Friday, August 15, 2008


Tempting, aren't they?

But I wouldn't dare.

These berries strike me as just the thing a wicked witch would use to lure Hansel and Gretel down the path and deeper into the woods. "Oooh," the witch would say, "delicious, aren't they? So sweet and jooooseeee." And poor Gretel would stuff her cheeks. She wouldn't know they were poison berries. By the time she was dizzy and sick to her stomach it would be too late, she'd be in the witch's cabin, hidden away on a hillock in the Arroyo SecoI mean the woods—where most people don't even know there's a cabin at all.

Hansel had better enlist all his handsome prince friends to help him find her, or he's going to have to walk the dog by himself from now on.


Katie said...

These do look tempting, especially the way you've photographed them! I'm always way too scared to try anything out in the wild though, even if it looks like something I recognize. I think I'll just head out to my mom's house today and raid her amazing garden instead!

Thursday Girl/Hollis the Cat said...

Great pic--is this along the arroyo path? Which side?

PS: hope you are enjoying your vacation!

Petrea said...

I thought of you when I took this, Katie. Flower setting, blurry background. You're the expert.

TG/HTC: This is looking north, on the east side, north of the parking lot in Lower Arroyo Park. And thanks, but I've been back for a week and a half! (In some cases, being home is better than being on vacation.)

Isaac Garcia said...

okay - I have to ask. What type of berries are they? And, how do you know they are poisonous?

Laurie said...

I haven't seen these berries before. Do you know what they are called?

Beautiful shot, Petrea.

Thursday Girl/Hollis the Cat said...

Thanks, Petrea!

I agree about being home. I'm planning a Pasadena'staycation' in a couple of months. I'll go to the Huntington, Norton Simon, I'll check out some of the hiking trails in the mountians, have a spa day at Burke Williams, take a few yoga classes, etc. I can't wait!

Thanks for the info--I walk that area sometimes and I'll look for those berries!

Petrea said...

I don't know what they are, Isaac, it's just a fantasy. I couldn't find hide nor hair of them on the web. Do you know? I'd love to hear what they are.

Thank you, Laurie and TG. Hey, that Staycation sounds good.

Palm Axis said...

I think they're Elderberries. I ate one the other day and lived to tell the tale (I don't recommend anyone doing this, I just reckless that way).

dlakelan said...

I'm almost sure these are Elderberries, though you should check that out yourself.

The thing about Elderberries is they're actually not that sweet or interesting. Some people make wine out of them, some make jam... They're better as a photo I think. You're not missing anything if you don't try them.

Virginia said...

Whatever they are, the made a terrific photo today. I'm with Katie on the soft background. Great composition on this one.

USelaine said...

The leaves looked so much like the vine called Virginia Creeper, that I had to look it up. Sure enough, the berries are toxic in sufficient quantity, but are okay for birds to eat. If a plant produces a berry, something needs to be able to eat it in order to disperse the seed.

You are so smart, Petrea! I know who I will want with me when we have to start living off the land.

Coltrane_lives said...

Thought you had taken a trip to a California vineyard for a moment. Your photo (and the day of the week) reminds me it's time to see what kind of California grape juice I've got stored away. ;-) Have a cool weekend!

Palm Axis said...

It's official, and it's a treat. It's called Mexican Elderberry (Sambucus Mexicana). It's common to the area. A small tree that is part of the honeysuckle family. It grows at 4500 feet and below. It can be eaten only after it's fully ripe (of course, there is no description on when that is). This info comes from a book called "Roadside Plants of Southern California" by Thomas J. Belzer.

Petrea said...

Elaine, I believe Palm and dlakelan are right. You and I would starve on a camp-out unless we brought provisions. You'll want me with you post-apocalypse only because I have a cache of canned goods and bottled water.

I looked at the links you all sent--thanks. The leaves don't grow in that five point configuration of the Virginia Creeper. Pretty sure they're Elderberries.

Anyone ever had Elderflower Pressé? I've purchased it at the Rose Tree Tea Cottage before. They're closing end of September.

You have a good weekend too, Coltrane.

Palm, thanks for all the info. I hoped you'd know.

And welcome, dlakelan. Don't know how you found me but it's probably because you're ingenious.

USelaine said...

Parrr-Daaay! Woo-Hoo! Pass the elderberry wine, my friends. We are jammin'! 8^)

Cafe Observer said...

P, wait a second! Did I just see u do a, btw Rose Tea Cottage is closing at the end of Sept? on Calif down the blk from CalTech?, in that quaint cottage area? That was a mistype, right?
They've been there for as long as I can recall. Of course, not long enuf 4 me to ever go xcept do a drive-by.
If so, Why?/I can guess. I gotta ck w/my girlfriends 2 ck it out!

Elderberry as a tea is the form it's most consumed. For it's supposed anti-cold/flu properties.

Nice/refreshing pic..

USelaine said...

Reminds me of that memorable French insult in Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

French Soldier: I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.

Bernie K. said...

Nice bokeh, dude.

Petrea said...

Partay! usE, "I fart in your general direction," spoken with a fake French accent, is one of the most memorable lines in modern cinema.

C.O.: not a mistype, unless I misread. You're probably guessing right: a beloved Pasadena institution will be torn down to make way for another multi-use low-rise. Hope it's as attractive as the other ones they've been building, if you catch my drift.

Domo arigato, Bernie.

Ana Carini said...

Hi there! Thanks for visiting my blog! God to know you are also from Pasadena. Nice meeting you!

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Great perspective on this shot!

Jim said...

The berries do look to good to pass up.

freefalling said...

Just one little berry.
Taste it.
Real quick.
Seems I'm always encouraging you to do something illicit! (or slightly damaging to your health).