Sunday, 8 March 2015

Floral "Extras"

"Ipomoea pes-caprae -- Beach morning-glory", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014


I often do quick drawings or sketches of things that interest me -- most often flowers. Sometimes, I go back and finish these sketches and sometimes I don't. As well, some of the drawings that I finish don't satisfy me for whatever reason and so I end up not using them in my regular blog postings. Why don't I use them?

Well, often either the drawing itself or the background information I can gather about the particular plant, leaves me dissatisfied and so I put the drawing aside, telling myself that I will return to it another day. Also, if I do a drawing of a flower I have previously featured on my blog, I figure that I don't need to do another posting about it.

At any rate, drawings get put aside and just sit there in my backup files. This week, I decided that it would be fun for me to post four of these drawings: the beach morning glory, the scarlet pimpernel, the Clematis vine and the Voodoo (or Dragon) Lily.

The first drawing (see beginning of post) is Ipomoea pes-caprae also known as Beach Morning Glory or Goat's Foot. It is a common, tropical, creeping vine belonging to the family Convolvulaceae. It grows on the upper parts of beaches and easily endures salt air. Convolvulus, the family name for all morning glory plants, is from the Latin convolvere, meaning to twine around. Ipomoea, the genus name, is Greek (ιπομοεαfor morning glory. The species name, pes-caprae is Latin for Goat's foot and refers to the shape of the leaves.    




"Anagallis arvensis/Scarlet Pimpernel with Butterflies"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015




For more information about the Scarlet Pimpernel just take a look at my posting for Sunday, January 25, 2015.


  

"Clematis jackmanii -- Purple Clematis", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014



Clematis jackmanii is a Clematis cultivar which, when it was introduced in 1862, was the first of the modern large-flowered hybrid versions of Clematis. It is a climber with large violet-purple blooms, still among the most familiar climbers seen in gardens. It was produced by the prominent nurseryman George Jackman (1837–1887), of Great Britain. Clematis jackmanii arose from a cross between Clematis lanuginosa and an earlier garden hybrid, Clematis x hendersonii, which the new hybrid eclipsed.  The name, Clematis, comes from the Greek word meaning "vine branch".




"Dracunculus vulgaris -- Voodoo or Dragon Lily", drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2014



Dracunculus vulgaris is a member of the family, Araceae, and is commonly called such names as the Voodoo Lily, the Dragon Lily, the Dragon Arum and the Stink Lily. It is native to the Balkans, with its range extending as far as Greece, Crete, the Aegean Islands and the south-western parts of Anatolia. 

The species is characterized by a large purple spathe (reproductive organ of the plant) and spadix (a modified leaf that encloses the spadix), which has a very unpleasant smell reminiscent of rotting meat which the plant uses to attract flies as pollinators. The large leaves have occasional cream flecks along the veins. The genus name Dracunculus means “little dragon”; while the species name vulgaris is Latin for “common”.


So, there you have it.  I hope that one of the above drawings strikes your fancy!



Portions of the above information were taken from Wikipedia and other Internet sources.

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RONÀN AND BRADEN




Ronàn and Braden -- brothers propped up in Mom and Dad's bed and looking 
very pleased with themselves!





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SUKI AND SALLIE



A new portrait of Suki.  She looks very mature
and well-behaved.  
Photos can be deceptive!
Well, believe it or not, Suki has been relatively well behaved this past week. There have been no efforts to get me to wake up before the regular time, no unexpected messes to clean up and only a limited number of attacks on my ankles as I move from one place to another.

Suki even allowed me to take some new photos of her.  She sat still long enough so that I could take a "portrait" photo and, even while being playful and somewhat silly, she allowed me to photograph her without attacking anything!

As you can see above, I turned the "portrait" photo into a "drawing".  I like this new drawing very much and plan to make a large print of it for framing.


Suki is just about ready to launch an attack on the feather
duster with which I was taunting her.  This is one of her
favourite games! 

The photo at the right shows a very alert Suki. I had just tried to sneak up on her with a feather duster in my hand.  The feather duster, by the way, has never been used for dusting and was purchased long ago as a toy for my late and lamented kitty, miz k.d. When Suki arrived, it became her toy.  

Fortunately, my helper, Joycelyn, was here at the time so I was able to hand off the duster to her while I grabbed a quick photo of Suki. If my hands were less painful, I would have been able to keep holding the camera and, perhaps, have gotten a photo of Suki as she leapt from the chair, trying to grab the feather duster. Then, as Sherlock Holmes was wont to say:  "the game was afoot"!

So you see, even in the midst of my pain and discomfort, I find some happy moments thanks to Suki, my family and friends -- for which I am very grateful.

I did have another medical appointment this past week where more blood was taken.  Fortunately, I always seem to have enough blood to share on my frequent appointments at the clinic where the lab technicians are waiting with their ever-present needles! This visit was just for a follow-up and more blood work so there is nothing new to report at the moment.  Thankfully, I have no appointments of any kind scheduled for this week.

My only new complaint at the moment is about the hour I lost last night due to the switch over from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time. I would really like the opportunity to speak harshly to Mr. Hudson of New Zealand who is credited with first getting folks excited about this nonsensical idea -- unfortunately, he died in 1946!  Of course, like most unpleasant things in life, there is nothing I can do to change it now so I may as well just accept it.  

I will just say, however, that I did not like having to set my alarm clock before going to bed last night in order to make certain that I was up in time to take my morning pills. Usually, Suki is all the alarm clock I need, but since Suki does not recognize Daylight Savings Time she wouldn't have started trying to awaken me until the clock was showing 6:30 (it would be 5:30 as far as she was concerned) and I need to take my morning medication at 6 a.m. What a crazy life.



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THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT



"Christ Teaching in the Temple", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013, rev 2015



Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” .....................
While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well. John 2:13-16, 23-25


I have often found it interesting to try to imagine this scene in the temple at Jerusalem.  How shocked all these buyers and sellers must have been as this seemingly ordinary man calmly made a whip and drove them and their livestock out of the temple. This was not someone acting in the passion of the moment -- I mean He took the time to make a "whip of cords".  

So, He must have been acting deliberately without that anger and passion that leads us, so often, to wound and even kill one another. Yet, Christ must have made quite an impression because the story implies that they all went running -- but there is no indication that anyone was hurt in the process.  We are told that Christ said: "take these things out of here and stop making My Father's House a marketplace."  Did He speak these words forcefully but sadly?  I think He did.

However, the part of today's Gospel which I have always found most fascinating is the final part where we are told that Christ would not trust Himself to these new followers as "he knew them all and did not need anyone to testify about human nature -- He ... understood it well."

So, I am known by Him and I am known in all my weakness, greed, duplicity and sin.  He, wisely, does not trust Himself to me but asks me, pitiful as I am, to trust myself to Him.  Can I really believe that the only way to be changed into the person I desire to be is to trust myself to Him? And what does it mean to "trust myself to Him"?

May we all be granted the desire to trust ourselves to that which is Greater -- He who is the Way, the Truth and the Life -- whether we understand what that means or not.  May we, as we begin to trust, find the peace that we all are seeking. 

Amen.

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