Tuesday, 11 January 2011
This lovely water lily carries the Latin name of Nymphaea caerulea of the family, Nymphaeaceae. It is commonly known as Blue Lotus, Blue Lily and Sacred Narcotic Lily of the Nile! I will be using the name Blue Lotus even though the plant is a water lily not the famous lotus plant of which I showed a drawing several postings back. It is thought that this plant originated along the Nile and in other locations in East Africa, but even in ancient times, it had already spread to other locations such as the Indian subcontinent and Thailand.
The Blue Lotus has an interesting cycle in that the flower buds rise to the surface over a period of two to three days and, when ready, open at approximately 9:30 a.m. and close about 3 p.m. Sort of like what we used to call "bankers' hours" back in the days when banks did not have to compete for business! The flowers were extremely significant in Egyptian mythology as it was thought that they rose and fell with the sun. Consequently, due to its colourings, it was identified as having been the original egg-like container of Atum and Ra, both solar deities.
The Blue Lotus has been used in the production of perfumes since ancient times as well as in aromatherapy. It is also the source of mild psycho-active properties. Just like Nelumbo nucifera, the real Lotus flower I posted previously, Nymphaea caerulea acts as a mild sedative. When used in aromatherapy, the Blue Lotus is said to have a "divine" essence, bringing heightened awareness and tranquility.
At this point, no one is exactly certain what it is that gives the Blue Lotus its narcotic effect. What is known, however, is that 2 to 4 flowers soaked in wine for 24 hours will give a "noticeable and very pleasant synergy" with the wine. Remember, I am not giving you a recipe here, just reporting what I have read and heard!
Of course, I could not resist playing with this drawing -- as I do with most flower drawings these days. So, let me show you the results.
This first experiment is what happened when I selected "colour reversal". The flower petals are now green, the lily "pads" are purple-pink while the centre of the water lily is a beautiful blue. I don't think this version is nearly as pretty as the real colours of this flower, but I do find the colours interesting.
Here is another experiment with what the software calls "polarization". I find this version quite appealing and I do think it would make a lovely glass bowl with this image trapped between the layers of glass -- or however they get those images in clear glass bowls.
Now for tonight's comic relief. I have chosen to show you three images of squirrels -- each of which I find amusing.
This first photo shows a squirrel who appears to have captured two nuts with the stem still attached. The stem is what is enabling this fleet-footed fellow to carry such a big load at one time.
Look at those little hands and feet. It is no wonder that squirrels, like raccoons who have similar hands and feet, can manage to get into so much trouble!
Here we have a bright-eyed and busy-tailed fellow who has figured out how to carry a lot home at one time! I hope he doesn't need to scratch his nose before he gets to wherever he is going with that heavy load.
Like most people, I sometimes sit in the park and watch squirrels busy about their work. I have often seen them taking nuts and burying them and scurrying away to collect more. I have often wondered if they have any idea, later on, where their nuts are buried?! Maybe they all just dig in the general area of their "home" and hope to find something edible.
And finally we see a photo of what happens to a squirrel after all that hard work. This fellow looks like he is waiting for a masseuse to come along and give him a good massage! Probably, however, after a bit of a rest, he will be up and back at the nut collection again.
Well, we are awaiting a winter storm that is supposed to arrive in the GTA sometime tonight. In spite of the predictions, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the snow missed us completely although we did finally get some snow this past weekend -- not nearly as much as they have gotten in the southeastern U.S. however! Such strange weather keeps happening all over the planet. We just don't know what to expect anymore.
I received my first ever royalty cheque today! I only make $2 on each book that is sold through http://www.blurb.com/ and they hold whatever I make until it amounts to over $25. So the books that were purchased on Blurb combined with those I sold out of my home means that the NOVENA ICONS book is my bestseller to date. I figure that I have sold, thus far, a total of 24 copies of this latest book. Hmmm. Somehow I don't think I should quit my day job just yet!
Suki and I are doing well. I am not sure she would agree with that statement since she still cannot get me to feed her her favourite canned food more than twice a day (she has some "crunchies" in between).
I am continuing to go to the gym for an hour or so 5 days a week and even though I can no longer use some of the machines I used originally, I still manage to get in a good workout. Speaking of the gym, it is always interesting to see how crowded the place is each January and into February. Then by the end of February, things tend to settle back down again with mostly just the regulars. I guess people really try hard to keep their New Year's resolution, but life does get in the way and something has to go.
Keep warm and may the peace of God be with you all.