Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Million Bells

Million Bells Calibrachoa--Minifamous Double Blue -
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

Calibrachoa is a genus of plants in the Solanaceae (nightshade) family.
This bell-shaped flower closely resembles a trailing petunia. The first of these plants were taxonomically described in 1989 and the first cultivars/ hybrids released in 1992. The original plants were found in coastal areas clinging to rocks and surviving in some pretty harsh conditions, they so much resembled Petunias that they were originally referred to as ‘Seashore Petunias’.  Calibrachoa is named after Antonio de la Cal y Bracho, a 19th century Mexican botanist and pharmacologist.

The family tree of this genus, in its natural state, reaches deep down into Latin America; almost all species can be found in either in Argentina, Brazil, or Uruguay.  In their natural state, they are weak, evergreen, short-lived perennials and sub-shrubs with a sprawling habit, and they have small petunia-type flowers.  The hybrid/cultivars that have been developed over these past years tend to be vibrant, hardy plants.  One writer described them as "petunias on steroids"!

The drawings shown of mostly single blossoms do not really give you a true sense of the small size of many of these flowers.  But what they may lack in size, they make up for in quantity.  For example, the flower shown in the first drawing above is one of the larger varieties.  It is a cultivar known as "Mini Famous Double-Blue" although the blue, as you can see, is really more of a purple.

Million Bells Calibrachoa -- Parviflora - Pink -
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
This variety is known as Calibrachoa parviflora and has, as is evident in my drawing, "hairy" leaves and stems.

Million Bells Calibrachoa -- Crackling Fire (Orange) -
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
 This third drawing shows a variety called "Crackling Fire".  This is one of the shrubs which contains many flowers in beautiful variations of orange and gold.

I don't find my drawings of these blossoms overly appealing , so I am including a few small photos of the actual plants to give you a better idea of how lovely they can be.

Million Bells Calibrachoa -- Crackling Fire

Million Bells Calibrachoa--Minifamous Double Blue 


Crazy Signs

A friend recently sent me a bunch of "crazy" signs.  I chose the ones I liked the best to share with you folks.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

I mean, come on folks -- make up your minds!

Could you explain this again please?
There are two green buttons so which one do I push for yes?"

I also really liked this one as it made me think of Suki!

This has got to be my favourite -- I wonder if they actually get people buying the fish & chips who really think they have gotten a bargain?


Suki and Me

At the left you see a rather grainy photo of Suki helping me sort the laundry this morning (early) in preparation for the arrival of my lady who comes to clean and do my laundry each week.  You can easily see how much help she was being at the time I took this photo.  She had managed to move an item from one pile to another while rolling on her back, flailing her paws wildly in the air.  She had just had a big breakfast and must have been feeling very sassy.  Eventually I was able to dislodge her and finally get the sorting done properly.  For some reason she kept thinking that every time I threw an item into a pile that was an invitation to her for further play.  It took me twice as long as it should have to get the job done, but I have to admit I laughed a lot and enjoyed myself.

I am continuing to do very well.  Thank you for all your prayers.  Thus far I have not fallen again since the time 4 weeks ago now.  I must admit that I have come close a few times, but I think all your prayers are keeping my guardian angel awake and active.  Keep up the good work.

May the peace of God be with us all.

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