Monday, 5 July 2010

Love those Pomegranates!

Today's first drawing is of Pomegranate flowers. 

When I think of Pomegranates, I always think of the delicious fruit or juice; however, I decided to take a closer look at the plant and realized that it has beautiful flowers.

Actually, I asked my friend, Hylott, to take some photos of the flowers [I think he has a plant on his property].  Anyway, he kindly did so and this set me on the path of doing a drawing.  As you may know, orangey/red is one of my favourite colours to work with -- so I thoroughly enjoyed doing this drawing.  The proper name of the Pomegranate is Punica granatum L.  The Family is PunicaceaePunica granatum L. is almost in a class of its own.  There is only one other species which is found only on the Island of Socotra. 

Since the Pomegrante plants have been with us as far back as time itself, this means that the plant has a fascinating history.  It is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region of Asia, Africa and Europe.  The fruit was used in many ways as it is today and was praised in the Old Testament of the Bible and in the Babylonian Talmud.  It was carried by desert caravans for the sake of its thirst-quenching juice.  The plants "travelled" to central and southern India from Iran in about the first century A.D.

The fruit is familiar to all of us as is the juice -- taken plain or mixed with other fruit juice or alcohol -- it is also made into wine.  From simply eating the fruit with juice dripping down your chin to having Pomegranate jelly on the breakfast table, almost everyone enjoys the sweet taste of the Pomegranate.

This next drawing is of a plant that, unlike the Pomegranate, has a very limited range.  Its proper name is Erythronium japonicum of the Family, Liliaceae.  Its common name is Katakuri.  It is a native plant of Japan, Korea and northeastern China. 

In this part of Asia, the bulb is used as a source of starch for thickening food sauces.  In Japan, it is called katakuri-ko.  It is used in dumplings, confectionary and as a thickening agent for soups.  It is preferred over other starches for use in sauces which must thicken but not gel upon cooling.  It may also be used to make tempura.

I decided to draw the flowers, however, simply because I think they are quite lovely, especially the line pattern at the base of the petals.

Here is the first of two new photos of THE cat, Suki. 

In this photo, she is in the first stage of attack mode.  She has noticed that I am moving in the direction of "her" chair which means she has to prepare herself for her famous ambush.

As I walk past the chair to straighten the throw rug she has disarranged (does she do this as a strategy?), she prepares to jump into the chair when my back is turned.  Once in the chair, she will hunker down and wait.

Here is the second stage of her attack. 

She is now in the chair waiting for me to turn and walk past (all the while I am supposed to pretend that I do not see her).  Just as I begin to walk past the chair, she springs into action.  Leaping from the seat to the top of the chair back, she tries to grab my sleeve.  I, of course, have seen all of this while pretending not to and am able to move my arm away just in time. 

Failing in her first effort, she now will jump again -- flying over the arm of the chair and trying to catch my leg.  When she fails at this, she now tracks me very closely so that I can barely move.  At this point, if I don't watch her constantly, she will grab my leg.  Thus, by staring at her, I am able to keep her at bay even though she follows my every step.

Occasionally, I forget she is in the chair and she actually catches my sleeve.  You cannot imagine how impressed she is with herself when this happens!

Hope you are all managing to keep cool.

Peace be with you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your depiction of the Pomegranate flowers is outstanding. Suki is such a beautiful animal. Your description of her attack modes is reflected in her eyes in the photos.

I continue to enjoy your blog. And thanks again for taking the time and effort to post on it.

Warmest Regards,