Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Bauhinia tomentosa

"Bauhinia tomentosa -- IsiThibathibana (Zulu)", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

Bauhinia tomentosa (Family name : Fabaceae), is a large shrub found mainly in Southern Africa, particularly in an area once known as Zulu Land in what is now South Africa. It is also found in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and tropical Africa and as far as India and Sri Lanka. Its common names include: Yellow Bauhinia (Engish) Bosbeesklou and Geelbeesklou (African) and IsiThibathibana (Zulu). 

It is found growing in woodlands, river bank bush and coastal dune bush. The genus name "Bauhinia" honours herbalist brothers from the 16th century, Johann and Caspar Bauhin.  They were identical twin brothers, making it a very apt name as the two lobes of the leaves, when folded together, are identical.  The specie name "tomentosa" means hairy and it refers to the velvety, hairy seed pods. 

Not much is known about the specific medicinal or cultural uses of this specie of Bauhinia, although it is said to be used widely medicinally.  Since three other species of Bauhinia are also used medicinally for everything from coughs, convulsions and constipation to pneumonia and venereal diseases, it is assumed that this specie has been used for similar remedies. 

This medium to large shrub with its attractive light green two-lobed leaves produces beautiful bright yellow flowers with black to maroon coloured centres during the summer months from December to March. The fruit are pea like, slender and velvety. They are a light shade of yellow-green (as I have tried to show them), turning a pale brown with age and are produced from January to June or even later. The flowers from this tree, rich in pollen and nectar, attract various insects such as butterflies and bees.  In turn these insects will attract insect-eating birds.  Birds and the larvae of certain moth species feed on the flowers. This is also a host plant for many butterfly species, with the larvae feeding on the leaves. 

 Much of the above information was taken from the South African National Biodiversity Institute's plant information website www.plantzafrica.com

I understand that the leaves have a nice leathery feel to them.  I find them quite attractive with their double lobes and dark green colour.  These flowers, unfortunately, were difficult for me to show properly in a computer drawing as the flowers do not lend themselves to a simplistic presentation.  Some flowers have a combination of colours combined with unique details which lend themselves to computer art.  Others, like Bauhinia tomentosa are much more difficult with its, basically, one colour other than the maroon-coloured centre which is revealed once the flower opens fully.  

As is so often the case, I am unsatisfied with the results and already thinking of how I might approach another drawing of this same plant.  We will see. 



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PHOTOS FROM FRIENDS


ELEPHANTS


These first two photos were sent to my by my friend, Sharon who lives just a few floors above me.  

I really think you should give these folks the right-of-way!  Maybe just pull well off the highway 
and enjoy watching them pass by!



This quite incredible flower elephant was with a group of photos supposededly all from Holland - 
however, I really do not know of an area in Holland with this kind of mountain scenery!
Maybe the flowers all came from Holland and this is some other place in Europe.



The following information was part of a pps sent to me by my friend, Hylott, in Birmingham, Alabama





Here it appears that Pope Francis is admiring the newly constructed altar before Mass begins.



Pope Francis at the lectern which I believe was built from the parts of wrecked ships --
one of the ships that sank, perhaps, bringing desperate people from Africa. 







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SUKI AND SALLIE


I got the idea for this "drawing" from
one of the cat items on Clip-Art.  It was easy to put
together and then I made a few changes and here we have:
"Suki smiling with great satisfaction!", a "drawing" by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013
Just as I started to write this section, I heard a distant meow!  Shortly thereafter, here comes a rather sleepy looking cat, talking away to herself as she approaches me.  I know what this is all about:  food with maybe just a bit of wanting to know where I am and what I doing!  

Interestingly, I just spoke a few words indicating that I am not yet ready to feed her and somehow it worked.  Off she goes to sit in the window in the sunlight until she hears my chair moving backwards. Then, all the meowing will begin again as she will try to shepherd me towards the kitchen.  

Sometimes I really feel like she must have a bit of sheep dog in her! I have never been "shephered" this way previously by any cat. Suki will actually push me first from one side and then from the other until I am finally in the kitchen.  I have to walk very carefully so that she doesn't trip me. What a cat!  I think after considering all this that I really should be kind and go ahead and feed her.  After all, it really is her lunch time!  Back in a moment.

Well, that moment turned out to be more like 4 hours!  I fed Suki as planned, but then the phone rang.  While I was on the phone in the kitchen, I noticed something I had forgotten to do there.  So I did that and then realized that it was time for me to get ready to go out as I needed to go by the Market and pick up some bread they were holding for me at the bakery.  Plus I needed a couple of other items. 

By the time I got back home, it was time for me to go to the gym (I have to be there by a certain time on Wednesday and Friday as there is a woman who comes to work with a trainer on those two days and she is older than I am and likes to use the same exercise bike that I do -- so, I try to be finished with it before she arrives).   I just read over that previous long and complicated sentence and realized that it doesn't quite make sense.  So let me add to my explanation by pointing out that I like to stay on the bike for at least 50 minutes plus it is the only bike on the ground level and my friend really doesn't do stairs very well either.    

Now, I am back home from the gym, feeling quite refreshed and ready to start fixing supper soon.  Unfortunately, we have an all-members meeting tonight and if you are not attending, you have to call the office and tell them why.  Since I don't have any excuse not to go, I will have to be there for 7 p.m.   I remember folks telling me that I would get bored when I retired with nothing to do!  Yikes! Not true, not true at all.  I think I need a vacation from being retired just so that I can slow down a bit.

I don't think I have anything new to say about health matters.  The same problems persist.  The specialist who should be able to help me seems determined not to get in touch with me in spite of my phone messages, faxes, etc.  Perhaps I will need to go over to the hospital and hunt him down!  Well, I keep reminding myself that the Lord is in charge and is allowing things to be this way for now so I just have to trust that He has everything under control. However, I still might go over and hunt that doctor down anyway!

BTW, I just want everyone to know that Suki received her first fan mail letter today.  I haven't told her about it yet as I don't want her to get herself all puffed up with pride this late in the day!  Soon, I may have to let her start writing her own blog!!

I pray that we all may understand more clearly each day how to trust in God and how to believe in His love for us.  Faith comes as a gift, but it is one that will be given if we sincerely ask for it.  God so very much wants to bless us.  May we let Him do so.

1 comment:

Todd said...

This is awesome!