Thursday, 7 June 2012

White Egret Flower

Habenaria radiata (Pecteilis radiata) --White Egret Flower
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012.

The White Egret Flower is a species of orchid known by the scientific name Habenaria radiata (also known as Pecteilis radiata) of the Family Orchidaceae.  It also has various other common names such as Crane Orchid, Egret Orchid and Peacock Orchi. The White Egret is a rare, hardy terrestrial orchid which grows from a bulb. It is native to Japan where it is commonly known as Sagi.

The White Egret Flower will grow to a height of 12 to 15 inches, and the flowers will bloom late in the summer. The flower itself is white and fringed, giving it the look of a bird with large wings in flight.

During the period of conflicts in Japan, a princess of Tokyo sent a love letter to her fiance with an Egret Orchid bulb. However, he was slain in battle.  The Egret Flower bloomed where he fell. It is because of this story that people in Tokyo began to say giving the White Egret to someone was a sign that the receiver would not be returning to the place from which he came.

 The photograph below shows just how dainty a flower this is with its slender stems and small, winged bird-like flowers seemingly ready to fly away.  Even the flowers not yet opened are attractive.  If you look closely at my drawing above, you will see that my unopened blossoms almost look like little people walking around.  I find this an altogether delightful plant.

Habenaria radiata (Pecteilis radiata) --White Egret Flower

I tried to embed a video at this point of some White Egret flowers in a field in Japan, being moved back and forth by a gentle breeze. However, it just didn't work and in trying to make it work, I ended up deleting it! I think I will have to do a bit of research before I figure out how to include videos!  Probably giving you a link to one would be simpler anyway.

One thing about this flower that does puzzle me, however, is why it was named after the white egret and not the white crane.  Unless you have spent some time watching birds, my statement may not make any sense to you.  But if you know how to recognize these birds in flight, you know that the egret flies with its long neck doubled back, while the crane files with its neck outstretched!  The flower, to me, looks more like a crane in flight (with the neck outstretched) than an egret.  Let me show you a couple of photos so you can see what I mean.

Great White Egret in flight
(note how the neck is positioned in flight)

Great White Crane in flight
(some cranes have dark colouring on their wings, but some are entirely white)
 As you can see from these photos, the shape of the crane in flight is much more like the White Egret Flower than the egret.  But, of course, it is much too late to do anything about this naming business!  The flower has been and will be now and forever the White Egret Flower.


Drawings I have forgotten to show you

The following are exactly what the title says they are:  items that I had meant to post, but had forgotten to do so for various reasons.  Enjoy!

"Solitary Tree on the Beach", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2010

Strongylodon macrobotrys Orange, 2011

Still Life: "Table Ready for the Party", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

Icon, "Our Lady with Aramaic book" by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011


This is my dinner companion!
She sits and watches every bite.
Well, the effort continues to try to better control the amount of food Suki eats.  It is not an easy task.  She does things like sit on the stool across the counter from me as I eat my supper. 

The photo at the left gives you an idea of exactly what she does.  Every bite that goes into my mouth is carefully observed.  Even though I let her sniff a bit of whatever I am eating (I cut a small piece and put it on a plate in front of her), it makes no difference.  Although she turns her nose up at whatever she sniffs on the plate, she still seems convinced that I must have something that she wants.  Either that or she actually intuits that sitting across from me watching me eat is likely to cause me to eventually give in and give her more food!  Is she really that clever?  After the episode with the computer, I don't know why I even continue to ask that question!

Other than her worries about how much food she will get each day, I think Suki is doing quite well.  She did get shut up in the broom closet a few days ago -- quite by accident.  I was given the floor a quick Swiffer before the arrival of company and so had the closet door open while I had the Swiffer mop out.  When I was finished, I put the mop back in the closet, turned off the light and shut the door.  A short time later I heard a very plaintive meow sounding as though it is coming from some place far away.  At first I thought it must be a cat out in the hallway, but Suki did not come running as she usually does when she hears a cat close to her territory.  This puzzled me so I tried to listen more closely and suddenly realized that the sound was coming from somewhere inside my apartment.  With that realization, I knew right away what had happened and hurried to the closet door which opened to reveal a very pathetic looking Suki.  She had that look on her face which says "how could you have done this to me?" plus her fur was all messed up because she had evidently been trying to crawl under the bottom shelf of the storage unit.  I made everything worse at that point by breaking out in laughter at the look of her.  At this point, she gathered herself together and stalked away, tail held high and erect, her dignity once again intact.  She did not speak to me for some hours afterwards!  I'm surprised she didn't call the Humane Society!!

For anyone wondering, I finally made it back to the gym this week.  After six months absence, I am back at it again.  I went over there on Monday and Tuesday and plan to go again later this morning.  I am sore, of course, but feeling good because I actually overcame my inertia through the grace of God and I am also enjoying those endorphins again!  I will have to establish a weekly schedule again, but for the moment, I am just going whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Speaking of which, I would have already gone to the gym this morning, but I have a friend coming to visit me shortly.  She is coming in on the Go Train from Mississauga to do some errands in the Big City and stopping by to see me first.  We have been trying to get together for several months now and each time we scheduled a visit, something happened to one or both of us!  It looks like today we are finally going to make it.  Since it is almost time for her to arrive, I had better finish this and go make sure everything is ready.  She is bringing the coffee and I am supplying the chocolate!  Yum.

May God bless us each and every one.  May He fill us with His peace and joy.
And may we truly rejoice this coming Sunday as we celebrate the great Feast of Corpus Christi.  God is so good.

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