Sunday, 4 October 2015

Caesalpinia pulcherrii -- Dwarf Poinciana

"Caesalpinia pulcherrii -- Dwarf Poinciana", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Caesalpinia pulcherrima, a species of flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, is native to the tropics and subtropics of the Americas. It probably originated in the West Indies, but its exact origin is unknown due to widespread transfer of the plant by both natural and man-made methods over the centuries. 

Common names for Caesalpinia pulcherrima include: Dwarf Poinciana, Peacock Flower, Red Bird of Paradise, Mexican Bird of Paradise, Pride of Barbados and Flamboyant-de-jardin.  

Caesalpinia pulcherrii -- Dwarf Poinciana
(photo taken from Internet)
Dwarf Poinciana is a shrub/tree with multiple trunks (see photo at right). The butterfly-attracting flowers are brilliant red-orange (the most common color), yellow or dark pink, depending on the variety. Young plants have thorns on the branches but they disappear as the plant matures and bark begins to form. Seed pods form as the flowers die. All seeds of Caesalpinia are poisonous. 

Although called “Poinciana”, it is not actually related to the famous Royal Poinciana tree. 

Caesalpinia pulcherrima is the national flower of Barbados, where the plant is known as "Pride of Barbados." The flower is depicted on the Queen's personal Barbadian flag. 

The genus designation of Caesalpinia is taken from the name of Andreas Caesalpini, a 16th century Italian botanist and chief physician to Pope Clement VIII. The species name of pulcherrima is taken from the Latin and means "beautiful" or "most beautiful".

Occasionally the flowers appear to form a "circlet".  I came across several photos depicting this and was sufficiently intrigued by the idea of a "crown" of Caesalpinia pulcherrima that I decided to use this formation as a model for my drawing.

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


Some new photos of "my boys"...

Braden showing his younger brother how to look like a "tough guy".
I think his younger brother is impressed!

Braden watching a movie, perhaps, while his younger brother is watching him.

Forgive the fuzziness of the photo, but it was captured from a video.
I wanted to include it because it was a video of Rònàn walking.  You 

can see from the photo that he has stopped for a moment to rest against 
the wall, but, believe you me, he soon left the wall and moved rapidly 
through the door and on down the hallway -- even trying to 
climb the stairs before his mom grabbed him for his own safety!



Suki waking up after a long nap in MY chair!
I don't think I have ever mentioned the relationship between Suki and my chair so let me tell you about it.

If you take a careful look at the photo to your left. In the photo, you can see a half-awake Suki in a tan-coloured recliner, a table with various items on it and one side of a wingback chair.  This happens to be a small section of my living room. While the scene may appear to be quite "homey", there is one item in it which is out of place -- Suki!

Normally, if a photo is taken of Suki in my living room, she will be
Suki looking at me reproachfully after being
awakened from her nap.
seen in various stages of wakefulness in the wingback chair, not the recliner (see the photo to your right).  The only time she goes to sleep in the recliner (better known as MY chair), is when I leave the apartment for any reason.  

I'm not sure how long it takes after I go out for a doctor's appointment or whatever, but sometime after I leave, Suki moves from her chair into mine -- which is where I always find her when I return home (unless she is waiting by the front door).  

Now, before you say: "Oh, isn't that sweet.  Suki misses you so much that she gets in your chair to wait for you.  What an adorable cat!", you should hear the rest of the story -- or, rather, what happens next.

I come home and find Suki asleep in my chair.  She wakes up, yawns at me, maybe says a "meow" or two and then goes right back to sleep (unless it's meal time, of course).  Meanwhile, I go and change into my house clothes, grab a glass of ice water, take some pain medication and head for a rest in my recliner.  As you may know, my recliner is the only place I can sit now where my neck and back get the proper support so that the pain is not too overwhelming. 

As I approach My chair, I start telling Suki that she has to move. She looks up at me with that look which says "make me"!  Of course, I am in no mood by now for any nonsense and even though all I want to do is collapse into the comfort of My chair, I have to grab 13 pounds of unhappy cat and dump her into the wingback chair (also known as Suki's chair).  After glaring at me for a few moments, Suki usually settles down in her chair and goes back to sleep.

Her behaviour, of course, makes me realize that the truth is that Suki is not being sentimental when she climbs into My chair whenever I go out; rather, she is simply determined to stake her claim on every piece of comfortable furniture in our home.  In other words, she is telling me once again that she is in charge around here, not me.  I agree -- except when it comes to My recliner!

Otherwise, things continue as usual in my life.  I had an appointment with the gastroenterologist this past Tuesday.  This was a follow-up to my visit to him three months ago.  After various tests and a thorough reading of my chart, he informed me that there was really nothing he could do to relieve the pain in my stomach due, no doubt, to the ulcers residing there.  He told me that so long as I had to take anti-inflammatory medications in such large doses, my stomach was going to protest. I told him that since the pain in my stomach isn't there all the time, I felt it was something which I could tolerate.

Personally, I had expected this answer from him all along.  In fact, I would never have chosen to see him in the first place but I did it to appease my family doctor.  I think she wants to be certain that she has tried to do everything she can to help me.  She is a good doctor and seems to really care about my suffering.  Anyway, as I told the gastroenterologist, previously when I have tried to reduce (or even stop) the anti-inflammatory meds, within a few days, I have found myself unable to walk at all (or even move very much) due to the excruciating pain in all my joints.

I have an appointment this week with another type of specialist and, in this case, I am really hoping that he will be able to help me. I will let you know in next Sunday's posting if he thinks he can.



"Icon -- Let The Children Come To Me", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015 rev.

People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ Then he put his arms round them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing."  Mk. 10:13-16 [Mk. 10:2-16]

As you may be aware, the first part of today's Gospel (verses 2-12) have Christ speaking about marriage and divorce.  However, rather than focussing on that aspect of His teaching, I decided to focus, once again, on the part of His discourse regarding the treatment of children. 

I continue to be so concerned about the large number of refugee children in various parts of the world at the present time.  I really think that any of us who put a "stumbling block" in the way of these children getting the care and help that they need, will someday have to answer for it -- both to our own inner sense of justice and to that Justice found in Divine Love.

Looking back at my own childhood, even though I lived with the constant threat of violence and the inner tension and stress which results from such an atmosphere, I did not ever have to worry about the basics: shelter, food, clothing and the stability that comes from living in a place where you and your family belong and are accepted.  How very different it is for so many children throughout the world right now.

May the "ears" of our hearts become ever more open so that we will hear Love, Itself, calling to us through the cries of these little ones -- crying because they are hungry, cold, frightened and, sometimes, even separated from family and friends.  Then, having heard, may we respond with acts of loving kindness.


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