Monday, September 6, 2010
Sometimes a garish color is necessary to bring attention to something good. The first time I saw beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, we lived in Arkansas. I was walking in the woods and saw this vibrant colored berry on a plant. I wondered if it was real, thinking to myself it looked like a plastic berry. Then I looked around and saw lots of the berries and realized it wasn't plastic, it was real.
I like learning new things and find myself interested in so many topics I can barely keep myself on track much of the time. Today I wondered what the benefit of gaining all this knowledge could be? Then again, I thought, does there need to be a benefit to gaining knowledge, other than the fact it keeps a mind occupied with good things, positive things.
You see at times I am deeply affected with negative things, the state of the economy, all the people out of work, how I'll afford to live in retirement, declining health, disaster striking and not being able to afford to fix what breaks, health or house wise, and so on.
Just the other day we were going to the grocery store and I saw a dead squirrel in the road and another squirrel was standing by his side. As I got closer the living squirrel ran to the side of the road. I slowed down and drove around them and as I looked back in the mirror I saw the living squirrel go back to the side of the dead squirrel in the road.
I said to Gary, look at that squirrel standing by the side of his dead mate. Gary said, or it might be his mother, father, sibling, or friend. Then Gary told me about a bird who stood by the side of another bird all day long one day when he was driving his dump truck. He told another worker about the bird and the worker said the bird was a dove. The worker said doves mate for life. All around me there's positive and negative, happiness and sadness, life and death, happening all the time.
Today I learned beautyberries can be used to make wine and are a survival food for birds and other animals in the dead of winter. I also learned a chemical contained in beautyberry has been isolated and can be used as a repellent for mosquitoes.
Beautyberry grows in dappled shade with the berries ripening this time of year when the mosquitoes are thick and hungry. I wonder if the mosquitoes will leave me alone if I stand next to a beautyberry? Another glaze load is cooling today and I'm off to a local park, more about those two later.