Carleton University – Ottawa, Ontario
After dropping my brother off at the Airport for a long flight back to Vancouver, I stopped at Carleton University so that I could lend a hand, if needed, at the end of the Butterfly Exhibit. I knew that there would be a long line-up at the end of this, the final day of the butterfly exhibition, as is the norm after each year’s ten-day show.
Once I had determined that I wouldn’t be needed for a while I decided to take a short walk around that area of the campus to see what I might be able to find to photograph.
Leaves were beginning to show their autumn colors so I turned my attention to getting three different colors of Poison Ivy leaves to add to my Poison Ivy post. Most people have heard of the “Three leaves of green, let it be” rule for avoiding poison ivy but few realize that those green leaves can turn to a selection of lovely colors once Autumn arrives. (More Poison Ivy Information and Images.)
Poison Ivy wasn’t the only noxious or poisonous plant that I encountered in my short loop along the banks of the Rideau River. When people speak to me about Poison Ivy they often mention that they walked though some weedy areas and immediately felt a stinging, tingling sensation. They assume that it is Poison Ivy but most often the plant that they have encountered is the rather nasty but not really dangerous Stinging Nettle.
A different type of danger lurks beneath the surface of various species of Datura due to the poisonous and hallucinatory nature of the tropane alkaloids that are contained in all parts of this plant. I found what appear to be two different varieties of Datura bases on differences in the appearance of their leaves. The first would appear to be D. stramonium while I’m not certain of the second. The seed pods of the first were further advanced and beginning to break open while the second plant was still in flower with still green seed pods.
Not everything in nature is as dangerous as the above but can cause its own collection of problems especially if you happen to own a long haired dog.
The dried seed heads of Teasel (below) can be a bit rough on the skin but lack the velcro-like attachment ability of the burdock (above).
Among this collection of nasties, a bee on an aster and a patch of free flowering marigolds were a delightful find as were the many maples that were beginning to show their glorious Fall collection of red and orange coloration.
The Rideau River passes on one side of the campus of Carleton University and the Rideau Canal passes on the other side. I was on the Ottawa River side of the campus.
It was time for me to end my little walk and head back to the greenhouses so after stopping to take a few photos of the Gandhi Statue, I headed back to the greenhouses were a teepee erected near to the greenhouses was providing some of the children an alternative to standing in line.