Sunday, 10 July 2016

Sarracenia chelsoni -- Pitcher Plant

"Sarracenia x chelsoni -- Trumpet Pitcher Plant", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Today's featured drawing is another one of those carnivorous, "bug-eating" trumpet pitcher plants.  While these plants do not fit the ideals most of us hold for defining something as beautiful, they are fascinating nonetheless. These are plants with an obvious task -- too help control the bug population -- the same bug population that causes mankind so much distress and suffering whenever it gets out of control.  Thus, this plant is just one more reminder of how interdependent all the components of this planet -- including us -- were meant to be. Yet, we continue to casually destroy the wetlands and grassy plains -- the home of the trumpet plants -- in order to put up industrial parks and parking lots.  Then, when summer arrives with its huge populations of attacking bugs, we bring out the poison spray!  In my opinion, we should have kept the wetlands and allowed the trumpet pitcher plants -- along with the bug-eating birds and larvae-eating snakes -- to help manage the problem naturally... no poison involved.

I will now get off my soapbox and tell you about Sarracenia

Sarracenia x chelsonii, family Sarraceniacee, is a hybrid developed as a result of crossing Sarracenia rubra with Sarracenia purpurea – at least this appears to be the case from my research. 

It is an elegant plant with a wine-red color which it probably inherited from Sarracenia purpurea (see below).

"Sarracenia purpurea"

The genus, Sarracenia, was named for Dr. Michel Sarrazin, 18th century physician and botanist in Quebec, Canada. As for the name of the cultivar, chelsonii, I have, thus far, been unable to determine exactly who this “Chelson” person might be. 

Sarracenia is a genus comprising 8 to 11 species of North American pitcher plants, commonly called trumpet pitchers. These are carnivorous plants indigenous to the eastern seaboard of the United States, Texas, the Great Lakes area and southeastern Canada, with most species occurring only in the southeastern United States. The plant's leaves have evolved into a funnel or pitcher shape in order to trap insects. Sarracenia tend to inhabit permanently wet fens, swamps, and grassy plains.

Once again, I would remind any reader who is eligible to vote in the local elections in the U.S. states of Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina to please consider helping those who are trying to protect, through state legislation, the land these plants inhabit. This protection needs to include not only public land but privately held land as well. I know that trying to tell a landowner what he can and can’t do on his land goes against the whole American ethos, but, remember, if we don’t start protecting all aspects of the interdependent functioning of our planet, we will end up with a world so broken that, like Humpty-Dumpty, it can never be put together again.

Portions of the information given here were taken from various Internet sources.


Recently, "my boys" went to Cuba for a holiday with their parents and grandparents.  According to the reports I have gotten from their parents, both boys had a great time.  Ro, who was seeing the ocean for the first time, seemed to be particularly delighted by the surf.

Following are a few photos I chose from the many that their mom shared with me upon their return.  While there are a number of pictures I plan to share in the future, today, however, I just wanted to give you a sense of their trip -- showing you a bit of how "my boys" seemed to deal with the whole holiday experience.

The boys check out the hotel lobby after arriving in Cuba with
their parents and grandparents in tow.

The boys discover all sorts of interesting things on the hotel grounds, including this
vehicle.  Braden very kindly offers to take his little brother for a ride!

Next morning, the boys take a good look at the ocean -- and from the expressions on their
faces, I would say that they are not too sure about all that sand, water and waves!

Braden is the first to get into the surf .... and he looks as though he is enjoying it ...

... however, his little brother is close behind!
You can easily see that he is very pleased with this watery experience!

After having a consultation, both brothers agree:  "This is going to be a great vacation!"  
(and according to all the reports I have had thus far, it was a very good holiday, indeed.)



Anyone who regularly reads my postings
about Suki should be able to tell me instantly
what is happening in this photo!
You're correct ... this is indeed a photo (taken
by my friend, Amra) of Suki waiting to be fed. 
Suki and I had a visitor this past week -- my friend, Amra. She is not only my friend but she is a friend of Suki's as well. She even brought a gift for Suki: four cans of her favourite food (turkey with gravy).  Suki was very pleased to see her. After all, the way to Suki's heart is definitely through her stomach!

Did I tell you that I have had to lower the dosage of Suki's medication? Soon after she begin getting a large daily dose of the pain medication just prior to her noon meal, Suki seemed to be unable to keep her food down. After several days of experiencing this problem, I contacted the vet. She suggested that I try cutting the dose of medication in half. I did so and immediately Suki stopped vomiting after her noon meal. 

Since then, there have been no new occurrences of this problem and, as best as I can tell, Suki doesn't seem to be in any additional pain or discomfort. I plan to watch her carefully, however, as we all know how hard cats work at concealing any disabilities they have -- a leftover from the days when predators were always watching for any animal showing signs of weakness as they knew they would be easy prey.

As well as having a guest this past week, I also had a medical appointment.  Nothing serious, just the usual follow-up with a specialist.

This coming week, I only have one medical visit scheduled; otherwise, the coming days should be fairly quiet ones.



"Icon -- The Good Samaritan", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, rev. 2016

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself." He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live." But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbour?"  Jesus replied....  
"A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, 'Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.' Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbour to the robbers' victim?"
He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."  Luke 10:25-37

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