Moody Hemlock

I have a liking for the umbellifers as subjects for my camera. Something of their structure … appeals. This one is the notorious hemlock, sickener (killer?) of reckless boys who cut the hollow stalks to make pea-shooters of them. This plant is poisonous. Ask Socrates.

Moody Hemlock

Tall hemlock stalks in silhouette: 27 November 2018

These 8′ tall end-of-season stalks stand stark against the gathering storm clouds. Apt, I think, as the #2018picoftheweek title Moody.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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32 Responses to Moody Hemlock

  1. I love this photo! The colours, the lines. Perfect for the “moody” prompt. I would have had no idea that it was hemlock. Good thing I’m not prone to making tea from strange plants!

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      I don’t know exactly how poisonous it is. As a kind I was warned not to make pea-shooters from its stalks. But we know how parents like to exagerate. On the other hand, it was what was used to kill Socrates.


  2. Dale says:

    Beautifully moody.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lynn Love says:

    Gorgeous image. I’m afraid I wouldn’t know hemlock if I saw it, though in light of what happened to poor Socrates, perhaps I should! Am only just getting to know Giant hogweed after I spotted a tall umbellifer growing in my own garden. Still not sure if it was angelica or a white valerian, though possibly angelica as it did irritate the skin a little, though not like hogweed would, thankfully! Just too many plants to identify. Looking forward to seeing your 2019 pics

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      Now, there’s hogweed, which as a kid I harvested for my brothers rabbits. And there’s the spoky-leaved Giant Hogweed, which I would stay well away from. Although in many wayes Valerian resembles the imbellifers, it has glaucus, almost succulent leaves … a sign that it likes the sun. BTW, valerian yields a narcotic!
      Hemlock is actually the easiest to identify. Its ribbed stalk (which might otherwise resemble angelica) is blotched with dark purple. A total give away.
      There is another umbellifer, most common where Roman legions once built their forts. The yellow flowered Alexanders. The Roman used it in cooking. To this day it’s a country substitute for angelica. It has the chunkiet lobed leaves of the UK imbellifers.
      But between this and that there’s a whole hedgerow of umbelliers that, to me, look almost the same. And some of those are also poisonous. They’re like the Addams Family of plants. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I love this, how there’s almost an ombre effect with the colours, moving from dark at the bottom to light at the top. Very moody indeed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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