So, much like the poinsettia that I sketched a few days ago, today’s little holiday plant is even more poisonous. These bright red berries seem to pop up everywhere during the Christmas season, and the plant itself looks like it’s almost made of plastic, making it hard to tell the difference between a fake one and the real thing. Yet he prickly leaves thankfully sort of send a foreboding message to stand back and be wary. Actually, the poison is theobromine, which is a stimulant related to caffeine and is the same poison that naturally occurs in chocolate, albeit at a much lower dose. Apparently, if a child or dog eats a couple of berries it won’t do much damage, but 20 berries can be fatal. So, this little killer plant couldn’t be less suited for a season like this one, which is filled with over-excited children and their dogs. But, who am I to argue with tradition.
These little bits of trivia fascinate me, yet I’m not sure many people aren’t that interested in holly berries. If you search for “holly berry” on Google, it will automatically assume you’re daft and must have been looking for information about the actress, Halle Berry. If, indeed, searching for holly berry information is popular this time of year, than Ms. Berry is experiencing a wonderful burst of free publicity. And thankfully for Halle, any reference to poison promptly removes the beautiful actress from the search results. I’ve wandered off a tangent again, but after discovering this, I lost all interest in berries and just started wondering what Halle Berry has done since the last X-Men wrapped. This is just how my mind works and it’s a wonder I’m able to get anything accomplished at all.
It’s sleeting here and the streets are getting icy in anticipation of the snow that we’re supposed to get tomorrow. For my part, I’m hidden indoors and ready to enjoy a quiet evening at home with Philippe and Phineas. And since it’s Friday, I have a little wine to complete the tableau. Come to think of it, we don’t actually have any real versions of the popular holiday plants in the house since, as you now know if you’ve been following along, the majority of them are toxic to Phineas. But, I hope all of you are enjoying a wonderful evening with your favorite people this Friday night. We’re just a week away from Christmas and I’m already starting to get anxious and excited! For all of you out there who celebrate it, I hope you’re excited as well! Just remember, to let your inner child go wild, while just keeping enough adult wits about you to avoid eating the holly berries.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!