Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Calochortus clavatus!

Calochortus clavatus
Tonight I want to discuss two flowers -- one species and one a variation of that species -- in the genus, Calochortus which is in the family, Liliaceae.

The first drawing (above) is the species Calochortus (beautiful grass) clavatus (club-shaped) also known as Mariposa Lilies or Clubhair Mariposa Lilies.  It is endemic to California where it is found in forests and chaparral slopes.  The petals are up to 5 cm long, yellow in colour with a darker line or series of bands near the base which are usually dark red.  The anthers are often deep purple as you can see in my drawing.

There are actually 28 species endemic to western North America and these include the Sego Lily (which I have shown you previously), the State Flower of Utah. (see below)

Sego Lily

The proper name of the Sego Lily is Calochortus nuttallii.  You may recall my mentioning that during the first winter or two after the Mormons settled in Utah, they managed to stay alive by eating the bulbs of this particular species of Calochortus.

The Calochortus bulbs of all types were eaten by the Native Americans who probably were the ones who taught the Mormons that they were good for food and helped them stay alive until they began to harvest their crops. 

Calochortus clavatus (Solarization)
Above is the result of using my "solarization" software on the actual drawing of Calochortus clavatus.  I think it created a very interesting image.  It puts me in mind of some sort of strange sea creature living on the deep ocean floor!

Calochortus clavatus v. pallidus
Here is my drawing of Calochortus clavatus v. pallidus -- a variation of Calochortus clavatus.  Pallidus means "ashen or pale" which probably refers to the fine hairs at the centre of the plant.  The plant is also known commonly as Yellow Mariposa or Yellow Mariposa Lily.

This plant is a conspicuous "fire follower" and is found on the dry slopes north of Los Angeles -- which, unfortunately, often experiences serious forest fires.

This "variation" also has the hairy circle in the centre with the dark reddish-brown ring, but, as you can see, the anthers are quite different.

Calochortus clavatus v. pallidus (solarization)
 I also used the "solarization" software on this drawing and you see the result above.  It is interesting how two different shades of yellow resulted in two totally different colours.  I really love what it did to the colours in the centre and I am tempted to crop this version of the drawing until all I have left is the centre just to see what it would look like.  If I do, I will certainly show it to you if it turns out to be interesting at all.

There are several other beautiful species in this genus so don't be surprised if you see more Calochortus in the future!

Now it is time for a few funny cat photos -- showing cats suffering humiliation due to the interference of human beings who make them behave while they have their photo taken when all they really want to do is get even with a mouse, a bird or a human being!

Oh, the humiliation of it all!
This is not a happy cat!  He is, no doubt, being told to sit still and have this cute photo taken.  Meanwhile, all the cat probably wants to do is get this creature off his head before any of his feline friends see him and laugh at him for being a "mouse-sitter"!

Don't you dare laugh at me -- this is not funny!

Here we see a poor quality photo of a cat who somehow ended up in the bird cage while the bird is happily sitting on top of the cage.  I would guess that there was human interference here.  Perhaps the cat was stalking the bird when his human came upon the scene.  The human then took the empty bird cage and plopped it on top of the unsuspecting cat.  Then had the audacity to take a photograph!  This is an indignity that the cat will not likely forget.  Someone will pay!

Just wait until you reach down to take this off... !
Every Christmas humans do this to the cats and dogs they live with.  They take silly objects and place on the animal and then take a photo for their Christmas card.  Everyone who sees the photo says "oh, how cute"; meanwhile, the cat is seeking revenge -- I don't believe that dogs think in terms of revenge as cats do.  At any rate, I would imagine that when this cat's person reached down to remove the disgusting objects, they just might have received a little nip or a scratch.  "Well deserved," the cat would say. 

These are my relatives, you know!

Finally, I want to show you a delightful photo.  I could not find out who the photographer was, but if I do, I will certainly post his or her name.  I find the concept delightful and the photography to be excellently executed.  Plus, it makes me smile.

Things are still fairly quiet for me and Suki.  I did receive the final edition of Father Herald's blog from southern Sudan with my icon of Our Lady of Sudan prominently placed.  I will include it in my next posting so you can see which version of the icon he ended up using. 

Please continue to pray for southern Sudan as there has been an increase in the raids of the Lord's Resistance Army -- that awful group that kidnaps children and turns them into child soldiers without a conscience.  This is just the sort of instability that could cause the north to step in with their army and say they are doing it to protect the people of the south.  What it would accomplish, of course, is to keep the south from forming their own nation as planned for this coming July and leave all the oil fields in the control of the north.

May the peace of God be with us all.

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