Sunday, 27 November 2016

Adonis annua

"Adonis annua -- Adonis Buttercup", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

The Family name of Adonis annua is Ranunculaceae, meaning that it is a member of the buttercup family which provides us with one of its common names of “Adonis Buttercup”.  For some reason, this plant, native to Africa, Asia and parts of Europe has a plethora of common names including Autumn Pheasant’s Eye, Blood-drops and Red Morocco, to mention just a few. I would attribute the large number of common names to this plant’s wide growing range.

The Adonis annua plants can grow up to 50 cm in height and be many-branched. The leaves are finely dissected with bright-green, narrow segments. The flowers resembles those of the anemone with deep red petals and a dark basal spot. The flowers range in size from 15 to 25 mm. There are rarely more than 30 bright red flowers per plant. A. annua is described in ancient documents as a "Eurasian herb cultivated for its deep red flowers with dark centers."

Adonis, Greek God
of Life-Death-Rebirth

The genus name of, Adonis*, is taken from the name of the Greek god of plants. The specific name of “annua” is Latin for annual.
 * Modern scholarship sometimes describes Adonis as an annually renewed, ever-youthful vegetation god, a life-death-rebirth deity whose nature is tied to the calendar. His name is often applied in modern times to handsome youths, of whom he is the archetype.

I, actually, did a drawing of Adonis annua back in 2009 in which I attempted to show the flower, leaves and seeds of this ancient plant. (see below)

"Adonis annua -- Flower, Leaves and Seeds",
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2009 

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


Suki emerges from under the
blanket on my recliner!
Now that the cooler weather is finally here (although it still isn't as cool as I would prefer), Suki has returned to her practice of interfering with my after-dinner activities. In other words, she insists on spending the evening hours either under or on top of the blanket which I throw across my legs as I stream my movies or TV series or read one of my many Kindle books.

I realize that to many of you this situation will sound like something pleasing and pleasurable.  I mean, the idea of spending a wintry evening comfortably ensconced in a comfortable recliner with a blanket across your legs while your house cat curls between your legs sleeping soundly does sound cozy, almost idyllic. However, that cat is 12 lbs. of dead weight which can only be moved with great effort -- which means that every time I need to move my legs, scratch my knee or re-arrange my blanket, I have to expend loads of energy trying to move the cat without disturbing her too much.  

Should I unintentionally awaken Suki fully, then I am required to endure another 15 to 20 minutes of her movements as she first tries to find a new spot on top of or underneath the blanket which is followed by the full face-and-paw-bath which she insists on giving herself before she can finally settle down to sleep once again. Unfortunately, I find all this moving about to be very distracting when I am trying to follow the intricate plot of a British-TV-mystery-series or a P. D. James mystery novel.

Finally, and please don't tell Suki I said this, her weight is becoming more and more painfully uncomfortable.  I do not want Suki to know this, however, or she might stop climbing up onto my lap.  And, as I am sure most of you realize, in spite of all my complaining, I am always secretly pleased when Suki jumps up onto my lap -- letting me know, in so many little ways, that she likes being in my lap and she feels completely safe there.  

To know that another creature, smaller and weaker than we are, believes that, with us, they are completely safe is one of the most precious gifts that Life can give us -- and to break such a trust is one of the most evil things that we can do to another creature -- and to ourselves. 

Speaking of pain, I must admit that this has been a particularly painful week for me.  Not sure why, but, hopefully, things will ease off a bit before too long.  Part of it could be my continuing frustration over trying to integrate my old computer files into my new computer software.  Most things seem to have meshed properly; however, the difficulties of trying to move my old files from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2016 continue.  Any of you who have gone through something similar know how time-consuming and frequently frustrating such activities can be.

Otherwise, Suki and I continue our somewhat solitary lifestyle as usual.  I am supposed to be seeing a specialist this coming Wednesday; however, I am thinking of cancelling the appointment tomorrow morning. The problem I had several months ago when I complained to my Family Doctor -- the appointment which led her to request this visit with a specialist -- has since cleared up! That is actually one of the good things about our health care system in Ontario -- we rarely get to see a specialist immediately so that often, by the time the appointment rolls around, we no longer need to see the specialist.  No doubt, when I cancel my appointment tomorrow morning, some person, on a cancelled-appointment-waiting-list, will be delighted to receive a call.

Wishing you all a very good week.    


1st Sunday of Advent


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