Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Lycianthes rantonnetii

Lycianthes rantonnetii (formerly known as Solanum ratonnetii) is a member of the Family, Solanaceae.  It is an arching or sprawling shrub, 2 to 3 metres high.  Its common names include Blue Potato Bush, Paraguay Nightshade and Royal Robe.  It is native to Argentina and Paraguay and is used in gardens in various parts of the world, including North America and is sparingly naturalized in South Africa.  It also bears fruit, red in colour and up to an inch in length.  I could not find any information on the usefulness of this fruit.

The species name of  L. rantonnetii is derived from the name of M. Victor Rantonnet, a 19th Century French horticulturist from southern France who first described this plant for the scientific literature.  I think the botanists are still arguing over whether the Genus should be Lycianthes or Solanum, but we will leave all those discussions to the experts and just go with Lycianthes!

Above is an example of my attempt to enhance the background.  Once I had done this, I could not decide which one I liked better -- this one or the one at the beginning.  Finally I decided that the original drawing should be placed first.

Above is the result of my experimentation using the special software.  This is called colour ramp (whatever that means).  It gives an interesting effect, changing the leaves to a burnt umber while leaving the flowers basically the same colour.

Here is a simple drawing of the end of a branch on this shrub which can grow to the height of 6 feet.

And finally, here is a photograph which I used in doing my drawings.  You can see in this picture the sprawling nature of this shrub.
Now for some funny/cute animal photos...

I am not sure what is going on with this squirrel.  Maybe it happened upon a beer bottle with a bit of beer left in the bottom!  Or, perhaps, it has been doing push-ups and is just taking a break!  Anyway, whatever is going on, I have named this photo "The Flattened Squirrel".

Here we have three baby owls in a tree.  What they are doing up and about during daylight I am not sure.  I am glad they were available to have their photo taken as I find them quite delightful.  I call this photo "Three Owls in a Tree".  You can see I have not lost my flare for naming things!

Finally, there is this photo of a duck with quite a large family.  I had no trouble thinking of a name for this photo.  I call it "Get your ducks in a row"!  Do you really think all those babies are from one clutch of eggs?  Maybe this is a babysitting service!

As for me, I continue to do reasonably well.  I am having to use the wheelchair quite a bit more these days.  The period of remission which I have experienced for the past two years may be coming to an end.  Fortunately, I am already well adapted to wheelchair living!

Another item of interest is that my blog will be moving sometime before Christmas.  I will be going to my own web site.  The blog will continue there as usual but under a slightly different format.  I will keep you informed when I get closer to making the move.

May the peace of God be with you all.

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