Sunday, 11 March 2012

White Bat Plant aka Belimbing Tanah




Tacca integrifolia, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
  Tacca integrifolia aka Belimbing Tanah and more commonly known as the White Bat Plant - is one of the world’s most unusual flowering plants!

A native of Malaysia and belonging to the Dioscoreaceae plant family, it has a highly unusual flower arrangement that is held about 3ft high, but amazingly, the thick purple whiskers that emanate from within the flower are so long that they can sometimes reach the ground! At the top there are two, spectacular “petals” (bracts) -- usually white and purple stripes - each one about 8 inches wide! The true flowers are located at the bottom centre of the inflorescence and are reminiscent of thick, purple buttons!

The inspiration for this intriguing flower's name is the winged creature of the night. The flower resembles a bat: Two white bracts arch upward while dark-purple, whisker-like veins dangle downward from amethyst blossoms. It has been used for treatment of gastric ulcer, enteritis, hepatitis, controlling blood pressure and improving sexual function.

Of course, I couldn't resist playing with this drawing as it was so interesting to begin with and has so many different colours and shapes.  The image just below is the result of the "hue correction" software and gives, I think, a delightful looking plant with blue leaves!


Tacca integrifolia (hue correction), drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

This next image is the result of using the colour inversion software.  I am not at all sure how the computer figures out which colours are the "inversion" of another, but, once again, I ended up with an image that I find quite pleasing.

Tacca integrifolia (colour inversion), drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
Of these three variations, I think my favourite is the image I get when using the "hue correction" software -- it has such a soft, lovely appearance and the blue leaves really fascinate me.  I would be delighted to hear which one of them tree you prefer.

Finally, I have a photo of an actual plant so you can clearly see the great, white wings that in the shady forest, where the plant prefers to grow, would truly look like a great, white bat flying towards you.  That could be rather scary, I think.

Tacca integrifolia (photo showing "white bat wings")


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CHURCH SIGNS

I came across some new church signs this week -- at least new to me.  Hopefully there will be a a few of them which you haven't seen previously.  As we all know, so many items circulate so constantly on the Internet that eventually everything old is new again -- especially as you get older!  Enjoy.


Hoping that your spelling skills are sufficient
to see the humour here! 

This reminder should help to keep us humble!

Personally, I need all the help I can get!

And the best part is that it is free -- although
I am not saying that it isn't costly!

I have a dear friend who, while visiting a friend in the psych
ward of a local hospital, was approached by a
patient who told her in a very positive manner
"I know you, you're the Good Shepherd"

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SUKI AND SALLIE

Well, the battle continues between Suki and myself over the shower drain cover!  Can you believe it?!  Now I think she is doing it simply to annoy me!  Could that be possible?

Photo shown to Suki while
advising her that it will be
posted next to the shower
with a warning sign reading:
THIS IS WHAT WILL
HAPPEN TO YOU
NEXT TIME, KIDDO!
I have shown her this photo and its accompanying warning and threatened to dump her in a bucket full of sudsy water if she goes after the shower drain cover again.  You know what she did?... she yawned... twice... and then closed her eyes and went back to sleep!

Now, of course, I have a serious problem:  if she goes after the shower drain cover again, I really should do what I have threatened to do -- but how could I actually be so mean?!!  I think she probably knows me pretty well by now and will, no doubt, just call my bluff.  Oh my, perhaps I should call Dr. Ray (he is a psychologist on EWTN with 11 [I think] adopted children) for advice on disciplining a clever cat!

Oh well, at the moment I don't have to worry as Suki is in her crow's nest bed, sound asleep -- or at least she appears to be asleep -- maybe she can read my thoughts and knows exactly what I am saying about her!  Uh,oh, do you think I am sounding just a bit paranoid?  See what giving a home to a homeless cat can do to you!!

As for myself, other than sounding a bit paranoid about my crazy cat, I am doing pretty well.

No appointment yet with the cardiologist, but it has only been a few days since the request was submitted.  I am feeling reasonably well and still taking lots of naps to prevent falling.  I seem to have gotten much more skilled in noticing when I begin to feel at risk for falling and then taking action quickly -- like getting myself into bed and resting or sleeping until I feel stronger again.

My godson, Patrick,  and his wife, Vivian, came for a visit yesterday.  It was so good to see them and to see what a big "baby belly" she has.  Vivian is just about ready to enter her third trimester and she looks beautiful.  I can barely stand the thought of having to wait until June to actually meet this little guy but that's the way life goes.  Everything in its proper time.

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Interestingly, I am back at the keyboard after about an hour's break because I needed to stop what I was doing and have a rest as I was feeling a bit at risk for falling.  Even though I was sitting at the computer and most people would think you were pretty safe from falling while seated in a chair, I have discovered, sadly, that falling out of a chair can be as painful as falling while standing!  Anyway, I am back at the keyboard, alert and awake, and able to finish off my posting for today.

May the love, joy and peace of God be with us all -- and may we, in all things, give thanks.

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