Monday, 19 December 2011

Columbine Blue

Columbine Blue, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

Aquilegia caerulea is a species of Aquilegia flower native to the Rocky Mountains from Montana south to New Mexico and west to Idaho and Arizona. Its common name is Colorado Blue Columbine; sometimes it is called "Rocky Mountain Columbine", but this properly refers to Aquilegia saximontana not Aquilegia caerulea.

It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 20–60 cm tall. The flowers are very variable in color, from pale blue (as in the species name caerulea) to white, pale yellow and pinkish; very commonly the flowers are bi-colored, with the sepals a different shade to the petals.

Aquilegia caerulea is the state flower of Colorado. It is also an ornamental plant in gardens, with numerous cultivars selected for different flower colours.

I used my computer software to experiment with "different flower colours as you can see below.

Columbine Blue (Colour Balance), drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

The "colour balance" selection gives a much more lavender/purple cast to the flowers rather than the pale indigo blue of the original drawing.  The leaves become dark purple instead of green.

Columbine Blue (Hue Correction), drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011
 The use of the "hue correction" selection changes the flowers to varying shades of pink and mauve with blue rather than green leaves. 


Some delightful Christmas photos from Italy:

A friend sent me some photos of Italian Christmas scenes.  I selected the following four to share with you in this posting.

Snowy Christmas in Milan

The giant Christmas tree in front of St. Peter's, Vatican City

A confused and confusing group of Santas in Venice

Santa  in psychoanalysis -- scene in a shop window in Milan
(Maybe Santa saw all those "Santas" in Venice which left him asking "who is the real me?".) 

Suki and Sallie

I asked Suki if she would like to have an outfit like this to wear on Christmas Day.  She sniffed the
photo, looked at me and yawned.  I think that was her way of saying "no".  I think I have shown you this photo previously, but of all the cat Christmas photos I have come across over the years, this one amuses me the most.  If you know cats at all, you know how unhappy this poor kitty really is and you also know that only superb training would keep a cat in this position long enough to take a photo!  I value my hands and arms too much to ever seriously consider trying to do this with Suki.

While my friend, Brenda, was here, Suki was ignored a lot of the time.  She even failed to get fed at her preferred times.  She would ask for food; I would tell her "yes, in a minute" and then Brenda and I would become engrossed in our conversation again and Suki would be forgotten.  Often, she just gave up and ate a few of her "crunchies" and wandered off to sleep for a few more hours.  I should weigh her again and see if she lost any weight in the process. 

Since Brenda left this morning to return to Alabama, Suki has been sleeping almost non-stop.  I assume having company is difficult for her since I don't pay nearly as much attention to her as I normally do.

Now, as for me...  I had a wonderful visit with Brenda on the day prior to my birthday. Then on the day itself, we went out for a delicious, two-and-a-half hour meal.  The restaurant is one where I go often and they treated us to a generous slice of an enormous 5-layer chocolate cake with thick chocolate icing in honour of my birthday.  This was presented with two forks and coffee.  The entire meal was superb.

We spent the remainder of the day talking and talking some more.  By that evening, I was very happy, but I felt totally exhausted.  This was when disaster befell me...  I seem to have been sleepwalking around 11:45 and I ended up falling hard, falling on my head again.  This has left me looking once more like a zombie and feeling about as lively.  Thankfully, Brenda retired after years of being a super nurse so she was able to nurse me through the following days.  I did not get to show her any of the interesting areas of downtown Toronto other than St. Lawrence Market as we spent most of her remaining visit here at my place.  We did have a wonderful time together and have renewed that strong bond that was never broken over those 47 years apart.

As for me, I will be staying close to home for the remainder of the festive season.  I simply look too awful to go anywhere in public without being covered by my floppy hat, dark glasses and big scarf!

I hope to post again before Christmas.  Meanwhile, keep praying: "Come Lord Jesus" as we wait for the days to be accomplished.

May the peace of God be with us all.

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