Sunday, 18 October 2015

Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora -- 'Lucifer'

"Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora -- 'Lucifer' ", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Crocosmia is a small genus of flowering plants in the family, Iridaceae. It is native to the grasslands of southern and eastern Africa, ranging from South Africa to the Sudan. Crocosmias are related to gladiolas, crocuses and irises. 

Crocosmia x crocosmiflora is a garden hybrid of C. aurea and C. pottsii, first bred by Victor Lemoine in 1880. It is one of many Crocosmia plants commonly known as Montbretia. [The name “Montbretia” is derived from the French botanist and plant collector Antoine François Ernest Coquebert de Montbret (1781-1801). He evidently travelled with Napoleon to Egypt where he died from the plague. Even after a great deal of research, I am still unable to determine how Crocosmia hybrids ended up being called Montbretia]. 

One of the most spectacular cultivars is Crocosmia 'Lucifer', which was selected from hybrids created by crossing C. x crocosmiiflora 'Jackanapes', with C. paniculata and C. masonorum. This is a larger, more robust plant growing up to 4 ft (1.2 m) tall with large, fire engine red flowers that face upward on branched spikes. The plant has sword-like foliage pointing in every direction. 

The genus name, Crocosmia, is derived from two Greek words – krokos (saffron) and osme (smell), referring to the fact that when dried and rubbed, Crocosmia leaves have a fragrance similar to saffron.  X crocosmiiflora simply means “a hybrid having flowers like Crocosmia”. The cultivar name of “Lucifer” could refer to either the true meaning of Lucifer which is “light bearer” or to the bright, red colour of the flowers. 

Crocosmias are grown worldwide and more than 400 cultivars have been produced. Some hybrids have become invasive species especially C. x crocosmiiflora hybrids which are invasive in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the American Pacific north west.

I have done previous drawings of other Crocosmia cultivars.  If you are interested in viewing them, just put the term "Crocosmia" in the search box found at the top of this page to your left.

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


Here are a few new photos of "my boys" taken Thanksgiving weekend:

Braden and Rònàn next to a scary tree!  Halloween is coming...

Rònàn practicing walking with his Dad -- and doing very well, I might add.

Braden contemplating the great Canadian outdoors (or else daydreaming 
about which treat he will ask for when he gets back home!).



The art work of my friend, Rose Marie Nicolucci, has been juried into two different shows that are presently ongoing: 

1) One of her watercolours, “Killarney Mist”, was selected for Toronto Watercolour Society Aquavision Show at The Paper Mill Gallery, Todmorden Mills on Pottery Rd., Toronto. 

2) Two of her acrylic paintings submitted were juried into the Crossection Show, on until October 29th at Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall (at Burnhamthorpe Rd.), Etobicoke. 

"Star of the Sea", acrylic, original painting by
R. M. Nicolucci

One painting, “Star of the Sea”, was selected for a Juror's Choice Award which will be presented today, Sunday, October 18th at 2 p.m. 

I hope some of you will be able to get out to see one, or both, of these shows.  If you are able to do so, please send your comments either to the blog or to me so that those of us who are unable to attend, will be able to share in your experience. 

Below is a press release on the Juror`s Choice Award that is being presented for Rose Marie`s painting "Star of the Sea": 

Etobicoke Civic Centre Gallery is featuring Crossection the Central Ontario Art Association’s annual members’ juried art exhibit. Local Etobicoke artist Rose Marie Nicolucci had both her art submissions selected for the show. One of these, her acrylic/mixed-media painting “Star of the Sea” was selected for a Juror’s Choice Award. The presentation of awards will take place at the Reception Sunday Oct. 18 from 2 to 4 pm. Artist relates her motivation on creating this dramatic piece of art:-
When I began this art piece I had a great concern for the pollution of our precious natural ocean resources and how marine life was being damaged and exploited by human rapaciousness. The art piece contains plasticized netting representing the waste from the huge international trawlers’ nets that have ensnared and killed mammals and marine life that were caught in them. (Other flotsam is broken down naturally, but not the man-made products of plastic and coated nylon fibres.) The red, orange and yellow colours contrasting with the cool water hues represent the roiling of the waters by drilling, dumping, chemical and human wastes polluting our previously pristine oceans. The active brush strokes and patterning indicate the disturbance of the water’s currents and flows. There are actual shells which adhere to the surface of the painting -- symbols of the devastation of the affected sea life forms. The small starfish, referred to in the painting’s title, is a symbol of hope that the beauty of our wonderful oceans may still, with care and effort, recover to survive and thrive. 
The Crossection Art Exhibit is on display at Etobicoke Civic Centre Art Gallery, 399 The West Mall (SE corner at Burnhamthorpe Rd.), Etobicoke until October 29, 2015. Public are welcome to attend the reception and to view the exhibit during Gallery hours.



Suki awake, alert and concerned about a noise!

Suki doesn't know it yet, but she has a difficult week ahead of her.  Actually three days: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

This past Thursday, I received a notice about the annual inspection of apartments that will begin on Monday.  Along with a quick look around each apartment, management will be checking the smoke alarms in individual units as well as the alarms and sprinklers throughout the building.  This happens every year, of course, but, somehow, Suki seems to forget and so every fall she gets traumatized once again!

Although "the monsters" will only be in my apartment for 10 to 15 minutes, the sounds of smoke alarms and fire alarms will be going on and off throughout the building all day long on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  With Suki's excellent hearing, she will be unable to sleep soundly between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for three days. Each year, by the end of all this activity, Suki is a real mess. Come Wednesday night, she will probably sleep non-stop for the next 24 hours.  I have even known her to miss a meal or two after such a marathon event.

I try each year to warn her about what is coming, but she never listens.  She simply looks at me, yawns, licks her paws a few times and goes right back to sleep.  Well, I tried ... what else can I do. Poor kitty.

As for me, I, too, will be bothered by the upcoming activities as my hearing is also excellent (for a human, that is); however, at least I know what is going on and why -- so although I may find it annoying, I should be able, for the most part, to ignore it.

Otherwise, I expect a quiet week when, as usual, I will be doing whatever I can to distract myself from the constant nagging of joint and nerve pain throughout my poor, old body.  



"Icon -- Can you drink from My cup?", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015 rev.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. Jesus called his disciples and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man has come not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”  Mk. 10:35-45

Each time I read about St. James and his brother, St. John, requesting places of power in the "kingdom" of their Lord, I am amazed at their arrogance.  They had spent all that time listening to and watching Jesus and still seemed to have no idea what He was actually saying!  Here, when he asks them if they can drink from the same "cup" from which He must drink and be baptized with the same "baptism" through which He must go, they don't hesitate -- they say "yes" immediately.  They did not seem to think, for even a moment, that Christ was referring to a total commitment leading through suffering unto death.  

Of course, I have to ask, how many of us -- even knowing that real Christian life leads always to the cross -- still think about gaining earthly power, wealth and recognition along the way -- secretly longing to gain power and prestige even while spouting "whoever wishes to be great must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first must be the slave of all"?  Even those who seek to be "servant" and "slave" can be secretly dreaming of the day when they, too, will be canonized saints whose names will be found on the lips of millions. Do we all really have a price for which we can be bought?

Grant us the wisdom to recognize those who are truly in need, the grace to forget ourselves as we seek to serve them and the humility to allow Love to guide us, enabling us to drink 
deeply from the Cup of Christ.


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