Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dichelostemma capitatum

I apologize for the lateness of this posting. I finished writing it some time ago, but then in my absentmindedness, I forgot to hit the "publish" key! So, here it sat until upon returning to the computer some hours later, I discovered, much to my amazement that the post was still here! Well, better late than never, as the saying goes. Enjoy!

"Dichelostemma capitatum", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

I drew this little flower some time ago and since it was one of the first files I recovered after the recent computer crash, I figured it deserved to be featured at long last.
Family: Asparagaceae; Genus: Dichelostemma; Species: D. capitatum.
Dichelostemma capitatum called commonly Blue dicks, Purplehead and Brodiaea occurs in Arizona, California, Oregon, Utah, New Mexico, and northern Mexico.

Dichelostemma capitatum is an perennial growing from an underground corm* to a height of as much as 60 cm. It usually contains 2 to 15 flowers, which are blue, blue-purple, pink-purple, or white.
*[A corm is a short, vertical, swollen underground plant stem that serves as a storage organ used by some plants to survive winter or other adverse conditions such as summer drought and heat.]

Corms have been gathered by Native Americans in California, parts of the Great Basin, and the Southwest. These corms were an important starch source in their diet. California tribes dug and continue to dig the corms before flowering, during flowering, or after seeding depending on the tribe and individual family. Traditional gathering sites were visited annually, and there were gathering tracts with different kinds of corms and bulbs owned and maintained by particular families.

Corms are eaten by animals such as black bears, mule deer, non-native wild pigs, rabbits, and pocket gophers. As some of the corms are eaten, others are dispersed. The animals detach the cormlets, which aerates the soil, prepares the seedbed, thins the plant population, and leaves some cormlets behind. Once separated, corms may take less time to reach flowering size. Interestingly, Dichelostemma capitatum populations require periodic disturbance to maintain and increase their populations; therefore,  harvesting by people and wild animals may help maintain healthy plant populations.


Braden Comes for a Visit!

Sunday was a red-letter day!  Braden and his parents came to visit.  They were here for about two hours and I was blessed to be able to spend at least an hour of that time holding sweet Braden.  What a precious gift he is and how good it felt to hold him.  Take a look at a few of the photos his mother took.

Here you see Braden looking puzzled over why this goofy looking lady is holding him on her knee?!

Here you see that being the good sport that he is, Braden has just decided to enjoy the experience!

Finally, you see Braden looking a bit quizzical again as he wonders what in the world is happening here and who is this funny-looking lady?!
 In spite of the funny-looking lady (me) and the puzzled young man (Braden), a good time was had by all.  I had the delightful pleasure of all that one-on-one time with Master Braden.  Truly, he is a delightful child and he has certainly stolen my heart!



Nothing like a nap after an exciting afternoon!
If you look closely at the picture to your left, you will notice, in the background, a large, black cat.  Said cat appears to be indifferent to the events in the foreground.  Do NOT be fooled!  This cat is very interested in the activities in the foreground.  She has struck a pose in an effort to appear nonchalant; however, in reality, she is pouting.  Yes, that's right, pouting.

Usually it is the cat that everyone makes a fuss over and wants to photograph.  The cat appearing totally unconcerned laps up the attention and hopes it will continue -- especially the ear and chin scratching!  Yet, suddenly, for no understandable reason, everyone is showing no interest in the cat and all the attention is focused on this strange little being who makes strange noises including numerous burps, grunts and squeals.  Noises that everyone seems to greet with delight -- noises which if made by said cat would be met with great displeasure and, perhaps, even a reprimand!

Since none of this makes any sense, the cat has decided to just sit on the back of the chair (her chair, by the way) and ignore the whole business.  She is sure that if she acts indifferent long enough that all this nonsense will stop and the attention will be back on her where it rightly belongs!

Poor Suki.  It took her some hours after Braden left before she started acting as though she had forgiven me and this occurred mainly due to the fact that she was hungry!  I mean, you can't very well continue to pout and beg for food at the same time!

As for me, I am still glowing from being able to spend all that time holding Braden.  He is such a delightful child and seems to be quite ready to smile although he does, indeed, have his pensive moments.  Sometimes it is difficult to believe that he is only 3 1/2 months in age, especially when he gets that introspective look on his face.

Otherwise, I am continuing to organize things in preparation for the upcoming surgery.  It is surprising how much organizing is required for such a short hospital stay.  In addition,  I am trying to get in as much gym time as possible prior to going to the hospital as I don't know how long it will be before I can return to my exercise routines.  As for food, I also plan to eat lots of chewy things between now and then as I do not know how long I will be on softer foods after I leave the hospital. You can see that I have set some very important goals for myself!  Ah, well, I'm a simple soul at heart.

Now to send this on its way before it gets any later.

May the peace of God which passes all human understanding, fill our hearts and make us gentle people.  Amen.

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