Monday, 3 September 2012

Hawaiian Sunset Vine

Hawaiian Sunset Vine 1 (Stictocardia beraviensis), drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

Hawaiian Sunset Vine 2 (Stictocardia beraviensis), drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

This beautiful flower has suffered with just a bit of an identity crisis.  Up to the end of the past century, it was generally known as Ipomoea (worm-like, referring to a coiled flower bud) beraviensis.  In 2001, however a decision was made that this plant is incorrectly placed in Ipomoea.
We (the authors of this article) have been studying these plants since shortly after the second author returned from a trip to the island [Madagascar] in 1990. Numerous traits suggest that the species is best placed in Stictocardia and we make that change here along with a synopsis of the other species in that genus. 
Since that time the proper name has been Stictocardia.  Often you will see both names listed as these changes seem to slowly be accepted over a long period of time.

The names now used for the Hawaiian Sunset Vine (aka Hawaiian Bell and Braveheart vine) are as follows:
Stictocardia: from the Greek stiktos (spotted) and kardia (heart), referring to the spotted, heart-shaped leaves; beraviensis: of or from Beravy, Toliara, Madagascar; Convolvulaceae: the Convolvulus family (from the Latin convolvere, meaning to twine around).

Hawaiian Sunset Vine
Photo by Top Tropicals
Sadly, this morning glory type flower can be imaged more gloriously in a photo than in a drawing since the vibrant colours are almost impossible to capture with paints or with my computer palette.

It is native to locations in Africa, particularly Madagascar.  It has since spread over most of the tropical areas of the planet, particularly in Hawaii, hence the name.

The cup-shaped flowers are 2-3" across, bright crimson with yellow and orange streaking. They are scented but only last a day or two. Leaves are large, growing up to 10-12" wide, dark green with a velvety texture.  In other words, this is a beautiful flower on a fast-growing vine with heart-shaped leaves.  It was a pleasure to draw and I will be drawing this vine again, I am sure, in an effort, perhaps fruitless, to capture the true beauty of the colour of these flowers.


Braden Update

Braden, as you can see from the fourth photo below, is getting to be a big boy.  His parents have introduced him to long walks which he seems to love.  Using recent photos, I made up a little story about what the experience of getting ready for such an outing might be like for Braden.  This if, of course, fiction as there is no space given to some pretty basic things like eating breakfast!  So just set logic and reason aside and enjoy the story and the photos of this beautiful boy.

There I was, sleeping soundly and dreaming of something quite wonderful...

When suddenly I was awakened by my mom ... she was telling me that it was time to get dressed so that she and my dad can take me for a long walk -- Oh, goody, I love those long walks...

What my mom failed to mention was that I had to have a bath before getting dressed!!! 
Doesn't she realize that boys don't like to take baths?!  But I had to submit and finally
the ordeal was over...

I was dressed in my best and ready to go.  At which point I spoke a word to the troops:
"Mom and Dad, if we just continue to assume that my way is the best way, then we should be able to save a lot of time and discussion.  OK, let's march."


Is Suki plotting or just getting
ready to take a nap?

I am not sure what is going on, but I just realized as I sat down to write this posting that Suki has done nothing out of the ordinary for the past four days!  I should be very happy about this, but instead, I find it worrying!  It is like the longer we go without her misbehaving, the more anxious I become as I wait for the other shoe to drop -- so to speak!  What is she working up to, I keep asking myself?  I say to myself, "Self, don't worry.  Suki is just getting older and better behaved.  Maybe she is even starting to try to be a good cat."
For some reason, saying those sorts of things to myself just makes me feel even more nervous.  I look at her sitting in her chair and ask myself "Is she plotting something terrible or is she just getting ready to settle down for a long nap?"  I think I may be getting paranoid.

At any rate, all is quiet at my house and Suki and I have had a very nice long weekend together.  Like most long weekends, I haven't done anything special -- mostly I have spent my time reading and doing art on the computer. 

Speaking of the computer and art, I want to let you know about the latest use of some of my icons.

Sunday a week ago, I received the following in an email:
"Dear Sallie, As I was "googling" for images of Jesus "Knocking at the door (of our heart)... " for my class - I am a Catholic catechist in California - I discovered your remarkable art work! I was/am deeply touched by all your icons (sacred art). Your icon of Jesus knocking at the door spoke to me much more than W. Hunt neo-classical/new-age painting, the Holy Family, St Maximilian Kolbe, the Transfiguration, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, etc, are so powerful! I believe that your iconography is a treasure that will touch the children: your colorful palettes, beautifully-simplified figures yet authentic not only conveys the love that God has for us but the beauty of the Faith. Please, let me know where I could buy ..."
After some correspondence, I received the following explanation and order from this lady:
"I teach 1st communion to older children 9-16 year old, and 2nd and 3rd graders through a faith program called Generation of Faith. Every 5 weeks we have a generational 2 hour faith based event for parents/grandparents and children/teens from our parish. Beside teaching, I decorate the tables and usually I print on a card stock paper an art work (paintings, icons, photos) related to the faith theme of the event. We don't sell them but keep them for further use during the years to come. Depending on the cost of each print, I am interested in acquiring the 20 icons of the Rosary, The Prodigal Son and Our Lady, the First Tabernacle."
Of course, once I discovered that she would not be selling the items, I informed her that there would be no charge as I would be honoured to feel as though I was helping in the catechizing of children in the Faith.  She seemed very pleased about this and I am very happy to be able to help.

So it has been an enjoyable time -- Suki has been behaving and I have been able to help a new group by sharing my art work with them.  God is so good.

Now, may the gift of God's love and peace fill our hearts in the days ahead and may our lives, then, be a blessing to others.

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