Monday, 7 March 2011

Gazania rigens

Gazania rigens or Clumping Gazania

Gazania is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to Southern Africa. It is often planted as drought-tolerant ground cover.
The genus occurs in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Tanzania and Angola. Additionally, species are naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, and California. They are widely cultivated as ornamental garden plants.
Gazanias are grown for the brilliant colour of their flowers which appear in the late spring and early summer. They prefer a sunny position and are tolerant of dryness and poor soils.

A popular cultivated variety is the Clumping Gazania (Gazania rigens) which has a number of names including 'Aztec', 'Burgundy', 'Copper King', 'Fiesta Red', 'Goldrush' and 'Moonglow'.  Gazania rigens is native to South Africa, where it is called Rankbotterblom by Afrikaners and Ububendle by the Zulu.

Clumping Gazania has a number of cultivars.  One example is Gazania rigens var. rigens found in Tasmania, Australia (see illustration below).

Gazania rigens var. rigens

Of course, my drawing had to get a bit of treatment from my special software and the result can be seen below.

Gazania rigens -- Solarization
 I really like the electric blue that resulted from this "solarization" process.  I will have to try to add it to my palette of colours.


Now, in these days of freezing cold weather in the north east, I thought it would be appropriate to show the following series of photos.  You may have seen them previously since they are available in different places on the Internet; however, I feel they are worth looking at a number of times.  They show us how two apparent strangers showed kindness to one another for their mutual benefit.  The photos also show that the older showed compassion for the younger by letting the young one have the warmer spot.  Take a look.

Cold Kitty

Cold Cat sees Cold Puppy  -- Cold Puppy sees Cold Cat

Cold Cat and Cold Puppy kindly assist one another

Cold Cat and Cold Puppy are not quite so cold anymore!
 You will notice that the adult cat takes the outside spot thereby allowing the puppy to have additional warmth by being next to the wall and being able to put his nose behind the cat's back.  Who says cat's are always thinking only of themselves?!
Finally, I want to show you a very funny photo I came across recently.  The moment I saw it, the words that came to mind were from the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes -- the words which appear in the caption below the photograph.  The other words that came to mind were "Is this all there is?" or "Life is hard and then...."

I hope the picture, at least, gives you a smile.

"Vanity, vanity, all is vanity" (from Ecclesiastes)
Meanwhile, I am continuing to do well.  I am sure I would be doing better if this crazy cat I live with did not insist on getting me up at 4:30 each morning, hoping that she will get fed!  Each night before going to bed, I have a little talk with Suki about this matter and she appears to understand; however, come 4:30, there she is, moving things around, making noise, etc.  I do resolve each night that I simply will not feed her if she awakens me at 4:30, but come that early hour, I find myself once again stumbling about the kitchen while thinking to myself "if I just give her food, she will let me go back to sleep"!  She is a very smart cat!

I am presenting the marriage preparation course to "a couple of couples" which gives me great pleasure.  I so much enjoy working with these young people who are convinced that God is calling them to the vocation of marriage in the Catholic Church.  I had a phone call today from another couple interested in doing their marriage preparation course with me.  I am so grateful that God has seen fit to involve me in this ministry as I am so blessed by it.
Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, my favourite liturgical season.  It is also Suki's birthday!  She will be 2 years old.

May the peace of God be with  you all.

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