I’ve written bitterly about the depredations of squirrels on my magnolia tree.
I’ve written bemusedly about the challenge of finding views of flowers that are more than just pretty – something a wee bit different.
Today’s offering from Vancouver (where, apparently, the squirrels don’t gorge on magnolia buds in the Spring) tackles both topics.
I grew up in the Himalayas, where the hillsides were carpeted with wild rhododendrons. Slopes covered in rich red blossoms. I still maintain a soft spot for rhododendrons — which is probably why we have half a dozen of them growing along one fence. We used to gather them and make rhododendron jelly, which had magnificent colour but not much taste. The books will tell you that the blossoms are poisonous, but like other things like cassava, if you boil the hell out of them, they’re safe.
Jim – In Scotland a few years ago, I was astounded to hear environmentalists disparaging rhododendron. What’s not to like? Well, it’s an introduced and invasive species brought back from somewhere (maybe the hillsides near your childhood home) by the Victorians, who transplanted all kinds of specimens to eventual ill effect. I did not know that you make it into jelly, though.