"Strawflowers" Bracteantha (Xerochrysum) bracteata, drawing by S. Thayer
Strawflower (also known botanically as Bracteantha bracteata) is a large annual or short-lived perennial from Australia. From late spring until autumn it produces unique daisy-like blooms with papery white, yellow, orange, red, maroon, or pink petal-like bracts and a yellow central disk. The blooms open slowly from fat colorful buds. The erect stems are furnished with narrow gray-green leaves. Numerous cultivars – including dwarf, double, and large-flowered forms -- are available. The seeds are sold under such names as Sundaze and Golden Beauty. The family, Asteraceae, are herbs, shrubs, or less commonly trees and are arguably the largest family of flowering plants, comprising about 1,100 genera and 20,000 species. These include everything from goldenrod to artichoke flowers!
Native to Australia, they occur naturally in all mainland states and territories as well as Tasmania. Widespread, they are found from north Queensland across to Western Australia, and in all habitats except for densely shaded areas. They grow as an annual in patches of red sand in Central Australia, responding rapidly to complete its life cycle to bouts of rainfall. They are also common among granite outcrops in southwest Western Australia.
Dried “strawflowers” are long lasting—up to some years—and are used in floral arrangements and the cut flower industry. More robust longer stemmed forms are used for commercial cut flowers.
Of course, I couldn't resist playing with the drawing and here is what it looks like with an inversion of colours:
|"Strawflowers" -- colour inversion, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011 |
|Calla Lily "Infinity", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011|
I don't know about your location, but it has been very hot and humid in mine! So, as I was thinking about what kind of extra photos to include in this particular posting, I decided that northern lights in cold weather locations would be pleasant to look at during such hot weather. So here is a selection of 5 from my collection.
As I have mentioned previously, everyone really needs to experience the northern lights for themselves. There is something very primal about the experience. I find that actually being under a sky filled with these incredible colours and rapidly moving lights often makes people "believe" in God for at least that period of time. Even if they don't want to, something deep inside responds to this marvel of nature and lifts their hearts to think of such things as angels and eternity.
|Northern Light illuminate a lighthouse|
|Northern Lights with reflections|
|Northern Lights with dog sleds and snow|
|Northern Lights near hot springs|
|Northern Lights and a tepee community|
As usual, Suki is sound asleep nearby as I am writing this. She is almost like a dog at times in that she wants to be near me when I am seated in one place for a while. Each of the places where I normally remain for longer periods of time has a designated "Suki-sleeping-spot". The only time she disappears from view if when she senses that I am going to be spending a long time at my computer desk. It is during such times that she opens the door to the bedroom closet (near my computer desk) and finds her way to the back of the closet where her box of old clothes is waiting. Here, I think, she has the best sleep of the day as she must feel very safe. After an hour or so, however, she will start meowing until she sees me and then I need to stop and spend a few minutes with her before she is willing to go back to sleep again! I have never known a cat previously who behaved this way.
I, on the other hand, had a number of errands to do this morning. I went out and got them done early so that I don't have to be out now in the heat of the day. I may go across the street to the gym later, but that is a decision I will make by 1 p.m. Otherwise, I am free to do such things as post on my blog and work on new drawings. Ah, the joys of retirement...!
Here is another Eleusa-type icon of Our Lady and her precious Child. I simply cannot resist continuing to do drawings of the Theotokos. She always directs my attention to her son, Jesus.
|Madre de Dios, icon, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer |
Pray for us Holy Mother.
May the peace of God be with us all.