Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Aeschynanthus radicans or Lipstick Vine

"Aeschynanthus radicans (Lipstick Vine)", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

Aeschynanthus radicans or Lipstick Vine/Plant is a vine-like plant native to the humid tropics of the Malay Peninsula south to Java.

This epiphyte (An epiphyte is a plant that grows upon another plant (such as a tree) non-parasitically or sometimes upon some other object (such as a building or a telegraph wire), derives its moisture and nutrients from the air and rain and sometimes from debris accumulating around it.) grows in the angles of branches in the rain forest. As with all epiphytes, the lipstick plant does not live as a parasite on the tree, but takes its nourishment from fallen leaves and twigs that accumulate in the crevices of branches.  

The common name Lipstick plant, shared with other plants of the genus Aeschynanthus (Family: Gesneriaceae), comes from the scarlet flowers that open from buds resembling tubes of lipstick as you can see in the above drawing.  They really do look amazingly like open tubes of lipstick, don't they?!



It comes as no surprise to me that Braden is already practicing to take over as the new Batman.  After seeing him involved in his workout routine in the last post, we now see him in his Batman uniform working on his eventual response when the Mayor flashes the Bat Signal.  

This new generation of Batman won't be using cars at all as not only are they not "green" but there is just too much traffic these days to ever get anywhere in a car quickly.  Instead, taking his cues from such friends as Spiderman and Superman, he will be learning to fly and to leap from one location to another.  Thus, Braden has started out by practicing on the swings.  This will help him establish a good equilibrium before he actually starts learning to fly! 

"OK, Mom.  I'm ready.  Give me a big push"

"Here I go -- way, way, way up!"

"Way to go, Mom!  Give me another big push!"



"Suki asleep", sketch by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013
Well, I thought Suki was actually getting better about the balcony door.  The reason for thinking this was that yesterday evening, even though the balcony door was open, she stayed in "her" chair in the living room which is located near the open balcony door!  

So, early this morning I went over and casually opened the balcony door so that some of the cool morning air could flow in.  Even though it was relatively quiet outside at that moment this seemed to make no difference.  Suki made a beeline for that bedroom closet and stayed there until almost 10:30 (about 3 hours) -- at which time she awoke feeling hungry.  So, as usual, hunger made her brave.

I really was hoping that she had accepted the open door as I may be having a guest for the next week or so.  Some of you may remember my friend, Karen, who moved out to Vancouver (I showed you some of her photos of the blossoming trees recently).  Anyway, Karen is a friend with whom I shared my morning coffee every weekday morning for about 10 years.  She lived in a nearby condo at that time.  When her sister became very ill, she moved out to Vancouver to be closer to her.  Now she is back for a visit after almost two years away.

We went for coffee together yesterday morning.  She was telling me about where she had ended up staying and it did not sound like the best situation to me.  So, I quickly offered her my sofa for as long as she is here.  I am hoping that she will take me up on the offer -- we'll see.  

Why I am telling you all this in relation to Suki may be obvious, but just in case, let me explain.  Karen would be sleeping in the living room and would, no doubt, want the balcony door open for some cool air at night.  This means that Suki will have to go through the entire night in the closet unless she stops acting so silly. Actually, you know, this could be the very way to cure her of her fears!  I will keep you informed!

As for me, I continue doing much the same.  As I mentioned on Sunday, I had an eye exam coming up on Tuesday.  I had this yesterday and need to get new glasses.  Fortunately I have a relatively new pair of glasses which I had to purchase during the time my double vision was at its worst and so the optician will be able to use those frames thus the cost will be kept very low.

One very interesting thing I found out while the optometrist was doing his exam is that my left eyelids are no longer able to close completely!  This is one of the main reasons why I had the surgery in February in the first place and now it seems that the plastic surgery did not "take"!  I knew that something was getting worse as the dry eye problems in that eye have been getting more and more problematic over the past weeks.  I see the plastic surgeon again next week and I wonder what he is going to have to say.  If he tells me that the surgery failed because of my old age, I will be tempted to bop him on the head!  We'll see...(pun intended)!

Otherwise, things have been pretty good -- especially the weather!  I have really enjoyed the warmer weather and am not looking forward to the cool down predicted for the weekend.  However, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

My prayer for all is that the Lord will be gracious to us and grant us His peace.  Amen.

Don't forget to pray the Rosary for the National March for Life starting tomorrow in Ottawa.

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