Sunday, 26 July 2015

Another Baboon Flower

"Baboon Flower -- Babiana rubrocyanea", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Today's drawing is Babiana rubrocyanea [family Iridaceae], commonly known as the Baboon Flower. It is native to sandy scrub land found in the Southwest Cape region of South Africa. The blossoms appear in late fall or winter from rounded, deeply buried corms [corms are an underground plant stem that serves as a storage organ used by some plants to survive various adverse conditions]. The unscented, 2-inch-wide, bowl-shaped blooms are borne on compact, few-flowered stems. Each bloom is blue to violet-blue with a large, iridescent, currant-red "eye".

The genus Babiana is endemic to southern Africa and contains about seventy species. The genus name is derived from the Dutch word baviaantje, meaning "little baboon", and alludes to observations made by early European colonists who noticed that baboons were very partial to the corms. Thus, the name ‘baboon flower’ comes from the fact that baboons used to dig up the corms and eat them. Since corms are common to this genus and baboons enjoy eating them all, there are other members of the genus that are also called Baboon Flowers. This plant, like others in the genus Babiana, is in danger of extinction in its native South Africa due, mainly, to habitat destruction.

"Baboon Flower -- Babiana sambucina"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer,
Babiana sambucina is one of the other members of the Babiana genus also commonly known as the Baboon Flower. I did a drawing of Babiana sambucina back in 2014 which is why the title of today's posting is "Another Baboon Flower".  

Babiana stricta -- another
Baboon Flower

Babiana stricta is also known locally as the Baboon Flower. All of these plants grow from the swollen corms which the Baboons, evidently, find to be quite delicious!

Portions of the above information were taken from various Internet sources.



The Eternal Question
For some reason, Suki has been very much under my feet this past week.  I have actually come close several times recently to being tripped up by this confounded critter!

Normally, when its time for Suki to eat -- after she has reminded me numerous times -- she heads for the kitchen and plops herself down at the base of the kitchen counter where I dish out her food.  Placing herself where my feet need to go means that I can't comfortably stand at the counter as one would if there wasn't some big, black lump in the way; however, I normally just find somewhere else to put my feet and get on with it.

This past week, though, Suki has started doing this "moving about, in and out of my feet" thing.  Not only am I not used to having to watch out for a moving cat, but, due to the peripheral neuropathy, I don't have normal feeling in my feet which means that often I can't even tell that she is standing next to my foot. Then, when I start to move, I almost stumble over her.  Looking down, I feel like swearing, but when I see those big green eyes starring up at me, filled with hope and expectation, I haven't the heart to even yell at her.

As the days have passed, I have worked at trying to train myself to always look down before taking a step.  Occasionally, however, I forget and come much too close to tripping for comfort.  I have spoken to Suki about this and warned her that if she causes me to fall, she will not only not get fed but could possibly end up squashed underneath my prone body!  She has listened to my lectures politely, but, in truth, I don't think cats are able to understand why a movement that comes so naturally to them could possibly be wrong or dangerous!

So, for the time being, whenever I am in the kitchen, I will just continue to work at keeping myself mindful at all times of where the cat is in relation to my feet.  Hopefully, Suki will soon return to her more normal behaviour of plopping herself down in one place until her food dish is ready!

As for me, I continue to have my usual problems and difficulties. I did have an unexpected visit from a friend on Wednesday.  He had called on Tuesday to say he had to be in the downtown area on Wednesday and would it be possible for him to stop by for a visit. It was good to see him again and to catch up on some of his news. As well, I made it to my medical appointment on Thursday. 

Otherwise, except for a few phone calls, the past week was a quiet one.  This coming week I have another medical appointment plus I am expecting a visit from a friend who now lives in the States.  She is up here visiting family and friends and I am, happily, included in the friends category.  It has been a number of months since I last saw her and so I am really looking forward to hearing all about what has been happening in her life.

Recently I heard from my friend, Rose Marie Nicolucci.  As you may recall, she is an artist whose exhibits I have posted information about previously. Along with others, she will be exhibiting some of her watercolours at the Summer Art Show and Sale being held at The Sovereign House, Bronte, Ontario from August 1 - 12. She does beautiful work and I am sure that any of you who feel you find the idea of a summer outing along the lake shore appealing would enjoy seeing the paintings of Rose Marie and the other artists involved.  



"Icon -- Feeding of the 5,000", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012 

One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone. Jn 6:10-15

"He knew that they were going to come and carry Him off to make Him king so He withdrew to the mountain alone."

Some things never change, I guess.  Someone comes along and promises to satisfy all our earthly needs and desires and we are ready to declare them King (or Queen) over us.  It doesn't really matter what their philosophy or their agenda may be -- all we know is that our stomachs are full and that there are plenty of leftovers!

But what about love?  Our stomachs may be full but our hearts are still empty and our lives still feel meaningless. Christ knew better than anyone that what we need is to be loved so completely that our hearts are filled with love -- a love which then overflows from us to all those around us.  May we never forget that what we really need is love (even the Beatles sang it!). 

So, let us pray that we may love God above all else and, wisely, love our neighbour as ourselves -- seeking always to fill our heart and the hearts of those around us with that "food which lasts unto eternal life" -- Love.


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