Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Flowers from Central America & Caribbean

"Spiral Ginger - Cana Agria" (Costus spicatus), drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

Family: Costaceae; Gender: Costus; Species: C. spicatus. Also known as Spiral Ginger - Cana Agria (Cana Agria means Sour cane). Other English names include Maroon cane, cane cold, sacred reed and cane sacred. Because C. spicatus is also known as "spiral ginger" it is sometimes listed with other gingers in family Zingiberaceae, but generally it is accepted as classified in a separate plant family, Costaceae.

C. spicatus is native to Central America and the Caribbean and has spread to parts of South America. The stems of this plant are used as diuretic. It is useful in diseases and inflammations of the urinary tract and for the removal of kidney stones. Recommended for use in case of nephritis, kidney stones and inflammation of the bladder (cystitis). It is also soothing for menstrual cramps.

"Guaria Morada" (Guarianthe "Cattleya" skinneri), drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

Guaria Morada, an orchid, was given the scientific name of Cattleya Skinneri in England by a botanist named James Bateman as a tribute to George Ure Skinner, the European who defined it botanically.

It was declared as the national flower of Costa Rica merely because it could be found everywhere as it grows on trees, roofs and even on buildings. In the past, the peasants of the country really treasured Guaria Morada for its beauty as they relate it with the loveliness of the people, especially women, of Costa Rica. Moreover, according to the tradition and folklore of Costa Rica the flower is also a symbol of family understanding and union. Even though it does not have a unique or captivating fragrance, it has then a beautiful shape as well as an exquisite color.

This orchid blooms during the months of February to April. Guaria Morada means "purple-red flower that grows on the tree."  This orchid is native to Southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. It has since spread to parts of South America.  Family: Orchidaceae; Alliance: Cattleya; Genus: Guarianthe; Species: G. skinneri.



I keep trying to draw a satisfactory picture of a boat (or boats) sitting in water.  In my mind I have an image of what it will look like, but I have yet to bring that image out so that I can share it with others.  At any rate, I want to show you one of my latest efforts.

"Here Comes the Sun", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012


Well, just a little story this week -- a few new photos about doing sports with Dad.

"I am so excited thinking about getting to watch sports with my Daddy! 
Yea Team!"

"See, here we are watching football.  My Dad is really great 'cause he knows everything
about football and all that good stuff!  I try to listen very carefully."

"Watching baseball can really tire a guy out!  I hope our team won the game, Dad.


"Suki Asleep" drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012
 Well, this drawing depicts exactly what Suki is doing this morning.  She is in my chair, again, curled up and sound asleep.  Every so often her ears twitch as do her whiskers, and occasionally her tail will move with the strangest motion.  If her tail was a rattlesnake, she would be making that rattling noise for the movement is almost the same.

I know that she is dreaming and I can't help but wonder what she is dreaming about.  The one creature that torments her almost daily is one of our local pigeons.  He gets out there on the very edge of the balcony ledge facing my bedroom window where Suki likes to sit in the sunshine.  Well, all else is forgotten when the pigeon arrives.  I know it is here when I hear her making that strange sound somewhere deep in her throat that cats make sometimes when stalking their prey. 

The pigeon knows that Suki cannot get to him and so he preens and postures and drives Suki slightly crazy!  This continues until the pigeon is distracted by a female in the area and flies away.  At this point, Suki will begin to meow, plaintively.  It is almost as though she is asking me to make the pigeon come back.  After a period of time spent looking and watching and seeing nothing special, Suki gives up and climbs into her "crows-nest" bed and goes to sleep.

So, I am pretty sure that when I see all that twitching and tail rattling while she is sleeping, Suki must be dreaming about finally catching that pigeon and showing him who is boss!!  Ah, the life of an indoor cat.

I, on the other hand, am not sitting and looking out the window hoping to see a pigeon.  Whenever I see a pigeon sitting on the balcony ledge, I hurry to open the balcony door -- at which point I slap my hands together and shout which makes the bird fly away.  Thus, I have a balcony almost completely free of pigeon mess thanks to Suki sitting in the window so much and my own vigilance.  Sadly, this is not the case with many of my neighbours, especially those who are still working full time.

Anyway, enough about pigeons.  I have some really exciting news:  if all goes as planned, I will be seeing Braden and his parents two weeks from this coming Friday!  I am already counting the days.  How wonderful it will be to see them all and to get to hold Braden again -- if he will let me.  Even if he doesn't, it will still be wonderful to see him and his mom and dad.

I have several jobs I am working on at the moment for different organizations.  Nothing very exciting as the fun work was done some time ago (the fun work is drawing whatever is needed for the finished product).

At the moment, I am just thinking about getting ready for the gym.  I want to spend an hour or so there before my friends come to visit later this afternoon.   On the way to the gym, I want to pass by the Market and get myself some fresh bread.  Yum.  So I had better get going.

May God bless us all today and in the days ahead.  As we move into my favourite season of the year this Friday, I pray that we all will be reminded of the blessings of the harvest-time which, in turn, may lead us to say thank you to God for His countless blessings.

Peace be with you all.

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