Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Capparis erythrocarpus

Capparis erythrocarpus, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
 Capparis erythrocarpus of the family, Capparaceae, is a tropical or subtropical evergreen shrub or small tree which produces peculiar looking “flowers”, but also red fruit.

The most usable parts of the plant are the roots and a few other bits of the plant. These have two rather different uses. First the dried root bark and a few other ingredients from this plant can be used to prepare a decoction which is helpful in treating arthritis. The second use is very different, but the people of Ghana in West Africa, which is where the plant originated, swear by it as an aphrodisiac!

The local names for this plant I find fascinating. Here are some of them: apana, pitipiti and patahofuo.

Capparis erythrocarpus, drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012 -- hue enhancement

Of course, I couldn't help playing around with such an unusual plant.

This first version was created by using the software that calls itself
"hue correction".  I am not sure exactly what is being corrected, but I do like the colours that resulted.

Capparis erythrocarpus, drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012 -- Solarization
Here is my old favourite software:  solarization.  I am not sure exactly what is meant by that, but it always does interesting things to the colours I use.

I was thinking of lightening the results here, but decided against it after seeing how washed out everything became.  Better just left as it is.



The Ojibwa named the Lake "Gichigami" meaning "big water".  Even the Native People recognized creation as the gift of God.  How much more should we who know the Creator, personally, be aware of this.  St. John says "All things came into being through Him and without Him not one thing came into being."

Lake Superior is one of the most beautiful of the Great Lakes.  After receiving a pps this week about the Lake, I just couldn't resist sharing these photos with you along with some of the information.  Enjoy.

4.4 Celsius is the annual average temperature of the water.
The clear visibility ranges from 27 to 100 feet making it one of
the clearest and cleanest of the Great Lakes. 

Lake Superior is one of the earth's youngest major features -- estimated at 10,000 years. The next youngest is a lake in Russia age 25 million years.

The lake contains 10% of all the earth's fresh surface water.Lake Superior contains over 3 quadrillion gallons of water, enough to flood all of North and South America with
at least one foot of water!

"Lake Superior", Lawren Harris sketch
  Here is a sketch by Group of Seven artist, Lawren Harris of Lake Superior.  He did a number of sketches there and a few finished paintings as well.  He was able to capture the special beauty found there.

Below is a photo of the ancient rock which surrounds the Lake.



I am very conservative.  I never think outside the box!

Suki and I seem to be managing all right these days.  More and more I am seeing the benefits of learning to sleep like a cat.  Since at my age I no longer sleep properly in the first place it does seem pretty foolish to attempt to get all my required sleep during the hours between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.  Far too often I spend most of the night trying to find some way to force my legs to stop being so restless -- as has been the case lately.  So, if I was depending on that time period to supply me with the rest I need, then I would be very disappointed and probably very likely to fall asleep standing up, ending up with another black and blue face or another cracked rib.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with what has been known, up until recently as Restless Leg Syndrome (the condition is now known as Willis-Ekborn Disease).  As I have gotten older, the disease symptoms have gotten worse -- sometimes almost unbearably so.  Considering all the things I have working against me when it comes to just getting a decent night's sleep, it is really no wonder that I sometimes "pass out" when I get up in the middle of the night!

But, as most of you are aware, I am not complaining about this suffering.  For me it is just one more thing which I can unite to the perfect sufferings of Our Lord in His Passion and Death.  How grateful I have been over the years of my life for the Catholic "theology" of suffering.  To know that nothing is wasted in God's economy is a cause for great rejoicing.

I am not certain I will ever understand why other groups seem to see suffering as God's punishment or even a sign of sin in a person's life.  Did not our Lord say that we are to pick up our cross daily and follow Him?  I mean, what is a cross used for and if we are following Him carrying a cross where do we think we are going?  Are we not on our way to be crucified with Him?

Meanwhile, I just got a look from Suki which seemed to be saying:  "why aren't you taking a nap instead of making all that noise on the computer keyboard?"  So, I guess I had better get to it!

May our dear Lord bless us all and may our Blessed Mother intercede for us.

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