Sunday, 23 August 2015

Bomarea ovallei -- Lion's Claw

"Bomarea ovallei -- Lion's Claw", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Bomarea ovallei (Lion’s Claw or Garra de león) is native to Chile. It is a member of the family, Alstroemeriáceas [flowering plants with 200 species in three or four genera native to the Americas from Central America to southern South America]. The genus Bomarea produces clusters of red or, more rarely, yellow, bell-shaped flowers. 

Bomarea ovallei inhabits rocky soil in a coastal area of northern Chile. One of Chile's rarest flowers, it is endemic to only the Llanos de Challe National Park and nearby area. Due to its restricted distribution and because its tubers are apparently quite tasty to Guanacos (see photo below) and other animals, it is considered to be an endangered species. 

It was originally classified as Leontochir ovallei with its own monotypic genus (that means a genus of one!). Leontochir means Lion's hand or claw -- from the Greek “Leon”. However, in 2000, the plant was transferred to the genus Bomarea as Bomarea ovallei. 

Bomarea is derived from the name of Jacques-Christophe Valmont Bomare (1731-1807), a Frenchman who visited numerous countries in the Americas and is the author of " Dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle " (published in 1768). The species name of ovallei is thought to be derived from the name “Javier Ovalle” who, it is reported, first collected the seeds of this rare plant for study. 

These are extraordinarily beautiful flowers with a sweet, honey-like scent.  Wouldn't it be great if my drawings could have a scent file attached?!

This was a very interesting plant to draw.  Not only does it have a striking design, but it also uses some of my favourite colours. Nature is truly bountiful.

Botanical details and general information above were taken from Wikipedia and other 
Internet sources.


Suki getting ready to growl in response to
someone knocking on our front door!
Election campaigns -- bah, humbug!

One thing none of those silly politicians considered when they called this election was the effect such a campaign might have on the mental health of Suki and Sallie!  I'm serious.  I wonder if I should sue?

Perhaps I should explain... 

Normally, Suki and I lead a very quiet life these days with Suki sleeping and me trying to find ways to manage the pain. I mean, normally, a whole week can go past without anyone knocking on the front door.  However, due to Canada's current election campaign, numerous people have started knocking on my door daily.  Suki, as you know, always suspects that there are monsters on the other side of the door -- so, each time one of these campaigners knocks, Suki jerks awake, ears back, fur puffed up, growling menacingly.  

Of course, I don't even answer the door as I know that Joycelyn has a key and anyone else who might want to visit us would have telephoned me before stopping by.  After a couple of additional knocks, I hear the sound of papers being slipped under my door followed by the sound of footsteps walking away.  At this point, Suki, who had been sleeping so peacefully, has to get up and go over to investigate the campaign brochures left behind. Once she has sniffed them a bit, she turns around and looks at me as though I am somehow to blame for her disturbed sleep.  It is as though she is saying: "If I had to wake up, you should have at least provided me with something interesting to sniff OR maybe it's time for some food!"

Of course, I am not totally uninterested in politics or the candidates involved, it is just that I am not eligible to vote in Canada as I have never sought dual citizenship. Thus, this federal campaign is just another one that I will have to watch from the sidelines.

As well, I am getting a lot of those computer-generated phone calls which are also a real nuisance.  Thankfully, there is always that silence when you first answer the phone, before the recording clicks in, which gives me plenty of time to hang up before I have to hear a computer-type voice telling me how wonderful so-and-so is and how much they will do for me, personally, if elected!

Otherwise, for the most part, my life continues as usual.  This past week, we finally had a break in that lengthy and most unpleasant spell of hot weather. Now the temperatures being back in the normal range again.  Of course, since this happened suddenly -- from one day to the next -- I ended up with a "sudden-change-in-the-barometric-pressure-type" migraine. 

Thankfully, the medication available these days works quickly by narrowing the blood vessels around the brain, stopping pain signals from being sent to the brain, and blocking the release of certain natural substances that cause pain, nausea, and other symptoms of migraine.  Before these new drugs were developed, migraines used to mean at least 2-3 days in bed in a darkened room or even a trip to the emergency department at my nearest hospital!  If only the research scientists could find a way to so easily control the pain from arthritis-type diseases...  

Ah, well, maybe one of these days.  



"Christ Stands at the Door, Knocking" (Truth Stands at the Door
and Knocks),  drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015 Revision

Many of Jesus’disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.” As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”  Jn. 6:60-69

I have not yet "written" an icon that I feel would exactly express the content of this particular passage from St. John's Gospel so, instead, I used the drawing of Christ standing at the door (of the heart) and knocking. Perhaps He is asking that question which has echoed down through the centuries: "Do you also want to leave?" or, as another translation puts it: "Will you also turn your back on me and walk away?"

Is this not the ultimate question? What will be our answer?

Using the format of the Serenity Prayer, I pray:
Grant me the grace to hear the Truth wherever I encounter it; the courage to walk daily in patient humility as I seek to grow in my understanding of this Truth; and the wisdom to always choose the most loving interpretation of that Truth in all my words, deeds and actions.


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