Sunday, 8 May 2016

Potentilla atrosanguinea

"Potentilla atrosanguinea -- Ruby Cinquefoil", drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016



Potentilla atrosanguinea, commonly known as ruby cinquefoil or just plain cinquefoil, is a vigorous herbaceous perennial of the Rosaceae (rose) family that typically grows in spreading mounds. It is native to mountain slopes at lower elevations in the Himalayas. 

Each plant features a clump of long-stalked, basal leaves with each leaf being divided into 3-5 finger-like, dark green leaflets. Five to six-petalled, rose-like, ruby-red flowers bloom in spring (late April - June) in loose clusters which rise above the foliage to a height of 30”.

The genus name, Potentilla, comes from the Latin word potens meaning powerful (this is in reference to an old-time belief that the leaves of some Potentilla plants had potent medicinal curative powers). 

The species name comes from the Latin word atrosanguineus meaning dark blood red and refers to the flower color. 

The common name of cinquefoil comes from the Latin words qunique meaning five and folium meaning leaf in reference to the 5 leaflets found on the leaves of many plants in this genus. 

The leaves and flowers of typical cinquefoils, such as Potentilla atrosanguinea, look most similar to strawberries but usually have dry, inedible fruit (hence the name "barren strawberry" for some species).

In heraldry, the cinquefoil emblem or “potentilla” signified strength, power, honor and loyalty. Depiction of the flower appears as early as 1033 in the architecture of a church built in Burgundy, France. 




"Quercus virginiana -- Southern Live Oak" ("The Kissing Tree")
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016




As you can see in the caption above, this drawing has two names -- one identifies the tree, the other describes why there are human faces on the trunk of the tree!  You see, as I drew the tree, I was thinking about what a shady, and somewhat private, place this tree would provide -- the kind of place that might give lovers the idea of stopping for a kiss or two.  Then I thought that maybe, if enough lovers kissed under this tree for a great many years, the tree, itself, might incorporate those actions into its very nature.  So, in order to portray this, I drew, as part of the trunk, two lovers just about to kiss.  If you think this is just too fanciful, then please ignore the faces and just look at the tree!

Quercus virginiana (family Fagaceae), also known as the southern live oak, is an evergreen oak tree native to the southeastern United States. Though many other species are loosely called live oak, the southern live oak is particularly iconic of the Old South. It is often just called "live oak" within its native area, but the full name "southern live oak" helps to distinguish it from other live oaks, a general term for any evergreen species of oak. Typical southern live oaks are endemic from southeast Virginia to Florida, including the Florida Keys, and west to southeast Texas.



The Angel Oak on Johns Island, South Carolina. 
The man standing under the tree is 5 feet 11 inches 
(1.80 m) tall -- 
[By DannyBoy7783 (talk) - I (DannyBoy7783 (talk))
 created this work entirely by  myself., GFDL, 
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26451158 ].
Depending on the growing conditions, live oaks vary from the size of a big shrub to a large and spreading tree. The southern live oak, in particular, normally grows to have a height of approximately 60 feet and a limb spread of nearly 80 feet. Their lower limbs often sweep down until they are almost touching the ground before curving up again. The upper branches are usually thickly covered with Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides). The trees have deep tap-roots that anchor them when young and eventually develop into an extensive and widespread root system. This, along with its low center of gravity and other factors, makes the southern live oak extremely resistant to strong sustained winds, such as those seen in hurricanes.

I have a real fondness for these massive trees.  When I was young and we lived in Florida, they provided me with easy access to hiding places in their branches.  If you get up high enough -- some spot where the leaves and Spanish Moss are thick -- you can easily hide for hours.  As well, if you find a broad enough limb, you can even lean back and read the book you brought with you.  Of course, once you climb down and go home, you will undoubtedly be punished, but the time spent feeling safe will have made it all worthwhile. 





Portions of the above text were taken from various Internet sources.
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SUKI AND SALLIE




"Suki -- thinking about food", a "watercolour"
by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015
Suki was having such a great week until Friday night and then...  but let me tell the story in sequence.

On Monday, when Joycelyn delivered Suki's food supply for the week, I discovered that it included cans with a label which read: "Chicken Chunks with Extra Gravy"!  Joycelyn and I had discussed getting this new style of wet cat food as it was made by the Fancy Feast people (Suki's favourite) and it claimed to contain more of what Suki likes the best -- gravy.

As soon as I opened the first can, I knew that this new type of cat food was going to be a real winner as far as Suki was concerned -- and I was right. It was a cat connoisseur's delight:  small chunks of chicken and lots of thick gravy.  Yum.  Suki gobbled up this new type of food and even licked her dish clean in an almost dog-like fashion -- something she had never done previously.

So, the week was progressing beautifully, as far as Suki was concerned, until Friday night -- Saturday morning actually -- when some fool set off our building's fire alarm!  There was no fire, as it turned out, but still the alarm has to be allowed to continue to ring until the fire engines arrived and the firefighters checked the building to make certain there was actually no fire.

At the time the alarm sounded, Suki and I were both sound asleep. I was in that deep sleep that so often occurs within the first hour or so after we fall asleep.  As for Suki, I can only assume she was sleeping soundly as well for when that incredibly, noisy alarm went off, Suki leapt off the bed, slammed into the wall and disappeared into the deep recesses of the bedroom closet!

Even after the alarm was finally turned off and a semblance of quietness fell once again over the building, Suki remained in the closet.  As I finally settled down and drifted off into an uneasy sleep, I did not hear any sounds that would indicate that Suki was moving from the closet to the bed.  She was, however, on the bed the next morning. I know this because she awakened me by trying to give my face a good "washing".  This is one of the tortuous ways used by Suki in order to get me out of bed so that I can feed her breakfast.

Even though I fed her the new, favourite food, Suki was in a grumpy mood all day Saturday and she doesn't seem to be much happier today.  As I said at the beginning of this narrative, Suki was having such a great week until Friday night....

Oh, in case this story has made any of you wonder what would happen to Suki and myself in case of a real fire since I cannot use the stairs, let me set your minds at rest.  Since my apartment is designated handicapped, the firefighters know that I will be waiting on my balcony (with Suki in her case) for them to rescue us!  

Speaking of fires, please, if you are able, contact the Canadian Red Cross [www.redcross.ca] and contribute to the massive effort to provide help for almost 100,000 Canadians who have, in effect, become refugees as a result of the Ft. McMurray wildfires in the Province of Alberta. Many of them only had minutes to flee before their homes were destroyed by this monster fire and are now living in shelters with nothing of their own but the clothes on their backs. 

As for me, I continue to be about the same -- just a bit busier than usual.  I had two medical appointments this past week and there are three more scheduled for the week ahead.  It must be "six-month check-up time" again as the last time I had this many appointments was December of 2015.

Happy Mothers' Day to all you mothers out there.  I really think this day should honour all those women (and the occasional man) who have spent many hours of their lives "mothering" others.  May we all have a happy day.     




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SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER [THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD]





"Icon -- The Ascension of Christ", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016 version





Today, rather than post the Sunday Gospel,  I am using a portion of the First Reading from the Mass for the Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord as many parishes will be transferring the celebration of the Solemnity from Thursday to Sunday.



So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:6-11

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