Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fly Poison

The North American Wildlife guide contains the following words of wisdom, "It is a rule of survival among hikers and campers to eat no wild plant that looks like an onion but does not smell like one. This...species is one good reason why." Also known as Stagger Grass or Fall Poison, Fly Poison is extremely poisonous -- livestock and people have died from eating this plant -- care should be taken to avoid contact altogether. The name derives from its use as an insecticide by early colonists, who would smash the root bulb and then mix in sugar to create a fly bait.

There are lots of guidebooks out there for identifying birds, bugs, trees, plants, and insects. The one that has proven the most helpful to me is the Reader's Digest guide to North American Wildlife. While there's no way that a single volume can cover every species of plant and animal, I have found it helpful in narrowing down the choices and getting me started. It's logically organized and beautifully illustrated. I have the 1982 edition (which is the exact same as the so-called "updated" edition) which can be bought used via Amazon for 1 cent!

1 comment:

  1. I've been saying that I need to get something of the sort. I rented one from the library, but it's not doing me any good now! Thanks for the info :o)


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