Sunday, 6 December 2009

Milkweed is back!

I felt it was time for another drawing of milkweed. This strange-looking, green variety is called Asclepias asperula or "Antelope Horns".

Asclepias asperula is, like the other milkweeds, from the Family of Apocynaceae and the Genus is Asclepias, of course. It is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Besides the name of "Antelope Horns", it is also known as "green-flowered milkweed" and "spider antelope horns".

Like several other species of milkweed, Asclepias asperula is a food for the Monarch Butterfly caterpillars. The alkaloids in the milkweed make them unpalatable and even poisonous to predators. Of course, since the area where they are found is cattle country, ranchers have to watch out for and try to control the milkweed as it can be poisonous to livestock. As I have mentioned previously, the books always say that it is dangerous for humans as well; however, not if properly prepared for eating.

One Texas botanist is said to have called this particular species of milkweed, "outrageously weird" the first time he saw it on his travels to southwestern Texas! It is pretty strange looking -- you will have to admit!

As I have done with the other two Milkweed drawings, I treated this one with the new software I have to see what would happen. You see the results above. So far only one reader has commented on the changes this software creates in a drawing. Her comments were positive. I would really like to have some more input if any of you find the topic interesting at all.

The software is for creating a "topographic map" of a photograph. I should try an actual photograph with it sometime just to see what happens.
My friend returned the draft of my second book to me this evening along with her copious notes -- which I must now go through and see if I agree or disagree. Then I will be ready to place the first order for the finished copies of "Station Icons". If you want a copy from the first order, let me know soon, please.

I am tired again tonight as I went to a place near Milton today which was like a little bit of Heaven. A dear friend took me to see the Serbian Orthodox monastery and we had time to spend looking at the walls and ceiling of the beautiful, little church which were covered with icons. Oh, it was so wonderful to be surrounded by marvellous iconography by a real artist working in the ancient way. The location is also quite lovely even though it was very cold. I want to go back again in the warmer weather. There is so much beauty in this old world -- what a shame there has to be so much ugliness and violence as well. Sometimes I think God must be very sad.

Peace be with you all.

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