Dog walk, Siri, and Worms


Dogs passed: four. Finn reaction: zero. Numbers of times we crossed the street: twice.

Unidentified growth spotted: one. I found it on an oak sapling. It’s perhaps not good. Something parasitic?


We walked in front of two boys for a long block. One looked to be about twelve and wore a wrist cast (skateboarding injury, perhaps?) He told Siri to set a timer for 44 minutes. What? You can do that? Even though I knew about voice commands, it blew my mind. As soon as they split away, I told Siri to set a timer for 44 minutes. It worked. Mind blown again.

[Remedial, I know, but it just goes to show how beneficial it is to be around tweens when it comes to upping your technology skills].


The first pings of rain fell and we spied another growth we didn’t recognize (below).

K used plant ID app to determine that it’s Jimsonweed or Datura

Oh! I said. The enslaved used Jimsonweed to treat worms. I know this but can’t resist asking Siri to do more tricks and confirm.

Siri: Search Jimsonweed and worms.

It started to rain.

Siri: Search slave medicine worms Jimsonweed.

I didn’t get the confirmation I wanted but learned all kinds of cool stuff; how Jimsonweed has hallucinogenic properties; how there’s a history behind the name, as there is to most things.


The sidewalk was dotted with raindrops as we rounded the block to home.

Once inside, I googled the weed without Siri’s help and found what I was looking for.

The chart above is from an article about medicine employed by the enslaved. Vermifuge is an agent that treats parasites.

Also, found this article, excerpt above.

Time for that second cup of coffee. Hope you are enjoying this Monday wherever you are.

18 thoughts on “Dog walk, Siri, and Worms

  1. Nancy

    Boy, what a post here. Made additionally interesting as I read while watching MSNBC Civil War, from 2021. Glad to see there is a remedy for asthma, as the air quality has been pretty bad 😉 😉
    Glad for your drops of rain – musta felt good.
    Ask Siri what that strange hotdog gummies growth thing is. Ewww!

  2. Mo Crow

    (((Dee))) thought I recognized your Jimson’s weed, googled it up & it is the Datura made famous by Carlos Castaneda in his “Teachings of Don Juan”

  3. Marti

    Spent most of yesterday, finishing this morning, reading The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain. Kept me in the grips of this dual story with a not unexpected ending. Here is some info:

    ” A community’s past sins rise to the surface in New York Times bestselling author Diane Chamberlain’s The Last House on the Street when two women, a generation apart, find themselves bound by tragedy and an unsolved, decades-old mystery.


    Growing up in the well-to-do town of Round Hill, North Carolina, Ellie Hockley was raised to be a certain type of proper Southern lady. Enrolled in college and all but engaged to a bank manager, Ellie isn’t as committed to her expected future as her family believes. She’s chosen to spend her summer break as a volunteer helping to register black voters. But as Ellie follows her ideals fighting for the civil rights of the marginalized, her scandalized parents scorn her efforts, and her neighbors reveal their prejudices. And when she loses her heart to a fellow volunteer, Ellie discovers the frightening true nature of the people living in Round Hill.


    Architect Kayla Carter and her husband designed a beautiful house for themselves in Round Hill’s new development, Shadow Ridge Estates. It was supposed to be a home where they could raise their three-year-old daughter and grow old together. Instead, it’s the place where Kayla’s husband died in an accident―a fact known to a mysterious woman who warns Kayla against moving in. The woods and lake behind the property are reputed to be haunted, and the new home has been targeted by vandals leaving threatening notes. And Kayla’s neighbor Ellie Hockley is harboring long buried secrets about the dark history of the land where her house was built.

    Two women. Two stories. Both on a collision course with the truth–no matter what that truth may bring to light–in Diane Chamberlain’s riveting, powerful novel about the search for justice.”
    I did not know of the program SCOPE that took in mostly northern students to help in the voter registration effort. SCOPE stands for “The Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) Project of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was a voter registration civil rights initiative conducted from 1965 to 1966 in 120 counties in six southern states.”

    What makes this story fascinating is that the character of Ellie is Southern and it was felt at the time, that the Black community would not relate well to a white Southern girl helping to register them…

    Diane Chamberlain has extensive author’s notes and acknowledgements and one of her best sources regarding SCOPE is a first hand experience book written by Maria Gitins, The Bright Light of Others. Chamberlain gives special acknowledgment to what she calls her “sensitivity reader”, Grace Wynter for her insight and encouragement. She notes that as a “white author, writing about racial issues in the South, she was very grateful to have Grace’s input.”

    Diane Chamberlain is published by St. Martin’s Press

  4. Liz A

    as in “worm-like pasta” … from

    History and Etymology for vermicelli

    borrowed from Italian, plural of vermicello, diminutive of verme “worm,” going back to Latin vermis

  5. Liz A

    probably should have kept it to myself … orecchiette is another one that makes me shake my head … and as I scroll through, what the what is that in the first image? … gross indeed

    1. deemallon Post author

      You made me look and the pasta really DOES look like little ears! As for the first growth on the oak tree, I looked up oak galls, most commonly caused by wasps or midges (I just learned), but none looked exactly right. I forgot to look at it going by this morning.

    1. deemallon Post author

      The growths of gall are gross. And very varied. But this thing came off into my hand like peanuts. (Went by this morning) so I don’t think it’s gall. I just don’t know what it is.

  6. Saskia van Herwaarden

    doesn’t look like any kind of oak gall I’ve come across over here, but then again who would know?
    hurray for the young teaching us lessons, my mum always said: embrace the future, embrace the new!
    so I guess our elders have a thing or two to teach us too…
    thanks for sharing your walk Dee, always a pleasure


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