Hemlock: The Plant That Killed Socrates: Feb 15, 2022

 In 399 B., one of the greatest philosophers of all time, Socrates was sentenced to death. Socrates was a courageous man who stood up for what he believed in. He was offered a chance to live, but he chose death instead.

Socrates was taken to the nearby jail where his sentence would be carried out. Athenian law prescribed death by drinking a cup of poison hemlock. Socrates drank the hemlock, as condemned at trial, and executed his death sentence. (ancientpages.com)

The scientific name for poison hemlock is Conium maculatum. Poison Hemlock is native to the tempered regions of West Asia, Europe, and North Africa, but has since spread to North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

I occasionally see it in the Toronto area.

Poison-hemlock (photo- Springfield News Leader)

We saw a great deal of Hemlock this morning at Wilket Creek but this is the unrelated tree – the Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

These cones are about half an inch long.

Other botany:

White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
Red-osier (Cornus sericea)
American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
Basswood (Tilia americana)
Queen Anne’s-lace (Daucus carota)
Basswood (Tilia americana)

Wilket Creek scenes:

Some birds:

Hairy Woodpecker (male)
Blue Jay
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Hairy Woodpecker (male)
Northern Cardinal (male)

Today’s group:

Warning about icy conditions.

Some trails are very icy at the moment and great care must be taken on them. Ice grippers for your boots are helpful.


Happy ❤️ Day – this is fun! 😊



Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what’s the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?                       – William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

Miles Hearn

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