Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Showy Lady's Slipper

I hope you all spent some moments today being aware of the great sacrifice made by so many who have tried and are trying to bring about peace. At 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month we stop and remember. "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me".

So, are you ready for tonight's botany lesson? Well, ready or not, here it comes.

The drawing above is of a flowering plant called "Showy Lady's Slipper". It's proper name is Cypripedium reginae. The Family name is Orchidaceae with a Subfamily name of Cypripedioideae. The Genus is Cypripedium and the Species is C. reginae.

This flower is also known as the Pink-and-white Lady's Slipper or the Queen's Lady Slipper. It is a rare terrestrial temperate orchid found in northern North America! You can tell that it is an orchid from the Family name of Orchidaceae.

The plant has probably always been rare due to its method of reproduction, but has become increasingly rare these days due to habitat loss and unscrupulous collectors. In most places where it grows it is a protected plant. Prince Edward Island, for example, made it their provincial flower in 1947, but it was so rare on the Island that they changed to another flower of the same family. The only province or U.S. state to rank this plant as secure is Ontario! That seems very strange since we have so much wetland draining and habitat destruction.

You will notice that in my drawing the "slipper" is more of a purple pink. The shade of the"slipper" varies from pinker pink to purple pink.

Next I want to show you a drawing I did of Betelhem, my newest foster child. Isn't she lovely? I just couldn't wait to try to draw her face once I saw her photograph. I haven't written to her yet, but plan to do so this weekend.

Her father is a subsistence farmer and her mother is self-employed, but that barely brings in enough for the family to live on. I do not yet know how many brothers or sisters she has. I will let you know more about her when I receive her first letter.

I am so happy -- I have five foster children now. They are all girls and they are all doing well in school. Isn't that fantastic? This is such a blessed way for single people to assist with the rearing of children. God is so good.

May peace be with you all.

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