Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ilex vomitoria and a beautiful sunrise

We have a lovely yaupon holly or Ilex vomitoria beside our driveway. I never knew the latin name and the Ilex vomitoria has an interesting history.

Native Americans used the leaves and stems to brew a tea called asi or black drink for male-only purification and unity rituals. The ceremony included vomiting, and Europeans incorrectly believed that it was the drink itself that caused it (hence the Latin name). The active ingredient is actually caffeine, and the vomiting was either learned or as a result of the great quantities in which they drank the beverage.

Behind me, as I was taking this picture, was the most glorious sunrise I've seen in awhile. Pardon the utility wires in the shot. It was a cool morning: 23F. You also can see the holly berries in this shot:

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