Had to get away from the computer yesterday, seems since I opened my Etsy online shop I've done little else than wrestle with my PC. I can't and won't profess to be even remotely computer knowledgeable...case in point...tried to do a page on "facebook", there was supposed to be a way to get my etsy widget on the main page instead of in my profile. Tried for days to get that to happen. Went over the directions, step-by-step countless times...well maybe not countless, but definitely more times than I'd care to count. Never did get it the way it was in the instructions. Finally, in frustration, I ended up deleting my facebook account.
The break from staring at my monitor was refreshing and sorely needed. Walked about in the yard and took a few photos. Found this vine growing rampant in the lot next door. This tangled mass of a vine grows wild in tropical climates such as southern Florida. When we lived in the West Indies, Trinidad to be specific, the vine's bright red seeds with a deep black dot were called "Crab Eyes" or "Jumbie Beads" and islanders used them much like beads in making necklaces and bracelets.
Brilliant red and jet black, like a tiny lady bug, a signal of nature, a warning, as lovely as they are these seeds also contain one of the most virulent poisons of the plant kingdom. Though the shell of the seed is extremely hard and almost impossible to crush with the teeth, many countries have banned any item that contain Jumbie Beads. Since the seed casing is exceptionally durable, island crafters have to boil Jumbie Beads in order to soften them enough so they can be pierced for stringing, this act destroys the potent protein toxin, abrin.