Autumn brings brilliant hues that brighten up the Nova Scotia landscape. In the salt marsh, maple leaves and red apples stand in bright contrast to the evergreens and grey waters.
Bright orange rose hips replace summer’s pink blooms on the wild rose bushes. Full of vitamin C, they’ll provide a nourishing treat for birds in the cold winter months ahead. They’re often dried for use in herbal teas.
Unlike the rose hips, the elongated nightshade berries shown at left, are NOT edible. Both the fruit and leaves of this plant are extremely toxic. Consumption of fewer than five of these berries can be lethal to children. It’s best not to eat any wild berries that grow in a similar oblong (as opposed to spherical) shape. These nightshade plants are numerous along the edges of the salt marsh trail and can be identified by their purple flowers during the summer months.
Nightshade was used to poison the tips of arrows by early people. It was also used to poison political rivals in Ancient Rome and employed by MacBeth to poison troops in Scotland.
This single long stemmed red rose was found wedged between two tree trunks along Rosemary’s Way, a small path that leads off to the side before the first bridge on the trail. How it arrived in this setting is a mystery. Besides heralding the cooler days ahead, it would appear that Autumn’s colours reveal the fiery passions that still lie beneath the surface.