Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Cultivars


This above drawing is the first of two "cultivars" I want to show you in this posting.  The full name for this plant is Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie'.  Quite a big name for such lovely, small flowers, isn't it?  The family name for this genus is Thymelaeaceae.

This plant is commonly known as Daphne and so this cultivar is referred to in the literature as 'Carol Mackie' Daphnes -- 'Carol Mackie' being the name of the cultivar.  [Just to remind you, cultivars are variations achieved by cross breeding.]  These 'Carol Mackie' Daphnes are the result of a cross between Daphne cneorum (indigenous to Europe) and Daphne caucasica (a Caucasus native).

'Carol Mackie' Daphnes are rounded shrubs, 2 to 3 feet tall when mature.  They bear fragrant, white to light pink flowers in clusters.  The flowers are succeeded by small, red berries.  Perhaps the most outstanding feature is their variegated foliage.  I was first attracted to the idea of drawing this plant by its interesting leaf formation.  Both the berries and the leaves of the 'Carol Mackie' Daphne are poisonous.



This next drawing is also a cultivar.  Its proper name is Campanula medium 'Champion Blue'.  The family name is Campanulaceae.

'Champion Blue' was produced by the cross breeding of two species in the genus, Campanula -- I am uncertain which two as I was unable to find this information.  The genus includes over 500 species and several sub-species distributed across the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, with the highest diversity in the Mediterranean region east to the Caucasus.

The common name for most of these species is "Bellflower" as the flowers are bell shaped.  Campanula is Latin for "little bell".

With both of these cultivars, I had great difficulty finding the kind of detailed information that research should provide.  If any of you out there know anything more about these plants, please contact me.  Thanks.

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Next I want to show you some dogs and cats enduring situations from which it is difficult for them to escape.



Here we have a cat who is enduring being dressed up for Christmas.   I think the cat somehow knows how silly he looks and also knows that he is going to have to sit there and have his picture taken.  I am sure that it was soon after this photo was taken that he ditched the ridiculous attire and went and hid under the bed!



Next we have a photo of a Cocker Spaniel who, like the cat above, appears to be enduring the indignity of being dressed in a ridiculous get-up by the humans in her life.  Dogs are usually a bit more tolerant of this kind of foolishness; however, this particular dog appears to be ready to ditch the finery as soon as the humans' back is turned!


These next two photos show dogs being exceptionally kind in situations where no one would blame them if they acted much more brusquely, giving a warning woof or two!

In the picture above, this big dog appears to be quite tolerant of a young cat who seems to want to use the dog as a substitute mother while the dog appears to be dealing with it all very patiently.


Finally, we have a Springer Spaniel who appears to have been adopted by a baby owl!  This must be a true case of endurance.  I can only assume that the dog's behaviour stems from some inner sense that this creature with a beak is only a baby and so must be treated with patience no matter what. 

How amazing it is that so many creatures throughout the world behave with what we humans would call decency and devotion -- especially to the young of many species -- and, yet, we call them "dumb animals".

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As for me, I seem to have picked up something that includes a hoarse voice and a stuffy nose.  I am hoping that whatever it is, it will soon disappear and will not turn into anything like a cold.  Otherwise, I am doing well.

Suki is asleep at the moment in the chair close by.  When she awakens, she will undoubtedly want to be held for a while so I am trying to finish this before that occurs!  Thus, I will say a quick "goodnight".

May the peace of God be with you during these last few days before Christmas and may your Christmas Day be filled with joy and happiness.  

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