Sunday, 15 June 2014

Camellia and Morning Glory "Black"

"Camellia x 'Night Rider' ", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014

The first featured drawing this week is of a Camellia hybrid by the name of Camellia x 'Night Rider'.  It is also sometimes listed as Camellia japonica 'Night Rider'.

The flowers and young foliage of this slow-growing camellia are deep reddish-purple with the underside of the flower petals tending towards black. 

The Night Rider Camellia originated in New Zealand from a cross between Camellia 'Ruby Bells' and C. japonica 'Kuro-tsubaki'. The cross was made by the late Oswald Blumhardt (1931-2004) in New Zealand and the plant flowered for the first time in 1980. 

Blumhardt was a plantsman, nurseryman, hybridizer, and plant explorer of the first order. Working with a variety of taxa including Magnolias, Rhododendrons, Camellias, and Orchids, he produced a quantity of hybrids, many of which are important commercial plants. 'Night Rider' is his best known Camellia. 

Family: Theaceae; Botanical Name: Camellia 'Night Rider'; Plant Common Names: hybrid camellia and Night Rider camellia. 

As I have mentioned in previous postings, Camellias are broad-leaved evergreens from warm temperate regions of eastern Asia. They are known for their abundant showy flowers, their handsome leathery foliage and their longevity.

Much of the above information was taken from various Internet sources.

I was attracted to this plant because of the unusual colour of its blossoms.  It is one of several dark red or dark purple flowering plants I have been working on recently.  For some reason, at the moment, I seem to be very attracted to flowers of dark colouring -- some so dark that they appear to be black.

Here is second featured flowering plant for today -- another almost-black flower:

"Ipomoea purpurea, Morning Glory 'Kniola's Black' ", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014

Ipomoea purpurea, Morning Glory 'Kniola's Black' has deep velvety, near-black purple blooms which are accented with a vivid cerise throat topped with stars.  As beautiful as these blossoms are, this particular morning glory can be very aggressive.  Unless managed carefully, 'Kinola's Black' can become a nuisance plant.

This plant is, of course, one of the very familiar Purple, Tall or Common Morning Glory species in the genus Ipomoea, family Convolvulaceae.  It is native to Mexico and Central America. Like all morning glory varieties the plant entwines itself around structures, growing to a height of 2–3 metres. The leaves are heart-shaped and the flowers are trumpet-shaped, 3–6 cm in diameter.



Suki looking very displeased -- I disturbed her nap
in order to take a photo!
(Pencil Sketch Software has been applied)
Suki and I have had a very difficult week simply because I became determined to put her on the diet that the vet said I should!  

When I had Suki at the vet a few months ago, he told me that if I could get her to lose a bit of weight, she would have less pain and discomfort in her arthritic joints.  So, I have tried over the ensuing weeks to put her on a diet and keep her on it, but, usually, I gave up after about 12 hours.  It seemed too difficult to have my life constantly interrupted by a begging cat. And, you know, she doesn't just sit at my feet and look at me with a mournful expression like a dog might -- oh, no -- she jumps up on me, meows loudly, tries to lick my face, plops herself down on top of whatever it is I am trying to do and so on...

Last weekend, however, I noticed that she was limping a bit more once again and so I made the decision that I was going to put Suki on a diet and keep her on it!  Let me tell you, because of that decision, this has truly been the week from Hell!

My plan was to only feed her the turkey and gravy she craves so badly 4 times a day.  That equals two of the small Fancy Feast cans which seems, to me anyway, to be more than sufficient.  Suki definitely does not agree with this regimen.  I also decided that I would feed her at the times when I have my own meals.  Normally, I have breakfast, lunch, supper and an evening snack.  

Believe it or not, I have actually managed to keep Suki on this diet for the entire week, but in order to do so, I have truly had to endure some really unpleasant experiences.  As well, I have even had to shut Suki in the bedroom on occasion in order to keep her from pestering me to death!

As I have mentioned previously in the blog, Suki gets very vocal whenever there is a shut door in the apartment.  Her rule seems to be that there can be no doors completely closed anywhere other than the front door and the closet door where the dreaded vacuum cleaner lives.  Otherwise, every door, even closet doors, must be open just a crack -- just enough for a curious kitty to push her way in should she want to!  

To be honest, I have even used my big headphones on occasion to block out the Siamese cat-type sounds coming from behind the shut bedroom door.  After a while, of course, I give up and let her out to pester me some more. Sometimes I do this because I feel sorry for Suki, sometimes because I feel guilty and sometimes because I fear my neighbours may end up calling the police or the Humane Society because of the noisy, pitiful cries coming from my apartment!

At any rate, I hope to stick to the diet for Suki throughout this coming week and, hopefully, when I weigh her next Sunday, she will have lost at least a pound or two.  Actually, the vet said she only needed to lose a couple of pounds so maybe by next Sunday the worst will be over. Of course, I will have to keep her on "short rations" from now on so that all this suffering will not  have been in vain.

As for me, I am doing pretty much the same.  There have been no medical appointments this past week for which I am grateful.  I did hear back about my potassium level and, at the moment, it is sitting at the very top of the normal range.  I am hoping it will stay there from now on.



Since the earliest days of Christian artistic expressions of Biblical passages, the three angels visiting Abraham and Sarah in the Genesis story have been seen as representing the three persons of the Holy Trinity.  The most famous iconic representation is by Rublev (see below):

Rublev Troitsa
Today's feast of the Most Holy Trinity is a concept uniquely Christian -- that God is three persons in One -- one God in Three Persons.  That God is not alone in His immense universe, but is, in fact, a community of three persons in one God.  Within the One Godhead there is a constant, loving community.

I pray that God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, will bless us on this special feast day by giving us all an increased awareness of His presence within us, around us and throughout the whole of creation. Amen.

Peace be with you.  Amen.

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