Saturday, 5 November 2011

Another Hibiscus

Hibiscus Double Rare, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

Hibiscus are spread throughout the world in various species. The most famous is Hibiscus rosa sinensis, the so-called Hawaiian Hibiscus to many. Malvaceac, a family of plants noted both for its economic and horticultural importance, includes such genera as Althaea (the hollyhocks), Abutilons (Chinese lanterns) and of course Hibiscus.

Probably the largest and certainly the most variable with respect to its vegetative and floral expression, as well as its adaptation to diverse habitats, the genus Hibiscus contains plants that vary from small annual or perennial herbs, under-shrubs and shrubs to small trees. Hibiscus is derived from an ancient Greek word hibiskos which Dioscorides, a Greek physician of the first century, used for the plant commonly known as marsh-mallow. In 1735 when Carl Linnaeus described the marsh-mallow, instead of using the old name he chose a different name –Hibiscus.

Hibiscus are distributed primarily through tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, but a few species are found in temperate zones. Their habitats may range from mangrove swamps to coastal and inland marshes, desert, savanna or woodlands The number of species in the genus is difficult to estimate. The most recent comprehensive treatment of the genus recognised 197 species in twelve sections. At the present, it is assumed that 250 is not an unreasonable estimate of the number of species of hibiscus. The most important group of all the species is Hibiscus rosa sinensis.

It appears to me that hybridization of Hibiscus is fairly easy. Thus there seem to be an untold number of hybrids or cultivars. In one posting, I found the author saying that he had two new cultivars that had not been named yet and he was thinking of having a contest to name them! The one that I have drawn is simply referred to as “Hibiscus double rare”. I have no more information than that. Perhaps this is another one that needs to be named. Shall we have a contest?! The prize could be a free subscription to my blog!

By the way, I hope you notice that I restrained myself from playing with that strange software I love so much!  So, this time you get only the drawing in its original state.



I heard back from the people at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in West Chester, PA this week and they sent me some copies of the holy card that they had made using my drawing as well as the letterhead that they will be using during this 25th anniversary year.  As I have mentioned in the past, it gives me so much pleasure when Catholic and other Christian groups want to use my icon drawings.  It is truly at times such as this that I feel my activities are being used by God for His purposes.  Nothing makes me happier for I feel as though I am right in the middle of His will for my life.  Now for the actual items...

Front of prayer card made for the 25th anniversary celebration
at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in West Chester PA,
using my icon

Back side of the prayer card described above.

Letterhead from St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in West Chester, PA, using my drawing

Below is the original file that I sent to them.

My original drawing.

Truly, God is so good in enabling us to help and support each other.



I have been collecting these "unusual friends" photos for some time now so I feel it appropriate to share a few of them with you.  They always remind me of how wonderful it felt when I first arrived in Canada and realized that I could now be friends with anyone.  I was no longer restricted by my culture and by the foolish prejudices of my community.  For example, the first friendship I had with a person of colour made me feel so free and so happy.  Unless you have lived with segregation, you really cannot understand how awful it is to be surrounded by people who, because of the colour of their skin, are supposed to be largely invisible to you.  Most certainly they were not people you could be friends with -- no matter how interesting they looked.  Your eyes might accidentally meet on occasion at which time they would quickly look away and towards the ground, hoping that they had not offended you.  I would often be left with the feeling that there was a real person behind those eyes but our culture said we could not be friends.  One of the very sad memories I have occurred while visiting my sister in north Florida in the late 1970s after I had lived in Canada for over 10 years.  I asked the black woman who did the housekeeping for my sister and her husband if she would give me a ride into town so I could visit with my parents who lived there.  This woman was truly like a member of my sister's family and was welcome to sit down with us to talk and to eat with us while she was in my sister's home.  I expected her to say immediately, "of course I will give you a ride."  However, she hesitated before saying "yes" to my request.  She then said that she would ask that I agree to sit in the back seat of her car so that it would appear to anyone who saw us that she was chauffeuring me somewhere (shades of Driving Miss Daisy!) -- if I sat in the front with her, people might think we were friends and try to hurt us!  Remember, this was in 1979.  So, let us be grateful for all our friendships just as these animals appear to be with theirs!

Rather than the wolf and the lamb laying down together, we have here a dog (a relative of the wolf)
and a lamb who seem very fond of one another!  Maybe this is what Isaiah meant! (see Isa. 11:6ff)

Truly an unusual friendship:  a cat and a Pelican.  Maybe the
Pelican started sharing leftover fish parts with the kitten and
the friendship grew from there.

This dog looks very happy to have her friend nearby.  The friend, a deer, seems happy too.

The friendship of a sheep and a goat is not that unusual, but this one seems very loving.
Of course, the day will come when the sheep and the goats will be separated -- one on
God's right hand and one on the left.  I do hope these two are prepared for that separation!
(see Matt. 25:31ff)



Well, Suki has been a bit more aggressive than usual these past few days.  I am not sure why, but her behaviour truly does make me
Suki ready to attack: ME!
laugh.  She is so silly; thinking I can't see her hiding.  Then she comes bounding out from behind the bookcase and I try to act as terrified as possible which seems to please her immensely!

It is very interesting to observe how there are certain actions and places that seem to trigger Suki's aggressive play behaviour.  For example, the wing-back chair in the living room was claimed as a "Suki safe place" soon after she came to live here.  She loved to sleep in that chair and whenever I dared to sit in it, she felt she had the right to sit on the back of the chair, meowing at me occasionally until I finally moved!  Since those early days, whenever I get anywhere close to this chair, Suki comes running, ready to attack.  So, of course, I often go by the chair just for the fun of it. 

Sure enough, here she comes a'runnin', her eyes big and black.  First, she crouches down on the other side of the chair acting like she thinks that because she can't see me that she, too, must be hidden.  If I continue to noisily touch the top of the chair, Suki will make a sudden leap toward my hand.  My part is to move my hand away quickly while making mewing noises (sort of like the sound a frightened kitten makes).  The movement and the noise seem to make her feel victorious and she settles down quite quickly in her favourite chair -- that is so long as I don't make the mistake of trying to touch her chair again!  She must know this is a game; however, for when company comes and either I or one of my guests elect to sit in "her" chair, she ignores us.  Poor Suki -- life is just play and eat and sleep and more play!

As for me.  I continue to do very well in spite of all my aches and pains.   I haven't gotten stuck in any more elevators or tried to attend meetings that I am not supposed to attend -- so that is all good.   Next week looks like a busy one for me -- including the Seniors' Club presentation that I thought I was going to attend last Tuesday!  I will give you a full report on how I managed to deal with the demon-possessed elevator this time around!                        

Don't forget to pray for the Holy Souls as well as your deceased family members during this month of November.
May the peace of God be with us all.

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