|"Pansy Orchid", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012|
Miltoniopsis, the Pansy Orchid, is aptly named: the flowers look like a large pansy. They are often confused with the related (and similar) Miltonia orchids, and many people use the two genus names interchangeably by accident. The two are occasionally hybridized to produce a Milmiltonia. These orchids originate in South America; there are six species, from Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela. The flowers are fragrant and last about 4-5 weeks. As well, they are evergreen and will bloom prolifically year after year.
|"Dracula simia", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012|
Are these (1)orchids or (2)a group of some sort of monkeys? In spite of the way they look, the correct answer is no. 1. This gorgeously creepy orchid was named Dracula simia by the botanist Luer in 1978. Luer said in an interview that had he known how popular Dracula and the whole concept of vampires was going to become that he definitely would have chosen a different name! It is known commonly as the Monkey Orchid, but it is wiser to use its scientific name of Dracula simia as there are a large group of Draculas and many of them are referred to commonly as the "monkey flower". Dracula literally means 'little dragon' (from the diminutive form of Latin, draco, meaning dragon, but being diminutive it means little dragon) referring to the strange aspect of the two long spurs of the two long sepals. Whereas the specific epithet simia translates to "monkey". The genus Dracula contains 120+ known species. Dracula simia is from the cloud forests of southeast Ecuador, and Peru where it grows at elevations between 1000-2000 meters (3250-6500 feet).
Because of the way the orchids of the Dracula "group" look, there have been all sorts of ridiculous "news" articles about why they look the way they do and even stories of sinister events that have occurred because of these orchids. If you read something about them in one of those "newspapers" while waiting in the grocery check-out line that seems unbelievable, it probably is! The same holds true, of course, regarding emails where flowers, with some help from Photoshop can be made to resemble almost anything!
BRADEN IS BACK!The boy is back and I am one very happy unofficial "auntie". He is, of course, looking even more beautiful than ever. Just take a look at the three photos below:
|"I'm ready to get up, Mommy! What adventures are we going to have today?"|
|"Wow! My Dad is home today and he is sharing our adventure. I love it when he carries me this way. See our matching hats? I love dressing like my Dad."|
ART FOR SALE
It would appear that none of my readers is particularly interested in trying to win a free print of one of my drawings as no one responded to my offer. Several postings back I included the photo below with an offer that if you correctly guessed which of the drawings in the photo were ones by me, you could have a free copy of one of my drawings ready for framing. Oh, well, I guess I needed to learn a bit more humility!
Anyway, all six of my prints have now been sold, raising money for the seniors in Kingston. And, since the prints have been sold, there is no longer any secrecy involved so I can tell you which drawings are mine in the photo below.
SUKI AND SALLIE
She doesn't know it yet, but she is going to get even more unhappy with me. I have just discovered that Suki has gained almost 2 lbs. since the beginning of this year! This simply will not do. That weight has to come back down and like many people on diets, she can be miserable when she doesn't get fed. I am thinking that I will start feeding her most of her day's supply of canned food shortly before it is time for me to go to bed. That way, she will be feeling quite happy and satisfied for at least 4 or 5 hours afterwards and I will be able to sleep without fear. Yes, fear -- you know how vindictive Suki can be when she doesn't get her way and it is always risky to go to sleep when she is really hungry! I would guess that we will both be miserable during her diet, but I cannot, in good conscience, allow her to gain weight as it will shorten her life and I absolutely don't want that!
Now, as for me, I am continuing to improve just a bit each day; however, my two trouble spots continue to give me grief.
I have made up my mind that I will call the ophthalmologist office tomorrow and see what is happening about the appointment with the plastic surgeon as my eyes are causing the most problems. My drooping lower lip may be unsightly, but it really doesn't cause me problems. But my eyes are another matter indeed.
In order to prepare this posting, I am typing most of it with my eyes almost or completely closed, depending on the spell check to show me where I have put in the wrong letter or left out a letter, etc. Thank goodness I was taught to type properly all those many years ago so that I don't have to look at the keyboard when I am typing!
Still, I try to remember my motto from St. Paul: "In all things give thanks..." So, as I continue to spend my days quietly at home, I give thanks that I am able to do so and that I have so many people helping me, offering to help me and just coming to visit me so that I don't feel quite so isolated. And then there's all you folks out there who read my blog and communicate with me about various matters of interest. God has filled my life with such richness -- how can I help but be grateful.
May the joy of God be with us all... and on this Sunday of Christ the King, let us pray that the King of Peace will bring peace to all mankind.