Hallucinogenic Honey?

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Dallas went off on one of her of her Nature Walks, but for the very first time I wasn’t allowed to go along. Genepi and I don’t really understand this pre-occupation with bugs, flowers and such – but normally we go along with it, because whilst she’s prattling around with a camera, we get to play hide and seek in the undergrowth, and chase rabbits.

thornapple1Today the focus was in the corner of a nearby sunflower field, where the flowers weren’t big, round and yellow but long, thin and white. Exquisite. And Dangerous.

There’s an extensive patch of Thorn Apple (Datura stamonium), also know as Jimson Weed or Devil’s Snare.  It is HIGHLY TOXIC and belongs to the Nightshade family. Now I know why we are locked in the kitchen. Imagine Genepi high on some psychoactive stimulant. She’s mental enough as it is.

All parts of this Datura plant contain dangerous levels of  substances classified as deleriants or hallucinogens. This didn’t stop the bees from collecting pollen / nectar.

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They were out in force. Diving right down into the tube.

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Emerging some seconds later, seemingly compos mentis.

This does beg the question : What does this do to the resultant honey?

To quote from Wikipedia ‘Some substances which are toxic to humans have no effect on bees. If bees obtain their nectar from certain flowers, the resulting honey can be psychoactive, or even toxic to humans, but innocuous to bees and their larvae.’ So its okay for the bees, but the honey may well be toxic.

This is a massive blow. Having lost one hive to wax moth, this probably means that the honey from the remaining hive should be ditched. Further research is now required. Any information will be gratefully received.

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Postcards from Iceland : Its lavaley

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Sometimes Andy and Dallas dare to go off on holiday WITHOUT us. Its not nice and we hope they feel bad and guilty about doing it.

In such circumstances I call upon my trusty friend, Travel Blog. He’s small and squishy and can sneak into their luggage without being detected.

He sends me regular updates, complete with selfies. My spy in the suitcase.

Turns out they flew off to Reykjavik. The most northerly capital city in the world.

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Hi Blog, here at the Blue Lagoon and its is quite surreal. Its about an acre of cloudy, yet glowing, turquoise bath water, situated in the middle of a black lava field. All man-made. Its keeping the people remarkably calm and quiet. I just see their heads in the mist gliding about slowly in the mineral rich spa water.

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The surrounding lava field is rugged and barren. And the knobbly basalt is covered in soft green bouncy moss. There’s no habitation for miles around, just a big geothermal power plant.

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Blog, this is a picture of me on the shores of lake Laugarvatn, right next to a puddle of boiling water. The locals come down here and bury rye bread dough in the sand. They leave it to bake for for about 9 hours! Its sweet, and is delish with smoked trout (apparently).

TB_geysir_1Blog – we have moved on to an area famous for geysirs. Sadly the biggest one (the Great Geysir) was all quiet, but a smaller one (Strokkur) was bubbling up and spurting every 3 or 4 minutes.

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Here I am above a big waterfall called Gullfoss (Golden falls). The falls start off wide, then turns through 90 degrees, and suddenly the water all cascades into deep dark crevice – maybe into the centre of the earth?

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And here I am at Thingvellir. Its a big national park, and the seat of the very first parliament in the world, which started in 930AD. Interestingly it is on two tectonic plates, the Eurasian and the North American. Andy and Dallas snorkelled in a fissure between these plates. They had to wear dry suits (what a palaver) as the water is very cold, coming directly off a glacier.

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Finally Blog, you asked about the wildlife. I have met one Icelandic Sheepdog,  who was white, friendly and wee’d on our car. Have seen lots of Icelandic horses, and learnt not to call them ponies. Missed the puffins, who actually spend the winter somewhere out in the open ocean. And got close up and personal with this chap who may well have drifted to Iceland from Greenland on an iceberg – how cool is that?

Signing off for now, love to you and Genepi.

Travel Blog x