Sunday, 30 October 2016

Echeveria agavoides 'Romeo'

"Mandala -- Echeveria agavoides 'Romeo' ", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

I decided to portray today's featured drawing in the style of a mandala.  The centre of the mandala shows the leaves of Echeveria agavoides 'Romeo' as they usually appears by early summer. Notice the 5-pointed star that Mother Nature provided as the central point. The bunches of blossoms placed in the four corners represent E. agavoides blossoms which occur in late spring and early summer. The flowers are found growing at the end of long stalks high above the rosette formed by the leaves.

Echeveria agavoides
Echeveria agavoides is a species of flowering plant in the Crassulaceae (plants with thick leaves like succulents) Family. These plants, native to rocky areas of Mexico, are stemless, star-shaped rosettes of fat leaves up to 20 cm in diameter. They are often solitary, growing offsets only slowly or not at all. Some forms have reddish tips and some forms have slightly red to very red margins. 

Agave attenuata
Source: Fox Tail Agave Seeds by SmartSeeds on Etsy  

The genus name of Echeveria is used to honour Anastasio Echeverria y Godoy, an 18th century Spanish botanist. The specific name of “agavoides” means “looking like an agave plant” [Agave is a genus of succulents native to the hot and arid regions of Mexico and the Southwestern United States.] 

Many hybrids have been created from E. agavoides in order to obtain more brightly colored flowers or leaves. An example of one such cultivar is the subject of today’s featured drawing: Cheveria agavoides ‘Romeo’

This succulent forms clumps of individual rosettes that are around 6 inches tall by 8 to 12 inches wide with red wine coloured leaves with darker red edges showing the occasional bit of green. The red flowers, slightly smaller than other Echeveria agavoides cultivars, have a greenish-yellow interior and bloom in the spring through early summer. The leaves are not as pointed as the other forms so it is less “agave like”. The colour however can, sometimes, be amazing as it ranges from rosy-red to aubergine (the colour of eggplant).

Below is an "enhanced" image of today's featured drawing:

"Mandala -- Echeveria agavoides 'Romeo' Enhanced"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

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


Halloween Greeting from Suki and Sallie

I won't be telling you any new stories about Suki this week. Rather, I need to write about the possibility that I may be reaching the point where I can no longer continue to publish this blog posting each week.

The fact is, I almost did not publish anything this week.  I had not planned to use the Echeveria mandala as a featured drawing.  It was one of those drawing that I completed but had not felt inclined to post as I was far from satisfied with the result.  

However, on Tuesday morning, I got my flu shot in preparation for this winter's onslaught of flu bugs.  I have only had one bad reaction to the flu shot and that was almost 20 years ago now so I really wasn't prepared for the next three days of discomfort.  My symptoms consisted, mainly, of a swollen and itchy arm, really bad headaches and extreme exhaustion.  

I was certain that I was going to have to post a notice on my blog saying "sorry, but I hope to be feeling better next week". Thankfully, however, I began to feel a bit better yesterday and so am able to at least publish a little something today.

The reason all of this unpleasantness has led to my need to discuss the future of "Salliesart" is that this extra illness piled on top of everything else has made me very aware of all the many problems I have been dealing with these past months. I have been "suffering through" a number of new aches and pains without admitting to myself (or others) that my disabilities, and the problems they cause, are worsening rapidly.

Too often now, the pain caused by the dying nerves in my feet and legs becomes almost intolerable and the only way I know to escape is by taking the extra pain medication that I am allowed at such times.  This means that I end up sleeping away the night and half the day.  

Then when that pain has eased for a while, I try to keep up with any important email correspondence, deal with my bank account, pay my bills, etc.  After that, if I have any energy and/or interest left, I can spend some time losing myself in my art work. Finally, if I have any strength left at all, I try to take a quick look at Facebook in order to see what the children of my niece and nephew are doing these days.

Of course, this obviously means that there is much time for drawing and such so that I reach Sunday without having had the time or energy to produce anything new.  Thus, I am then forced to try to find some older, unsatisfactory drawing and whip it into shape in time for Sunday's submission.

Unless something changes rather radically, I can see the day approaching when I will no longer have any new art work to show you at all.  Perhaps, when such a time arrives, I could plan to publish every other week or even once a month.  Of course, the more time that elapses between postings, the more likely many of my followers and regular readers are to lose interest. Eventually, I may well end up posting a blog only for myself.

At any rate, I felt this was a matter that I wanted to go ahead and write about to you folks.  In fact, I would like to know if you have any comments or opinions about what I should do regarding the future of my blog.  If so, please feel free to write to me at my address. 

You can, of course, always post comment on the blog itself, but I have often found that people, particularly those who want to say something of a personal nature, feel more comfortable writing directly to me.  As usual, if you say something in your email that I think would be good to share with everyone, I would get your permission before posting it anywhere.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Happy Halloween!


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