Sunday, 13 November 2011

Blue Fan

Scaevola aemula Blue Fan Flowers
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

Scaevola aemula (Fairy Fan-flower or Common Fan-flower) is a small shrub in the family Goodeniaceae, native to southern Australia although now available for gardens wherever the climate and soil are suitable.  It grows to 50 cm in height and produces white or blue flowers in spikes up to 24 cm long from August to March in its native range. These are followed by rounded, wrinkled berries. The species is thought to be the most commonly cultivated of the genus Scaevola, and a large number of cultivars have been developed.

Scaevola is from the Latin, scaevus, meaning on the left side, referring to the flowers which have petals arranged to one side - fan shaped. Aemula is from the Latin aemulus, meaning comparing with or rivalling or of uncertain origin.

For (a little) more information go to:



As some of you know, I lived in the State of New Mexico for 2 or 3 years back in the 1960s.  New Mexico is a somewhat sparsely populated state sitting between Texas and Arizona.  It is that very "sparse-ness" of people combined with a large rock population that made me fall in love with the southwestern part of the State at our first encounter.  All that empty land with huge standing stones -- many of which look just like giants from a distance -- combined with caves, canyons and the occasional cottonwood tree and water hole.  Then just when you think there is nothing around you other than these few things, you look more closely and see that there is a whole world of creatures carrying on their daily lives.  I had so many adventures there and met so many wonderful animals, birds and beautiful reptiles.  And, yes, there were wonderful people as well.

You know how much I love trees, but somehow those powerful and primitive rocky landscapes had a profound effect on me.  I have longed to return there for so many years, but it just doesn't look as though it will happen.  However, I have wonderful memories, including many photographs and even a few paintings.  So, since New Mexico has been much in my thoughts lately, I felt that today's posting would be a good time to share a bit of my New Mexico with you.

Sunrise as seen from one of the thousands of caves which are found throughout the State
Some of the most famous are found in Canyon de Chelly where the Anasazi people
built their homes into the caves and then one day the Anasazi just disappeared...??

Geronimo, a high mesa near where I lived.  This beautiful place was one of
the last hideouts for Geronimo when he was being sought by the U.S. cavalry.
Photograph taken by Frank Thayer, circa 1965

"Geronimo", oil painting by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 1966

New Mexico lightning storm as seen from outside our house in Hurley New Mexico.
Notice the big smokestack pouring out smoke from the Kennecott Copper Smelter.
Photograph taken by Frank Thayer, circa 1965.

Look what happened to the smokestacks in 2005!  The smelter was closed for good in
1999 due to the low price of copper on the world market.

"New Mexico Village", copied from original work by T. F. Remington, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2007.  One of my first attempts at drawing on the computer using a similar looking painting by a New Mexico artist as my model.

I have been thinking about putting Suki into one of those animal talent shows.  She is really a very talented cat!

One of her most amazing skills is her ability to tell time.  I would put her up against a 6 year old any day!  She is usually accurate to the minute.  For example, I can be doing whatever, paying no attention to the time when, suddenly, out of the blue, I hear a plaintive meow coming from the kitchen.  The first time I heard Suki meow this way, I rushed to find her as I thought she was dying.  What did I find?  I found Suki lying on the kitchen floor as though too weak to stand, crying pitifully.  I just happened to glance at the clock where I noticed that it was one minute past 12 noon.  Her original cry had occurred at exactly noon.

Every day since then, the same thing has occurred at exactly the same time.  Suki is ready for her lunch and refuses to take "no" for an answer.  This all started several months ago when I made the mistake of saying to Suki:  "Stop fussing, I promise I will feed you at noon".  See what I mean.  She can obviously tell time and has practically forced me to keep my promise to her each and every day since then.  It is almost scary -- and rather annoying to tell you the truth.  I keep hoping she will sleep through lunch, but so far, no such luck!  Ah, what a cat I am blessed to live with!

As for me, I have had a very uneventful week since last Tuesday's episode with the demonic elevator at the Cathedral's parish hall!  I have been resting a lot.  I think getting trapped by the elevator twice in 7 days has left me feeling rather piqued!  So, I have been spending most of my time resting, drawing (which I also find restful) and just plain resting.  As well, most days I do exercise at the gym for a little over an hour.  My body needs to prepare itself to face that elevator once again in about three more weeks.  This time I am determined to win!

Today, once I have dealt with the Suki-drama described above which will occur in about 5 minutes, it will be time to get ready to go to the gym.  I wonder what would happen if I tried to sneak out without feeding her royal queen-ship?! 


Meanwhile, remember to pray for the holy souls -- especially those who have no one to pray for them --during this month of November which is dedicated to praying for those who have died.  And don't forget to ask Our Lady and all the saints to pray with you.

May the peace of God be with us all.

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