Tag Archives: Toxic

A new fur baby leads to ‘Plums A Lot’

Delighted that the “Plums A Lot” photo was featured in the Camera Art Group on Pixels.Com today!

Plums A Lot Photograph by Vanessa Thomas

So what’s the story behind this photo?

Like so many other families we adopted a puppy after the first couple of months of lockdown. Thankfully the Valley Humane Society was still arranging adoptions with special safety measures in place.

Little Archie has been a playful, fun and cute addition to our household and has drawn our attention to certain things that had become part of the background. The ornamental Plum tree in our garden being one of those!

Spring Awakening Photograph by Vanessa Thomas

It’s a tree that produces the prettiest blossoms in Spring and an abundance of tiny plums in Summer so it’s a pleasure to have in the garden. Little Archie was excited to play with the little burgundy fruit balls which of course was a nightmare because plums pits are toxic to dogs!

So on a blistering hot Summer’s day during a Zoom call break my husband took on the task of pruning the tree and I helped to collect some of the fallen fruit. What a task!

It seemed such a waste to simply add them to the garden refuse so of course I set a few aside to photograph first. For those of you who are interested – here is also a pic of little Sir Archie.

Little Sir Archie in the garden


Pretty but toxic Peach Oleander

Nerium Oleander, another pretty flower on a toxic shrub. It is not as deadly as Angel’s Trumpets although ingestion can cause poisoning when someone sucks nectar from the flowers or chews leaves from the plant. Poisoning can also happen if you eat honey made by bees that used the oleander plant for nectar. Best to keep dogs and kids away from it.

Photo 1: Shower of peach Oleander

Oleander peach 4

Photo 2: Single Oleander Bloom

Oleander peach

Photo 3: Oleander buds and blooms

Oleander peach 3

Photo 4: Peach Oleander

Oleander peach 2

Photo 5: Pretty and toxic

Oleander peach 5

Angel’s Trumpets: Beautiful and deadly

Brugmansia, more commonly known as Angel’s Trumpets are well suited to their name and look positively angelic in the early morning light. Do not be deceived by their heavenly name and scent though as they are deadly poisonous so if you eat them you could meet your maker. This large shrub with it’s impressive blooms belongs to the Solanaceae family along with a plant called Deadly Nightshade for good reason, all parts of Brugmansia are poisonous, with the seeds and leaves being especially dangerous.

Photo 1: Angel’s Trumpets in Morning light

Angels trumpet 2


Photo 2: Sunkissed Angel’s Trumpet

Angels trumpet 9



Photo 3: Salutation

Angels trumpet 5

Photo 4:Angel’s Trumpet bud

Angels trumpet 3

Photo 5: Heavenly form

Angels trumpet 4

Photo 6: The spiral

Angels trumpet 6

Photo 7: Angel’s Trumpet

Angels trumpet 8

California Buckeye aka California Horse Chestnut

The nearby Tassajara Creek offers wonderful photo opportunities and while I was out trying some scenic outdoor pics I came across this bloom. It reminded me of the Horse Chestnuts I had seen in the UK only the flowers were packed much closer on the stalk. After some research I found out that it is Aesculus Californica, California Buckeye aka California Chestnut. The fruits are poisonous, and they were used as fish poison by the Pomo, Yana, Yokut and Luiseno peoples (Kroeber, 1925). Nifty fishing method…As I walked away from the tree, a Swallowtail Butterfly also made it’s appearance and I was fortunate enough to get a shot of it.

Photo 1: Buckeye in Bloom

Buckeye 3 low res


Photo 2: California Horse Chestnut

Buckeye 2 low res

Photo 3: British Horse Chestnut White

Horse Chestnut 2 low res

Photo 4: British Horse Chestnut Pink

Red Horse Chestnut 2 low res


Photo 5: Buckeye along the Creek

Buckeye low res

Photo 6: Butterfly on Buckeye

Buckeye and Butterfly low res

Photo 7: And another butterfly pic just for fun

Buckeye and Butterfly 2 low res

Amanita muscaria in the woods

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) is the quintessential English toadstool with its bright red colour and little white spots. The fleshy toadstool is actually the spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus and as it matures the white spots drop off and it flattens out. Fly agaric derives its name from the practice of using it to attract and poison flies, often broken up into milk or sprinkled with sugar. It is also toxic to humans.

Photo 1: Fly Agaric in the woods

Fly Agaric Mushroom 1 low res

Photo 2: Fly Agaric emerging

Fly Agaric Mushroom 5 mini low res

Photo 3: Fly Agaric mini

Fly Agaric Mushroom 3 mini low res1

Photo 4: Fly Agaric with bite

Fly Agaric Mushroom 2 bite low res

Photo 5: Fly Agaric needing a fairy

Fly Agaric Mushroom 6 mini low res