An Hallucination of Trumpets

Trumpet flowers at Brookside Gardens.

That’s what I think the collective noun should be: “I wandered through a glowing grove whose trees were hung with an hallucination of trumpets, and I dreamt of true love.”

As it turns out, these flowers are a part of certain South American tribes’s shamanic recipe for ayahuesca, a potent hallucinogen and sometime spiritual sacrament. They’re certainly trippy enough just to look at it, without ingesting at all.

There’s something inherently decadent in the droopy elegance and art deco flair of these flowers. When I conjure up an image of “lotus eaters,” it’s a flower with blossoms like this which springs to mind at the phrase, not the more formal and pure-seeming water lily.


A Year Ago: In the Light

Sunflower bud.This is another look at the sunflower bud
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4 Responses to An Hallucination of Trumpets
  1. Lucy
    September 4, 2011 | 3:23 pm

    “I wandered through a glowing grove whose trees were hung with an hallucination of trumpets, and I dreamt of true love”

    What a fabulous line!

    I worked at a really grim lycee for a while here. In the corner of the staff room was a datura tree in a tiny pot which no one ever did anything to look after, and it produced wave after wave of glorious, apricot flowers like these. It was quite miraculous. I still quit the job with great relief, but that memory remains.

  2. NT
    September 5, 2011 | 6:13 pm

    Thanks, Lucy! (I’ve been enjoying your poppy images too.)

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