Sunday, 16 October 2016

Hymenocallis coronaria -- Cahaba Lily

"Hymenocallis coronaria -- Cahaba Lily", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Hymenocallis coronaria, commonly known as the Shoal lily, Shoals spider-lily or, in Alabama, as the Cahaba lily is an aquatic, perennial, flowering plant in the genus Hymenocallis. It is endemic to the Southeastern United States -- being found only in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and, originally, parts of North Carolina. Within Alabama, it is known as the Cahaba lily as it is found growing primarily among the shoals of the Cahaba River which is located just south of Birmingham, Alabama. 

Hymenocallis coronaria requires a swift, shallow, water current and direct sunlight to flourish. The plant grows to about 3 feet in height and develops from a bulb that lodges in cracks in rocky shoals. It blooms from early May to late June. Each fragrant flower blossom opens overnight and lasts for only one day. The plant is pollinated by certain moths and butterflies. 

Hymenocallis coronaria is under consideration for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to entire populations being wiped out by dam construction. There are only approximately 50 extant populations of Hymenocallis coronaria left and these are found in the states of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. 

Of course, Hymenocallis coronaria is not a true lily but bears the name just like numerous other non-Lilium flowering plants. It is actually a member of the same family as the amaryllis plant (Amaryllidaceae). The genus name, Hymenocallis, comes from a combination of two Greek words and means “beautiful membrane”. The species name of coronaria is derived from the Latin word coronarium which means “crown”. 

The inspiration for drawing this flowering plant came from a recent look at a lovely painting of these flowers by the wife of an Alabama cousin of mine. She did the painting several years ago now. When I first saw it, I made a feeble effort to copy what she had done, but ended up with something which left me totally dissatisfied. When I came across her painting again a couple of weeks ago, I once more felt the desire to attempt another drawing of these lovely flowers. So, while I am far from satisfied with the result presented in this posting, I am sufficiently satisfied.  This means that I am willing to let you have a look at what I have done rather than just deleting the file!

Much of the above text was taken from various Internet sources.


"There had better be a good reason for waking me!!"
Why do young children and pets have so much trouble remembering what you want them to but, somehow, always manage to remember all those things you want them to forget?  I mention this because of an experience I had this past week with Suki.

For the past several years, I have made it a part of my bedtime routine to pick up the wastebasket I have in the bedroom and place it in one of Suki's least favourite chairs. Then, taking a small pillow from another chair, I place it against the wastebasket so that it is firmly wedged against the back of the chair.  Anyone watching might think that I was suffering from some mild form of dementia.

However, there has been a definite reason for this behaviour... If I did not do this, then around 5:30 a.m. Suki would begin using the wastebasket as an alarm clock.  You see, I like to keep those recyclable plastic bags in my wastebaskets so that they are easier to clean, but plastic bags, when moved about rapidly with cat paws, can make a most unpleasant noise -- the kind of noise that is bound to awaken you no matter how deeply you are sleeping.

Then, this past Monday night, for some unknown reason, I forgot to put the wastebasket in the bedroom chair before going to bed.  In the morning, as I was getting out of bed, I noticed that the wastebasket was in its usual place on the floor.  This observation was followed by the realization that Suki had not used the plastic bag in an effort to try and awaken me.  I was quite pleased and thought, hopefully, that perhaps Suki had forgotten about using it after so many months of not having access to her homemade alarm clock.

I left the wastebasket on the floor the following night as well and was extremely delighted the next morning to realize that another sleep had passed without Suki noticing the plastic bag.  After she ignored the bag again on Wednesday night, I was convinced that I would never again have to put the wastebasket in its easy-chair "bed".  I was sure that Suki had forgotten completely about how she once used that plastic bag to awaken an irritated and angry me!

Well, you can just guess what happened next.  At around 5:25 a.m. the next morning, Friday, I was awakened by that most irritating sound of cat claws ripping at plastic.  Suki had definitely not forgotten how to use a plastic bag as an alarm clock.  I painfully got out of bed, yelling all the while, placed the wastebasket in the chair topping the whole thing off with a pillow.  Meanwhile, Suki was sitting in the hallway, watching, just in case I decided to head towards the kitchen.

I tried going back to sleep, but after a few minutes, I knew it was hopeless.  So, I got up, said numerous nasty things to Suki -- which she blithely ignored -- while I fixed her breakfast and then began my own daily routine.  From now on, it is back to putting the wastebasket in the chair each night before going to bed.  

Still, the question remains, why do we and other creatures so often forget what we really need to remember -- things that would make our lives easier and safer -- and remember those things we really should forget?

Speaking of forgetting, there are several nights from the past week that I would like to forget and that statement has nothing to do with Suki's behaviour.  Rather, for some reason, I have had some unpleasantly painful nights recently.  I have no idea why, but, fortunately, the past couple of nights have been easier.  So, I am hoping that those bad night were just aberrations and not symptoms indicating that things are getting worse. 

As for this coming week, I have a medical appointment on Thursday, but, otherwise, it should be quiet. 

I want to finish the "Suki and Me" column today by posting a drawing I did recently for a birthday card.  Many of you know that this time of year is my favourite (with winter being my second favourite season -- yes I said winter!).  Every so often I try to draw another tree showing the changing leaves of Fall -- one of the reasons why I enjoy this season so much.  Here is my latest effort.

"Autumn Leaves", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016



"Icon -- The Widow and the Unjust Judge", drawing by
Sarah " Sallie" Thayer, 2016 revisions

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”  Luke 18:1-8

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