Thursday, 10 June 2010

Coneflowers plus Wood Anemone

Tonight's first drawing is a rather wild version of Purple Cone flowers.

Echinacea purpurea or Eastern Purple Coneflower is a species of flowering plant in the genus Echinacea and of the Family, Asteraceae.  It is native to eastern North America and present to some extent in the wild in much of the eastern, southeastern and midwest United Stated and Canada.  Its habitats include dry, open woods, prairies and barrens as well as cultivated flower beds.  It is unable to grow in the shade, but can even tolerate drought once it is well established.

Most of us have heard of the medicinal benefits of Echinacea as it is commonly believed to stimulate the immune system.  I have used it in the past as a "natural" cold remedy although I am not sure it really helped at all.

The most difficult part of this drawing were those Coneflower centres -- I was not able to draw them exactly as they grow since it is so very difficult to draw tiny things properly with a computer mouse!

This second drawing is the "real" Wood Anemone.  I have shown you drawings in the past of different types of Anemones, but the simple one show above is actually the basic plant.

Its proper name is Anemone quinquefolia of the Family, Ranunculaceae.  It flowers early in the spring and is native to North America.  There is also a European species by the name of Anemone nemorosa which is found in gardens in North America but is not a native.

As with all Anemones, A. quinquefolia has no true petals.  What appears to be petals are really sepals which have assumed the colouring and characteristics of petals -- six in number, pure white on top and pale rose beneath.

In sunshine, the flower is expanded wide, but at the approach of night, it closes and droops its head so that dew may not settle on it and injure it.  The same thing occurs when it rains.  Country folk in the past used to say that the fairies were what actually caused the plant to close at night and in the rain as it gave them a "tent" to keep them warm and dry.  I really like that idea and hope that it is true!

Sadly, such an innocent looking plant is bitter to the taste and poisonous.  Cattle have often been poisoned by the plant.  Greek legends say that Anemos, the Wind, sends his namesakes, the Anemones, in the earliest spring as heralds of his coming.  Pliny affirmed that they only open when the wind blows, hence their other name of Windflowers.

           "That's good, sweetie -- now just scratch a little higher"

So the mama bear might be saying to her baby.  I do love photos of polar bears.  There is something about them that seems to attract us humans -- unless, of course, they are living in our city's garbage dump and being a real nuisance.  I have heard people from way north make comments about polar bears that did not sound very loving!

This is such a funny photo.  I am sure that bear is trying to reach something very tasty without having to actually get in the water.

When I first saw this picture, my immediate thought was that the title of the photo should definitely be: "K--- M- A--!"  I will let you fill in the blanks -- after all this blog is rated for family viewing.
Well, I have gone on for long enough tonight.  This is the problem with posting every four days -- I try to say two posting's worth in one posting!  Well, just skip the boring parts and enjoy the bear photos!

May peace be with you all.

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