Sunday, 31 January 2016

Primula Mandalas

"Mandala -- Primula auricular cultivar in Spirals", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

The term "auricula" is used collectively for plants which have been developed from a hybrid between P. auricula and P. hirsuta. The cultivar I have drawn and used in these mandalas is based on the Primula auricular cultivar known as  "Mark".

Primula auricula (family Primulaceae), is most commonly known simply as Auricula. Other common names are Mountain Cowslip or Bear's Ear (from the shape of its leaves). 

"Mandala -- Child of the Universe -- Primula auricula cultivar"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Above is a "unexpected" mandala which resulted after I had finished drawing the face of a young girl and was "playing around" with the possibility of intertwining the Auricula flower in her hair. As I continued drawing, I went from drawing swirls of hair with flowers to curves of colour with flowers. When I sat back to evaluate what I had done, I suddenly realized that I was in the process of creating a mandala without even intending to!

Below is an enhanced version of the above drawing which also resulted while I was "playing around" with some new photo-shop-type software. I apologize in advance for the future "adorning" of drawings of mine with various special effects from this software, but I just can't resist seeing what happens when I use it to manipulate my images -- at least until the novelty wears off.  

"Mandala -- Child of the Universe -- Primula auricula cultivar -- Enhanced"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Now, back to Primula auricula (x Mark).

"Primula auricula leaves --
'Bear's Ears' ", drawing
by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer
The name Primula is from the Latin and means “prime” or “first-blooming”. This name can possibly be explained by the fact that the common primrose (Primula vulgaris) blooms extremely early in the year, sometimes even in January. The specific name auricular is also from the Latin and means "ear" (it refers to the common name of Bear's Ear" in reference to the shape of the leaves -- see drawing to your right). The cultivar name, as mentioned previously, is "Mark" or "Red Mark".

"Primula auricula cultivar -- 2016 version", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

There are over 450 species of the genus Primula in the wild as well as an amazing number of cultivars. They range in height from a few millimetres to over a metre tall. They range in colour from purple-red to white and all shades in between. They grow from the far islands of Japan in the east to the shores of Alaska in the west. They probably originated in the Himalayas and adjoining regions of western China, from where they spread across Asia to Japan, Europe and the Americas. There is even one species (Primula magellanica) indigenous to South America. These plants have been cultivated in western gardens for over 500 years.

Just as there are many varieties of Gazanias, there are also many varieties of Primula -- so it is very possible that you will be seeing more Primulas (and more Primula mandalas) in the future!

Portions of the above information were taken from various Internet sources.


Suki waiting by the front door for Joycelyn to arrive so she can play
"catch the red dot"!

I have always been impressed by Suki's ability to tell time so accurately without the use of a watch or clock.  Now, however, she has revealed a new talent which leaves me quite flabbergasted.  It appears that she can even tell which day of the week it is!

Allow me to give you some anecdotal-type proof...  

Joycelyn always comes to my place on Monday and Thursday.  She may occasionally come on other days as well such as Tuesday or Friday, but her regular days are Monday and Thursday.  

Also, as most of you are aware, after Suki received a laser pointer as a Christmas gift from Joycelyn, it was Joycelyn who began to play with it -- to Suki's great delight -- every time she came to take care of me (I tried playing with the laser pointer, but I found that holding down the switch with my thumb causes too much joint pain).  At any rate, it soon became an established pattern that as soon as Joycelyn had gotten off her coat and boots and given me a hug, she would pick up the laser pointer and began the game where Suki chases and chases that "uncatchable" red dot.

Prior to this, for the 6 years that Suki has lived with me, she also has had a pattern.  Every morning after finishing her breakfast, she would give herself a quick bath and then settle down to sleep in the wingback chair.  For years she has quite happily jumped up into that particular chair and slept soundly in it until time to begin her campaign to get me to give her lunch before the scheduled noontime feeding. However, now that the laser pointer has been introduced into her life, everything has changed.

It took me about a week after Christmas to begin to realize that there was a pattern to these changes.  What I observed was that Suki's behaviour was the same as it had always been on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, BUT on Monday and Thursday her behaviour changed dramatically. 

Now, on Monday and Thursday, after eating breakfast and giving herself a very quick wash, Suki goes and sits in a wooden, fiddle-back chair near the apartment entryway.  This gives her a clear view of the front door.  As the time draws near for Joycelyn's arrival, Suki moves from the chair to the rug by the front door.  She lies there and waits. However, as soon as she hears Joycelyn exiting the elevator, she is on her feet, almost trembling with excitement.  

Once Joycelyn is in the apartment, Suki makes it quite obvious that she expects Joycelyn to move quickly in order to begin the great game!  Thankfully, Joycelyn is very obliging and after a few moments she picks up the laser pointer (designed as a mouse) and presses down on the switch that turns it on. Suki immediately begins to chase that delightfully, exasperating red light -- arthritis pain and all!

So you see, it would appear that Suki is able to tell which day of the week it is as she only exhibits this "waiting" behaviour on Monday and Thursday -- the two days when she knows for certain that Joycelyn will be coming to take care of me.  I, for one, am really impressed. 

Now, if only Suki would reveal some sort of extraordinary talent that could make a bit of money for us, then I would be even more impressed!

As for me, I continue as usual.  I made it to my appointment this past week with no problems. 

With the advent of February, I will be having more and more medical appointments because certain doctors want to check up on me every 3 to 6 months.  I'm not sure why, but they do seem to take an interest in how I am doing!  So, this coming week I have an appointment with one of those specialists.

Otherwise, I expect all to be fairly routine at the home of Suki and Sallie in the week ahead -- except on Monday and Thursday! 



"Christ on the brow of the hill", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Then He began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’ ” And He said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove Him out of the town, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl Him off the cliff. But He passed through the midst of them and went on His way.  Luke 4:21-30

I have always been fascinated by this passage because of Christ's ability, when confronted by that terrifying lynch-mob mentality, to peacefully walk through the midst of it all without anyone being harmed -- especially Him.

Having spent far too many years of my life in situations where I have been confronted by the terrifying anger of others, I often thought to myself how wonderful it would be to be able to simply be untouched by it all -- to be able to peacefully walk away without anyone being harmed -- especially me.

Of course, in our lives, the lynch mob usually goes on and satisfies its blood lust while people like me end up getting harmed.  But, in spite of that reality, I often recalled this passage while waiting for the next blow to fall or the next cruel word to be said and longed for the ability to "pass through the midst of [it]" and go on my way. I've never wanted revenge, just peace, real peace. How about you?

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