A flower, once of special interest because the seeds of the variety rivea corymbosa were rumored a potent psychotomimetic. A sedative. Contains indoles.The violet variety ipomoea violacea was the object of study by Hofmann in the early 60s.

Morning Glory is also the name of an album by massively over-rated (in serious danger of being voted down for that comment) British band Oasis.

Much more importantly it is a slang term used to describe the delightful side-effect of a night's sleep on the male member

Morning Glory is therefore something (and I'm talking mainly to the women here) that is likely to either:

a)Cause you to bound into work with a spring in your step and a smile on your face

or;

b)cause you to run to work in a fluster to save yourself from being fired for constant morning-sex based lateness.

Also a tasty alcoholic beverage.

1 part Champagne
3 parts Orange Juice

Great for hangovers.

The morning glory is a huge, horizontal, rotating, ribbon-like cloud that rolls through the sky like a wave. It regularly appears only over the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, and is visible only to residents of northern Queensland near the remote community of Burketown. Although the morning glory appears at all times of the year it is extremely frequent during the Australian spring months (September, October, and November).

The morning glory forms over Cape York and rapidly advances to the southwest. The gigantic clouds usually fill the whole sky, from horizon to horizon. In the past decade, studies of the morning glory have shown that it often exceeds 1000 km in length. The ominous clouds rarely bring precipitation, although they are almost always accompanied by enormous gusts of wind on the surface. At times, multiple morning glories roll over the landscape in quick succession.

Large amplitude solitary waves like the morning glory exist all over the world, and cause much of the turbulence that interferes with commercial air travel. Unlike the morning glory, these waves are invisible and infrequent. The morning glory is not only highly visible, it is predictable, vast, and carries more energy than several atomic detonations. Although the morning glory is not yet fully understood, research has shown a connection with lunar declinational tides, which allows gliders to predict when the phenomenon is about to occur.

Did I mention gliders? On October 13, 1989, Robert Thompson and Russell White pioneered the recreational activity of "soaring" on morning glories. Motorized glider pilots navigate to the morning glory and align their aircraft with the axis. Then, they cut the engines and let the glory handle the rest. This extremely dangerous sport allows experienced gliders to reach speeds comparable with gliding world records. A small cult of Australian gilder pilots have fallen in love with surfing these tidal waves of the sky, and as far as I know, they haven't had any accidents yet.

The Gulf of Carpentaria is blessed to have such an unique atmospheric event occur so often, and the immense scientific and recreational interest in the phenomenon is growing year by year.

Morning glories are evil.

I moved into my current house in the late winter of 1998. In the late spring, my then-wife and I saw that a vine with arrowhead-shaped leaves was winding its way around the iron railings flanking our front door. Neat, we thought. And being good little Pagans (we weren't yet initiated witches), we figured thus: it's green and growing, it's not causing us problems, so we won't cause it any problems. In time, the vine produced some lovely white flowers, and we oohed and aahed over them. It faded away by the fall.

The following year, we wondered if it would come back, or if it had been a one-shot deal. It came back, all right...several of them, crawling around the branches of a number of the bushes out front. It was quite a show when they bloomed.

They were more prolific in the spring of 2000, and that's when their menace became apparent. It's a climbing vine, and as such will wrap itself around any convenient vertical or near-vertical quasi-cylindrical object. There's a holly tree out front that we were both quite fond of. The morning glories were winding around it, just like around everything else. The juniper and other mature bushes would survive, certainly, but the holly was barely more than a sapling, and we worried about whether or not it could survive being climbed on.

Thus the war began. We'd pull the vines whenever we got a chance. We'd rarely get to the roots, so it was a holding action at best, but our hope was that by pulling the bulk of each vine, it wouldn't have leaves and thus wouldn't be doing much photosynthesis. But most of them are rooted deep among the stems of the bushes -- we would have had to do some drastic (and decidely non-artistic) topiary work to be able to reach the morning glories where they grew.

But, one would argue, the plants are simply doing what they have to in order to survive. These vines take it to an extreme, though. They got downright vicious last year, to the point of hiring mercenaries: some bees built a nest in the middle of the bush beside the front door. Whenever I'd pull a vine from that bush, it would shake the nest up and agitate the bees. I collected four or five stings that summer.

I fight 2003's skirmishes alone, now being separated from my wife. There's no sign of the bees (probably because I managed to get almost all of the vines last year before they bloomed, so the plants had no way to pay the merc bees for services rendered), at least not yet, but who knows what evil lies in the hearts of those innocent-looking vines?

(To be fair, morning glories are pretty, and if grown in a controlled environment, they can definitely add something to the appearance of your home. What I have is anything but a controlled environment, though.)

(Second postscript: I've been informed that there are parts of the nation/world where what I've got is called bindweed. But the picture on the packet of morning glory seeds at the nursery looked like what's swarming over my front yard, so that's what I'm calling it..)

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