Sunday, 1 November 2015

Collarette Dahlia "Pooh"

"Collarette Dahlia 'Pooh' ", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Dahlias are a group of flowering, tuberous-rooted plants that belong to the Asteraceae (aster/daisy) family. There are at least 36 species of Dahlia. As well, Dahlias have been hybridized extensively, and there are now more than 20,000 cultivars. 

Dahlias are native to Mexico, Central America and Columbia. The Aztecs cultivated Dahlias for both food and ceremonial purposes. As well, they used the long, woody stems of one variety for making small pipes. 

Flowers range in size from as small as 2 inches wide to as large as 10 inches wide. Some species (see Dahlia imperialis) can grow up to 10 m. in height. Colours come in various shades, hues and combinations of pink, white, red, orange and purple. 

The genus name of Dahlia is also the common name. The name, Dahlia, comes from the surname of Dr. Andreas (Anders) Dahl. He was an 18th century Swedish botanist and student of Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist who laid the foundations for the modern biological naming scheme of binomial nomenclature. 

Today’s drawing features one of the over 20,000 cultivars and is named Collarette Dahlia “Pooh”. Collarette Dahlias have large, flat florets forming a single outer ring around a central disc which may overlap a smaller circle of florets closer to the centre and which gives the appearance of a collar. The hybrid “Pooh” was hybridized by Swan Island and introduced in 1998. Due to its large flower and bright colours, it has become extremely popular very quickly.

As you can see above, "Pooh" contains some of my favourite colours which was what attracted me to the flowers in the first place.  This attraction made it an easy decision to try my hand at drawing them.  

By the way, if you search my blog under the word "Dahlia", you will find a number of other cultivars I have drawn of this genus over the years.

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


Suki staring at me -- watching my every move.
Is she part of a secret cabal?
 This past week I came across a video showing a black cat and a ginger cat who live together. The man taking the video, their "keeper", after observing them for some time, has come to the conclusion that his cats, along with the rest of the world's cats, are planning on taking over the planet.  In other words, they are planning world domination!

One of the clues to this, according to the videographer, was the fact that he so frequently caught his cats staring intently at him.  As I have mentioned here previously, I, too, have noticed how often Suki will just sit and stare at me.  I have always assumed that she was staring at me in an effort to will me into getting up and feeding her -- I mean, this staring business usually seems to occur just prior to meal time.  After seeing the video, however, I am now wondering if there is more to it than it.  Could she be, in fact, taking note of my behaviour patterns in an effort to note when I am at my weakest and most vulnerable?

The videographer then continues by showing other examples of his cats' behaviour that indicate, to him, the seriousness of the situation.  These include things such as the way his cats seem to be talking to one another until he comes into the room at which time they suddenly begin to play and run about.  He feels that whenever he almost catches the cats talking, they are in their planning mode; however, in order to confuse him, they appear to be simply playing. 

As well, he has noticed that when he pours a handful of catnip on the floor, much to his cats delight, he later finds strange patterns in the catnip.  He feels that what he is seeing was originally planning instructions which, after reviewing, his cats then messed up sufficiently so that he would not be able to read what they had written there.

Suki just about to fall asleep again
after opening her eyes briefly 

After taking a good look at all of his evidence, I have to admit that he does have some good arguments for the possibility that cats, world wide, are planning world domination. However, just when I think that there might be something to all of this, I take a look at Suki and find she is sound asleep somewhere in the house and that she has obviously been sound asleep for the past three hours since finishing her last meal -- and that she will stay asleep for the next 2 1/2 hours until she begins her campaign to get me to feed her. 

This consistent behaviour on her part (and on the part of all cats I have known during my lifetime) causes me to seriously doubt that the world's cats are planning to take over.  I mean, any species that requires at least 16 hours of sleep a day simply doesn't have the time for world domination.  And, anyway, don't most cats already "dominate" the people with whom they live?  This is certainly true of Suki!  I may be a fool, but, for the moment at any rate, I am not going to worry about feline world domination!

So, other than deciding not to worry about Suki being part of a secret cabal planning to enslave us humans, I have nothing new to report.

I continue to have the same problems as usual and although I have several medical appointments and tests scheduled for the month of November, I do not have anything medical scheduled for this coming week. Joycelyn will be here on her usual days, a dear friend will be visiting on Tuesday and I will visit with my friend from the sixth floor on Friday.  It should be a quiet week.

By the way, since some of you have asked, the new medication regimen that I mentioned in a previous posting seems to be helping although it will take a few more weeks to see if it will really give me any long term relief from the pain.



"Icon -- Our Lady, Softener of Evil Hearts", by the hand of
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015 (text in Russian and English)

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  Mt. 5:1-12a

For the first time in a long time, I have completed an icon. Actually, I have worked to the limits of my limited abilities for the past 6 days on the icon posted above.  On Monday of this past week, I received an email from a dear friend with a link to this particular icon.  I was so taken by the image and the title that I felt compelled to immediately begin work on making my own drawing of the beautiful image of Our Lady.  My representation is a poor copy by comparison to the original, but it was created with much joy.

Although I did not realize it at the time, this icon is a perfect representation for the Gospel reading for this Solemnity of All Saints. The Beatitudes are all about changing (softening) our evil hearts so that our hearts can become like the Heart of God.  And who better to help us through this process than Our Lady -- the softener of evil hearts.

Creator of All, grant that we may accept the help we are offered daily which will allow Love, Itself, to change our hearts into hearts like unto Yours.


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