Wednesday, 3 July 2013

More Trumpet Vines

"Campsis grandiflora aka Chinese Trumpet Vine", 
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer

Campsis grandiflora aka Chinese Trumpet Vine, is a fast growing, deciduous creeper with large, orange, trumpet-shaped flowers in summer. It can grow to a height of 9 meters. A native of East Asia, China and Japan it is less hardy than its North American cousin Campsis radicans. Campsis radicans has smaller flowers and reproduces easily and can become a nuisance. Campsis grandiflora on the other hand has larger, showier blossoms and is less likely to become a pest mainly because it is usually not as hardy as radicans as mentioned above.

The difficulty I had in drawing this vine was trying to design the "trumpets" so that they had the kind of impact the actual plant does. "When its at its best, Chinese trumpet is a showcase drop-dead, absolutely gorgeous vine. Positioned so the backdrop is a dark evergreen, the plant literally erupts into a carpet of three-inch reddish-orange flowers tinged with yellow and salmon hues. On a post, this bright petunia-on-a-stick will shock and awe the most jaded...." [Dr. David Creech, Regents Professor, Professor Emeritus, and Director, SFA] So, while I am still not satisfied with the result, I have decided to let it rest for a while and perhaps give it another try in about six months or so.  Thus, you may be seeing a heading one day that reads "New and Improved Chinese Trumpet Vine"!

"Thunbergia grandiflora aka Bengal Trumpet Vine", 
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

Thunbergia grandiflora is also known as Bengal Trumpet, Bengal Clock Vine, Blue Trumpet Vine, Large-flowered Thunbergia. This species is native to the Indian sub-continent, southern China and Myanmar (Burma). 

The Bengal Trumpet Vine has remarkably large flowers ranging from lavender to bluish-violet hanging together in clusters. The Latin name of this plant is Grandiflora which means 'large flowers’ as the flowers can have a diameter of up to 7 cm! The plant was named Thunbergia after K. P. Thunberg (1743–1822), Swedish traveller and botanist. Locations within which Thunbergia grandiflora is naturalised include tropical Australia, tropical South America, Central America, south-eastern USA, including Hawaii and some other oceanic islands with warm climates. Thunbergia grandiflora can be used as a medicinal plant [I am still looking for more details on this aspect of the plant], a green manure, for poles, hedges and for fuel wood. It is widely grown as a garden ornamental and wall covering in many countries. 

 Like many plants taken from their natural habitat, Thunbergia grandiflora can be very problematic when grown elsewhere. Thus, T. grandiflora has been included in the Global Invasive Species Database.

This is another case where it was difficult for me to indicate just how large and showy the flowers are on this plant.  I may try to draw this one again as well.  I need to think of creative ways with which to get what I see in my "mind's eye" down on the computer screen! 



Braden had quite the weekend with a big party on Saturday with lots of family and friends present and then a visit to Auntie Sallie on Sunday where he was oohed and aah-ed over as everything he did was wonderful and delightful as far as I was concerned!

Then after his wonderful weekend, he woke up with all the evidence of "hand-foot-and-mouth syndrome" on Monday morning!  This is his first ailment picked up from day care.  And so it begins... Fortunately, he appears to have a healthy immune system and is not suffering as much as some of his friends who also came down with the same problem.  Poor baby... he is a bit irritable, of course, and is having trouble sleeping properly which means his parents aren't sleeping properly.  I am sure all you parents out there know exactly what they are going through.  I am praying that he and his friends all have a quick recovery and are soon feeling fine again.

Anyway, below are the photographs from earlier in the weekend.

The BIG MOMENT:  The birthday boy reaching out to touch his cake!
Will he like it or will he not?!

Everything stops as Braden approaches the cake:  Touch cake, put finger in mouth, 
big smile ... "yum, good!", says Braden
Braden likes his birthday cake!  No worries!  The party can continue joyfully!

The next day Braden comes to visit Auntie Sallie and
must pose for the photos that will make Auntie Sallie happy!

Braden says:  "As soon as this ordeal is over, I am taking Piglet and
moving on out of here...  I've got my hat on  and I am ready to go!  
I love you Auntie Sallie, but I have had enough of posing for one day!"



Suki is saying:  "Enough is enough!  I have
allowed myself to be petted, poked, scratched
and rubbed by all sorts of people, including
little people who make funny noises.  Now
I just want to be ignored until supper time."
P-L-E-A-S-E !!
Suki had quite the weekend herself!  I don't think she has had so much attention from so many different people within such a short period of time ever.

Braden is quite taken with Suki but still not quite sure what to make of her (or she him). Braden's way of investigating things at this point in time is to reach out with his index finger, touch the object of interest and then quickly pull his finger back.  He then often investigates his finger carefully before reaching out again for another "jab".  He reminds me just a bit of Adam in the drawing on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel where he is reaching out to touch the finger of God!

Suki, who would normally grab my finger after the first time or two, thinking it was some game we were playing, simply sat and endured.  I am amazed at her patience with Braden as he poked her over and over again.  After a while she did get up and move, but never once tried to swat his finger nor did she use her menacing growl which she uses to warn people that they are pushing their luck!

The next day Jamie and her family were here.  Jamie is a friend -- someone Suki has met on a number of occasions over the past years and so Suki has no problem with being petted by her.  Although the photo above was taken while Jamie was patting Suki, this photo was taken after I had taken a number of others and Suki was getting very tired of this whole posing-camera flash business.  She doesn't really like having her photo taken at the best of times.  But when she is just getting petted by Jamie, not photographed, she is quite happy.

As for me, I felt I had handled the weekend just fine, but I never seem to realize the limits of my "stamina" these days... ever since the weekend, I have been so tired and sleepy that I seem to fall asleep in the evening at a moment's notice.  This is what happened again tonight.

If you check the time of posting for tonight, you will see that it is later than I have ever posted anything previously.  I sat down after an early supper to watch just a bit of the news before returning to the blog (I had been out for a good while this afternoon at the dentist office).  The next thing I knew it was almost 9 p.m. and I was still sitting in the same position I had been in at 6:30!  So, I must finish this off and get myself to bed before it gets any later.

I pray that all may go well with you in the days ahead and that you may know that peace which passes human understanding in all the ups and downs of your life.

St. Thomas the Apostle, whose feast day it is today, pray for us.

"The Encounter of  St. Thomas with the Risen Lord",
by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2010

God bless you all.

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