Thursday, 28 July 2011

'Siam Tulip' -- Curcuma alismatifolia 'Pink'

Curcuma alismatifolia 'Pink' 'Siam Tulip'

The Siam Tulip is not a tulip at all but a member of the ginger family!  To me, a lover of tulips, I really see very little resemblance; however, most flowers pick up nicknames over the years and this one has certainly stuck.  Below are a few facts about this lovely non-tulip!

WHAT’S IN A NAME: The genus name “Curcuma” comes from the Persian-Arabic word for “saffron,” which is “kurkum.”
FAMILY: Curcumas are members of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family. Relatives include Alpinia purpurata (red ginger), Amomum (cardamon)and Hedychium (ginger-lily).
HOME SWEET HOME: These plants are native to Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Now, in an effort to keep from giving you a lot of details using botanical terminology, I will just show you a diagram of how this plant is constructed.  Remember, a bract is a modified leaf that arises from the stem at the point where the flower or flower cluster develops. Although often green and inconspicuous, bracts may sometimes be large and brightly coloured, as in a Siam Tulip.


Morphology of a flowering stem of Curcuma alismatifolia. The insert shows the small open flower.

The Curcuma genus has an estimated 1,000 species.


As usual, I could not resist playing with my funny software.  This time, however, I decided to see how this drawing would look if I applied the "oil paint" selection to it.  Below is the result.


Curcuma alismatifolia 'Pink' 'Siam Tulip' (Oil Paint software applied)

I feel that the oil paint software is not really that effective when applied to my drawings since the results, to me, don't look that different than the original.  I think this software really only works well on photographs.  I have used it previously on photos and found quite a difference in appearance.  Let me know if you disagree with my assessment.


_Mountain Scenes____________________________

While looking through some of my photo collections, I came across these mountain views.  I decided that with the warm weather we have been having that some lovely, cool-looking mountain scenes might be just what was needed to cool us off!  I hope you enjoy the following selections.


Obviously a Catholic village somewhere in the mountains of Europe


A beautiful morning/evening in the mountains with red poppies in the foreground


A cold, fast-flowing mountain stream well below the tree line


A beautiful evening/morning up on the rocky outcroppings


What a place for an outhouse!  Right next to a beautiful mountain waterfall.
I must comment on this final selection.  The house, with its outhouse, no longer appears to be in use and if that is the case, then the outhouse was probably placed there long before people had environmental concerns. Now, hopefully, people would know better than to place an outhouse close to any body of water!  Of course, what amazes me is the idea that whoever built the house would give the outhouse a better view than their home.  Plus, when the wind was blowing the wrong way, you would get sprayed quite a bit with the water just trying to make it to the outhouse!  In the cold weather this might be quite a deterrent.


__Personal____________________________

All is well at my house.  Well, I guess I should say that all is well with me!  Suki, at the moment, is rather unhappy because I just told her that in spite of her pitiful meows, she will have to wait until my bedtime before having her final meal of the day!

You know the old saying that "it never rains but it pours" -- well, not only will I be starting my visits with the chiropractor next week, but I will also be starting to work with a physiotherapist as well.  The amazing thing is that both services won't cost me anything as they are covered by OHIP.  The chiropractor is located at the hospital and the physiotherapist is part of a service that actually comes to apartment buildings housing a large number of seniors (such as the one in which I live).  I am hopeful that one or both of these disciplines will be able to help me get my neck and head in a more upright position as it does get very tiring trying to force my neck back so much of the time.  I will keep you informed as to progress.

This has also been a week of losses for me which is rather sad.  However, having to let people go is a given in our lives and by my age I should be getting used to it -- although it is never easy.  My long-time coffee buddy, Karen, is moving to Vancouver and my friend, Kristen, from the gym, is moving to London, Ontario.  Tomorrow is the day they both will be actually leaving.  I hope there won't be any more losses in the near future.

Below is a lovely photo I came across today.  It was right at the end of the photos labelled "mountains" and shows a field mouse drinking the dew from a leaf with a spider's web in the background.  It is such a lovely, gentle picture and sort of expresses delight with the curve of the mouse's tail in the early morning sunshine.  It makes me feel happy just looking at it even though I know that frightening things could be lurking just out of camera range. 




Wishing all my Ontario readers an enjoyable long weekend.
May the peace of God be with us all.

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