Sunday, 13 February 2011

A Mixed Bag

Achimenes 'Tetra Himalayan Orange'
First, let me apologize for the length of time it has been since my last posting.  All I can say in my defense is that I have not been feeling very well over the past 5 or 6 days.  Thankfully, I am now feeling just a bit better so I am hopeful that this is the beginning of a time of improvement.  We'll see...  At any rate, I am here tonight and ready to share a couple of interesting things with you.

Now let me tell you about the drawing above.  It shows a new flower, another cultivar, with the wonderful name of Achimenes 'Tetra Himalayan Orange'.  The family name for this plant is Gesneriaceae and the genus name is AchimenesGesneriaceae comes from the name of Conrad von Gessner.  I do not know why the family name was used since botanical family names are usually assigned by placing each plant in a botanical family relationship.  Anyway, that is how it is. 

Achimenes comes from the Greek word "chemaino" which means 'to suffer from the cold' (something we have done a great deal of in recent weeks!).  Actually, what is meant is that this is not a good plant to put in your garden during an Ontario springtime.  Tetra Himalayan Orange is actually a relative of the African violet.  It produces many large orange-red flowers in mid summer -- remember, it doesn't like the cold.

I actually restrained myself this time in using my funky software!  I only want to show you one interesting result of using what the software calls "solarization".

Achimenes 'Tetra Himalayan Orange' Solarization
I actually find this more beautiful than the natural colours -- especially this wonderful blue that the orange-red turned into.  Of course the centre of the flower is almost scary and this might frighten away the bees -- that would be bad for the flowers.  So I guess the Creator knows best after all.

Next I want to show you the final result of my sharing Our Lady of Sudan with my priest friend in Sudan.  Fr. Herald, as you may recall, is leaving Sudan for a new posting and so he was able to use my icon in his final posting on his blog there.  Below you will find the opening section of his final posting and you can see which version of my icon he ended up using.

It's Official - South Sudan to Become an Independent Nation!
Posted: 08 Feb 2011 01:00 AM PST

Icon of Our Lady of Sudan by Sallie Thayer

Today is the feast of St. Bakhita of Sudan, and it seems to be a fitting occasion to post what may be the concluding entry for this blog. In God's providence, yesterday - February 7th - the official results of the referendum on the independence of Sudan were formally announced. The final tabulation listed 98.83% voting for separation and 1.17% in favor of unity. Sudanese President Omar al Bashir has been quoted as saying that he will accept the results and respect the decision of the people of South Sudan to separate and form their own nation. The United States has expressed its intention to recognize South Sudan as an independent sovereign state in July on the date specified for the inauguration of the new country.

We can only give thanks and praise to God for the amazing way in which these historic events have unfolded, and will of course continue to accompany this new nation and it's beloved people in prayer.

St. Bakhita, pray for us!
Our Lady of Sudan, pray for us!

This next section is truly for the birds! 

Dreaming of a 'Room of Her Own'
I assume that this is the method bird parents use to get their youngsters to leave the nest.  Sooner or later they get tired of being sat upon and leave to make their own way in the world.  This might be a possible approach for today's parents who can't get rid of their adult kids:  put them all in one room and tell them that the rest of the house is off limits!  I think they might all be moving out rather quickly.

Listen Buddy, my name ain't Carmen and this ain't no rose in my mouth!  Got it?

I wish I knew what kind of bird this is.  I think the photo was taken by an Australian photographer so it is quite possibly one of those strange creatures from down-under.  At any rate, I love the "expression" on its face and the fact that it is holding half a branch in its mouth!

Cedar Waxwing eating frozen berries
This final photo has nothing funny about it at all.  I included it because this is one of my favourite birds.  This photograph does not do it justice.  The feathers are so glossy and the colours are so rich that it is hard to capture these things in a picture.  My heart is always filled with thankfulness whenever I see them in the summer time.  As you can see here, they do like berries -- whether frozen or unfrozen!

And so, I come to the end of another posting. 

Suki is sound asleep in her chair after a hard day of watching the pigeon on the balcony above.  It is a male and the coo-ing noise it makes each time a female lands nearby nearly drives my poor cat crazy.  She wants to get that bird with every fibre of her being.  Sadly, the pigeon pays no attention to Suki as he is too busy trying to get a female to pay attention to him.  He doesn't seem to be having a great deal of success at that, by the way!  As this activity seems to go on for hour after hour, poor Suki is becoming sleep deprived.  So I remind her...


Peace be with you.


Deb said...

That icon is hauntingly lovely. A beautiful piece of work.

Sallie (Sarah) said...

Thank you, Deb, very much.