Sunday, 22 November 2015

Clumping Gazania (Gazania rigens)

"Clumping Gazania (Gazania rigens) -- Stylized?", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

To me, Clumping Gazanias look as though they were lovingly designed through the combined efforts of Euclid and Rene Descartes -- the masters of geometry. The designs are so carefully arranged that even when I draw an ordinary Gazania, it looks as though I have purposely made it look stylized!  

"Clumping Gazania (Gazania rigens) -- Spiral", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Then, when I take the image of this flower that looks stylized in spite of itself, both the blossom and its petals easily form other geometric-type shapes.  Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me.

Gazania is a genus of flowering plants in the Asteraceae (Daisy) family. The genus is native to South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Tanzania and Angola. Additionally, species are naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, and the western USA. They are widely cultivated as ornamental garden plants as the gardeners among you are well aware. 

Gazanias are grown for the brilliant colour of their flowers which appear in the late spring and early summer. They prefer a sunny position and are tolerant of poor soils and little rainfall. Clumping Gazanias have a number of names including 'Aztec', 'Burgundy', 'Copper King', 'Fiesta Red', 'Goldrush' and 'Moonglow'. 

Gazanias were named for Theodorus of Gaza, a 15th-century Italian scholar and translator of the botanical treatises of Theophrastus. The species name of rigens comes from the Latin and means frozen, stiff or rigid.

I really enjoyed trying to draw this flower and still want to try to draw a few more variations including seeking to make other geometric or kaleidoscope-type patterns with the flowers and their petals.  I feel certain that you will be seeing more Gazanias in the near future!

Some of the above information was taken from Wikipedia


Suki in my chair -- unhappy at being awakened by me --
especially as she knows I am just about to move her,
once again, back to her own chair!
I must say that I had no idea that Suki could pursue something so aggressively...  I am talking about my recliner -- the one I told you about last week when I described how I was having to "fight" with Suki over whose chair it really is.

Well, I thought things were bad enough when I posted my blog this past Sunday; however, they have only gotten worse!

By Tuesday of this past week, things had reached the point where every time I got up from my recliner -- even for just a couple of minutes -- I was returning to find Suki curled up in the seat, pretending to be sound asleep.  So, in order to sit down in my recliner once again, I have had to pick up all 13 lbs. of Suki and transfer her from my chair to one of her chairs.  Recalling the state of the joints in my fingers, hands and arms, you will know that this would be a very painful task for me.

I am really not certain as to what I shall do in order to fix this problem.  I could simply push Suki off of my chair onto the floor each time I find her there, but then I know, from past experience, that she would just sit there, staring at me with those piercing cat eyes for the next 15 minutes or so -- making me feel very uncomfortable.  Or, I could get another recliner, but I really hate to have to spend $800 or so for a chair I don't really want just because my cat is fighting with me over who gets to sit in the recliner I already possess.

I have briefly considered various other options such as attaching a mild electrical charge to the seat of the recliner with an on/off switch.  This way I could turn on the current whenever I got out of my chair and then poor Suki would be unpleasantly surprised when she tried to take possession of the chair.  Of course, I immediately rejected the idea -- not only because it would be a cruel thing to do to poor Suki, but, knowing me, I would most likely forget I had turned the electricity on and, upon returning to the chair, would end up giving that rather unpleasant surprise to myself instead.

Briefly, I also considered putting a halter and leash on Suki so that I could take her with me whenever I got up from my recliner thus preventing her from taking possession of my chair. However, I recalled immediately how once, some years ago, I tried to see how Suki would respond to wearing a collar and leash.  The collar she appeared to be willing to tolerate, but the leash was another matter. As soon as it went on -- halter and all -- she simply plopped herself down on the floor and refused to budge.  The only way I could have moved her would have been to drag her along the floor -- another cruel thing which I would never do to poor Suki.

So, here I am, faced with another impasse without a sensible solution in hand.  What to do? What to do?  For the moment it seems the only thing I can do is move Suki back to her chair each time I return to my own chair.  If any of you faithful readers out there can think of any other solutions, please, please pass them along... my arthritis pain and I would be eternally grateful!

Otherwise, things remain much the same for me.  I do have a rather unpleasant medical test coming up this week -- it will be done in the out-patient, surgical unit at the hospital.  How I wish medicine had developed along the lines of that portrayed in the various Star Trek series. Those doctors just had to move a light bar of some kind over the body and all its secrets were revealed.  Oh, well, I guess I will just have to endure our currently more primitive methods for exploratory procedures.



"Icon -- Christ the King, Rev. 2015", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer

‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ Pilate asked. Jesus replied, ‘Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?’ Jesus replied, ‘Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.’ ‘So you are a king then?’ said Pilate. ‘It is you who say it’ answered Jesus. ‘Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.’  John 18:33-37

I have always been very impressed by one particular line in this passage: "...I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth..."

Could one of the greatest sins possibly be: "being a phony?" 

As I look back over my long lifetime, I can see now that I have spent most of it trying to hide from the truth of who and what I am. So much of the time I have tried to be what I believed I needed to be in order for others to love me, like me and include me in their "tribe". In other words, I was living a deception, a lie, not the truth.

It has taken me 75 years to reach the point where I am willing to risk exposing the truth about who and what I am even if it means having people dislike me or walk away from me in anger.  Each human being, like every created thing in the universe, is absolutely unique. So, it seems reasonable to me to believe that we each have a unique aspect of the Truth of express in our lives and we can only do the job properly by seeking to bear witness to our truth. Otherwise, we waste our lives trying to live someone else's truth and, in doing so, lose our opportunity to live a meaningful life.

I pray that I will never forget again that I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth. May I always bear witness by being that loving, kind, generous person God created me to be -- and may you also do the same.


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