower itself.  The shape of the flower is such that it's hard for a child to resist sticking their fingers into the flowers.  If they then stick their fingers in their mouths there could be serious consequences.  It would not be a good idea to grow these where children gather or play.  Whoda' Thunk that a plant with such beauty could be such a beast!

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