The mystery of this pretty little plant from yesterday has been solved. Many thanks to Stephanie V. and Squirrel Queen. My research confirmed their identification. And I must admit that their answer shocked and excited me, while giving me chills. It is Deadly Nightshade, one of the most poisionous things in the world. On a list of most poisionous things, it ranks right up there with cobra and adder venom, and pufferfish. Also known as bittersweet, every part of this plant is poisionous, working by paralyzing the nervous system. Children have been known to die after eating just a few berries. One of the three chemicals in the plant, atropine, is what eye doctors use to this day to dialate your pupils. It works by paralyzing them. Legends say the plant belongs to the devil, who tends it at his leisure, and that witches use it for spells. Yes, I sat transfixed, reading all of this while staring at pictures of our own plant. Such a beguilingly beautiful, yet deadly thing right in our own back yard! I am horrified, yet spellbound. My friend asked me if we were going to get rid of it. I suppose we should, as we have children around here all the time. But it will be bittersweet.
"Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink it's water because it was bitter....So the people grumbled against Moses, saying "What are we to drink?" Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet." Exodus 15: 22,25