Sunday, 10 April 2016

Bits and Pieces

"Barren Tree Asleep in the Moonlight", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

How I love those barren trees of winter -- so stark against the sky. Once again, I have tried to indicate that the tree is truly a living thing by including the child as part of the trunk. People so often forget that trees are alive. They may look dead as they "hibernate" through the winter, but they are only sleeping -- waiting, waiting for the Spring.

I have always felt a strong kinship with trees in all their stages of life. I remember how excited I was as a youngster when I learned how long some trees have lived and that there were actually trees I could visit that had been alive for over 2,000 years.  That kind of life span seems incredible to us humans who are deemed lucky if we make it to 90.  Yet, even the life-span of the long-lived trees are but the briefest flicker when it comes to the life span of stars.  It truly amazes me that we, who live such a brief time, can be so knowledgeable about all these things around us which were alive long before we were born and will be living long after we are dead.

However, for now, let us leave behind the longevity of stars and turn to something which has a considerably shorter life span -- the Fiddlehead Fern. Take a look at the drawing below using Fiddlehead Ferns as part of a mandala. I featured these ferns in a previous posting and used this design, I believe, when I was speaking of the Golden Spiral.  Now, I have taken this design and placed it over an explosion of green, yellow and white which, in turn, creates a new mandala.  As you may recall, a mandala is traditionally a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point of light. 

"Mandala -- Fiddlehead Ferns", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Finally, I want to show you my drawing of the Spiral Begonia (see below). As you can tell from the name placed in single quote marks, this is a cultivar by the name of 'Escargot" (snail).  

In these leaves, we can find the same Golden Spiral we find in Fiddlehead Ferns, Nautilus shells and spiral galaxies.  What beautiful patterns Nature uses over and over again to create things which give us the feeling of perfect balance -- things where the tension between the inner and outer parts of the design are perfect yet unique.

"Spiral Begonia -- Begonia Rex cultorum group 'Escargot' "
 drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

If you are interested, here is a bit more information about Begonias.

There is a group of fancy-leafed Begonias (such as the spiral-leaf plant pictured above) which produce dramatic, large leaves streaked, veined, or splashed in shades of silver, pink, purple, cream, green, or burgundy. The name of this grouping of Begonia plants is “Begonia Rex Cultorum group” so named as all the plants in this group contain genetic material from the Begonia Rex plant which had its origins in India. 

The individual plants are known by their hybrid or cultivar name. Thus, the plant featured in the drawing above is simply known as Begonia ‘Escargot’ referring to the snail-like curl pattern at the base of the leaf – which, by the way, is actually in the shape of the Golden Spiral.

The genus, Begonia, was described in 1700 by Charles Plumier, a Franciscan monk and botanist. With the name he honoured Michel B├ęgon, a French botanist who was at the time Governor of Santo Domingo and French Canada. 

The first Begonia to reach England, B. minor, was sent by Dr William Brown from Jamaica in 1777. Following which, Sir Joseph Banks went on to introduce several species to the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. By 1850 there were 200 species known in Europe; about 50 of these from living plants. Currently about 1000 species are recognized, 25% of which are in cultivation and with over 10,000 cultivars and hybrids.

Portions of the above were taken from various Internet sources.


I did not take this photo, but it is so striking,
I could not resist using it.
As you might imagine, Suki has been a very happy cat this past week -- Joycelyn is back and she played the laser dot game with Suki every time she was here this past week!

And, not only that, I had a visit from a dear friend this past Friday who is also Suki's friend.  So. while she was here, she played the laser dot game with Suki as well.  After they stopped playing, Suki rewarded my friend by going and sitting next to her for the remainder of her visit. For years Suki would only sit next to me -- no one else. Now it appears that she considers anyone who plays the laser dot game with her as her new best friend.  What a clever cat she is!

Oh, yes, there was another funny Suki experience this past week and it had to do with food -- surprise, surprise!  

On Thursday, Suki suddenly begin begging for some kitty treats just about half an hour after she had eaten her lunch. I told her she did not need any more food and that, anyway, it was Thursday and if she gets treats at all, it usually happens on a Sunday.  Just as I said this to her, Suki meowed back at me and for some reason, her meow sounded similar to the words "tree - eat - day"!  I'm not making this up.

I was shocked and asked her to repeat what she had just said. So Suki meowed a few more times. Most of these meows sounded normal; however, one additional meow sounded a bit like 'tree - eat - day!  As I thought about it, I began to laugh and said to Suki: "No, no, Suki, I said that this is Thurs-day, not Treat-day!"  (It doesn't take much to amuse us old folks!).  

I do hope this cat is not really learning to speak English -- then she could really drive me crazy.  Can you imagine what it would be like to be awakened every morning by the meowie-sound of a cat shouting in my ear: "feed me, feed me, feed me, feed me, ad infinitum"?  Saints preserve us!

Oh, by the way, I ended up giving her some treats on Thursday after all -- I mean what else could I do after she meowed the word "treats"?  Such a clever cat!

As for me, I continue to have the same problems as usual although I am beginning to have some occasional problems with pain in my left hip joint when I am walking.  I guess that will be the site of the next big fight between me and Arthritis!

Thankfully, I do not have any appointments with doctors scheduled for the week ahead.  I do need to have some routine blood work done, but I can have that done at the clinic just down the street from me. So, all in all, I am hoping for a quiet week.



"Icon -- Christ Meets Peter at the Sea of Tiberias"
 by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, revised 2016

At that time, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “ am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” John 21:1-19

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