Sunday, 23 October 2016

Malus x 'Prairifire' - Flowering Crabapple

"Malus x 'Prairifire' -- Flowering Crabapple", drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Malus is a genus of about 35 species of deciduous trees and shrubs found growing in Europe, Asia and North America and is native to the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. Many of the species found in the genus Malus produce fruit, including apples. 

Malus x 'Prairifire' is commonly known as Flowering Crabapple. Crabapple trees are actually members of the rose family, Rosaceae. As with roses, there is a never-ending desire to develop new forms. This has resulted in approximately 800 cultivars of crabapples. 

Flowering Crabapple is a dense, rounded, deciduous tree which typically grows 15-20' tall with a branch-spread of a similar size. Pinkish-red buds open to become slightly fragrant, deep pink-red flowers in spring. These flowers, viewed against the bright blue of a prairie sky, often look as though they are on fire. 

In the late summer, these flowers are followed by masses of small, purplish-red crabapples which mature in the fall. The fruits are persistent and attractive to birds. 

Leaves emerge purplish in spring, mature to dark green with a reddish-tinge in summer, turning orange in autumn. 

The genus name of, Malus, comes from the Greek word, μήλων, meaning apples. The cultivar was introduced by Dr. Daniel Dayton, University of Illinois, in 1982 as a disease-resistant cultivar. His misspelling of the name, Prairifire, was intentional.


Just a note in reference to last week's featured drawing of Hymenocallis coronaria, known as the Cahaba Lily.  One of the regular readers of the blog sent me a photo showing the vanity licence plate for Alabama on behalf of the Cahaba River which includes a drawing of the Cahaba Lily.

Sample of Alabama vanity licence plate "Save the Cahaba"
featuring a drawing of the Cahaba Lily.
(Thanks to the kindness of J. Seymore) 


Portions of the above were taken from various Internet sources.


Here are some new photos of my boys getting ready for Halloween. As everyone knows, from Charlie Brown on down, this particular celebration requires a visit to the pumpkin patch. You never know... you might just meet The Great Pumpkin there!

Obviously, being boys, the brothers have to check out the rotten pumpkins first!

Ro has discovered a pumpkin just his size and, of course, he has to listen to it --
that's how you can tell whether it's a good pumpkin for carving!

Along comes the hay wagon.  It is intended for carrying the pumpkins, but
Braden decides he may as well hop on for a ride!



"OK, whose bright idea was it to put
this stupid red ribbon around my neck?"
First, I need to tell you that after a few years of being able to sleep in my bed again, I am now back to sleeping in the recliner -- too much pain in my neck and back otherwise.  The reason I need to tell you this is so that you will understand the following story about Suki's misbehaviour this past week.

The first couple of nights after I begin sleeping in the recliner again, Suki was a bit unsettled about it all.  In fact, she stayed away from me completely until about 6 a.m. -- the time at which she always becomes quite insistent that I get up and feed her. Otherwise, she left me alone. Perhaps it was the fact that my sleeping in the recliner was something new again and so she had to adjust her thinking.

Anyway, whatever the reason, by the third night Suki began to return to all the bad habits she displayed during those years when I could not sleep anywhere else except the recliner [as you may recall, it was the only sleeping arrangement I could find where my neck was supported in such a way so that the pain wasn't bad enough to keep me from falling asleep]. I would have thought that Suki might have forgotten all her nasty little tricks, I had. Unfortunately, her memory is still much too good.  

Here is an example of the kind of misbehaviour to which I am referring... For years now, I have had a medium-sized Peace Lily sitting on the table next to my recliner.  During the time I was using the recliner as a bed, Suki discovered that if she extended her claws, poked them into one of the leaves and pulled quickly, she could create a most unpleasant ripping sound.  This action, aside from waking me up, also destroyed the leaf. Waking up from a deep sleep and seeing the torn leaf would upset me sufficiently so that I would be almost instantly fully awake -- which meant that I was unlikely to be able to return to sleep.

I had completely forgotten about this behaviour until Suki returned to the practice early Wednesday morning, about 5:30 a.m.  I was awakened by the sound of something tearing, saw the poor, torn leaf hanging there and, immediately, the memories came flooding back. I yelled at Suki, but, by then, she was already at the entrance to the kitchen, waiting for me to come and feed her! 

The only solution to this problem, the one I used previously, is to add moving the plant to my list of bedtime chores.  This list now reads: feed Suki; make certain that her litter box is absolutely clean; wash Suki's dish after she finishes her bedtime snack (it needs to be ready for the morning); take my pills; clean my teeth; move the plant and, exhaustedly, fall into whatever I may be using for a bed.

Apart from all of this, it has been a busier week for me than I expected when I wrote last Sunday's posting.  I went to my scheduled medical appointment on Thursday as planned and, as usual, visited my friend on the 6th floor on Friday morning -- these were my only outings for the week.  However, I did receive a number of enjoyable phone calls, some unexpected emails which required lengthy responses and one unexpected visit from a dear friend. So, I guess you could say it was a good week in spite of having to sleep in the recliner and having to deal with a very naughty Miss Suki!

This coming week should be relatively quiet since I only have one doctor's appointment scheduled for Tuesday.  Otherwise, all the rest of the week should be what passes for normal for me these days!



[Just a note about the drawings I have been using lately in this section of my posting.  

You have, no doubt, noticed that several of the drawings I have posted recently have contained some of the same figures used over and over again in different drawings.  

For example, the Pharisee in today's drawing was a figure I drew several years ago for another icon; however, it is also the figure I used in last week's drawing of the Unjust Judge.  Previous to that, the same figure represented the wealthy landowner who decided to "eat, drink and be merry".  The clothing may change somewhat, but the basic figure remains the same.  

I am, of course, able to use the grouping function of my software to bring all the elements of a particular object or person together, save that grouping and then use it wherever I wish in later drawings. This is what I have done here. ST]

"Icon -- The Tax Collector and the Pharisee"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016 revised

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity -- greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for whoever exalts themselves will be humbled, and whoever humbles themselves will be exalted.”       Luke 18:9-14

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