Sunday, 20 November 2016

Geissorhiza splendidissima

"Geissorhiza splendidissima -- African Wine Cup", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

An immaculate deep blue flower, with a conspicuous satin sheen, Geissorhiza splendidissima is commonly known as African Wine Cup. It is native to the Northern Cape area of South Africa and is also found in the vegetation surrounding stony clay flats on the Bokkeveld Mountains. Geissorhiza has 84 species that are endemic to South Africa, of which 83 occur in the Northern and Western Cape area. The genus Geissorhiza is a member of the family, Iridaceae (Iris Family) and was first described as a separate genus in 1803. 

The mature bulbs of G. splendidissima are the size of peas. The stem is velvety with narrow leaves. The adult plant grows to between 80–200 mm high. The colours of the flowers range from aqua-blue to dark purple-blue with a yellow to greenish-yellow centre, surrounded by black. The anthers are orange-brown. The seeds are small, fine and dark brown. Flowering is normally from late August to September. The seeds generally ripen on the plants and fall quite close to the parent plant, resulting in large colonies growing in damp areas. 

The genus name of Geissorhiza is derived from the Greek word, geisson, meaning tile, and rhiza, meaning roots. This is a reference to the regular overlapping of the sections of the covering of the bulb (corm) in most of the Geissorhiza species, much like tiles on a roof. The specific name, splendidissima, is from the Latin and means extremely splendid. 

Unfortunately, Geissorhiza splendidisima is listed on the Red Data List as Vulnerable, mainly due to loss of habitat due to farming.

Geissorhiza splendidissima blossom and bud
showing fingers of left hand in background
(Seeds by Post - Shopify)

This plant is actually not very large and has an almost fragile look about it. (see photo to the right) 

Actually, I was first attracted to photos of the flowers by both the colours of blue found in the petals and the way that some of them seem to be painted with high-gloss lacquer!  (see photo below)

Geissorhiza splendidissima blossom showing
sheen. (  -  ReiNoir)

Portions of text above taken from various Internet sources.


Well, Miss Suki was reasonably well behaved this past week; however, if I were to measure her behaviour on a "nuisance meter" numbered 1 - 10 with 10 being the worst behaviour and one being the best, I suspect that I would give Suki about a 7!!  
Suki -- when she's awake, she is always watching and
waiting -- waiting -- waiting ...
For some reason, Suki has become much more demanding in the mornings.  I mean, she is always worse in the mornings than any other time of day; however, in the past, she seemed to take more notice of my displeasure and try to avoid incurring it on a regular basis.

Of course, when you think it, you really can't blame Suki for her behaviour -- at least, I can't as I know full well what it is like to be confined with only the limited options of an enclosed space to provide you with entertainment and distraction.  I'm not referring to my current living situation as this confinement is the result of my own choice. 

I say I know what it is like because I still recall, vividly, my experience when, in my 20s, due to certain medical problems, I was required to spend 6 continuous weeks in the hospital.  After the first 48 hours, when most of the various medications given during the initial surgical procedure had drained out of my system, my meals became the highlight of my day.  Each morning I carefully completed my menu choices for the next day and waited with eager anticipation for each tray to be delivered.  It really wasn't that I was very hungry for the food and actually ate very little, but I was hungry for distraction and entertainment.  

Perhaps that is what it is like for Suki...  She is confined to a known space and the only real sources of entertainment she can expect each day are the appointed times when those food dishes are set down in front of her.  So, I find I really cannot get seriously upset with her.  I may yell loudly on occasion, but she knows that there is only bark and no bite.  True, I do not like being awakened at 5:30 a.m. when I was planning on getting up at 6 a.m.  It is only 30 minutes, but all of you reading this know how precious those 30 minutes can feel when you really want to get just a wee bit more sleep.

Of course, maybe I was just more aware of needing that extra sleep this past week because events conspired to make this past week an extra-difficult one for me.  It all started Tuesday morning when my trusty computer began to show signs of being seriously unstable. Let me explain...

On Tuesday morning, I discovered that my computer refused to stay on for more than 45 minutes at a time.  I could wait a few minutes, turn it back on, let it completely re-load and start using it again. However, within 35 to 45 minutes, it would suddenly and completely shut down once again.  I know that this is the sort of thing that can happen as the hard drive begins to fail and that the periods of time I would have access to my files would become shorter and shorter until finally nothing ... so I figured I had no alternative other than to buy a new computer.

Before making my purchase, I did talk with the computer "experts" at the store about getting their diagnosticians to take a look at my old computer.  I was told that while this was certainly an option, the results of such testing could take at least 10 to 14 days -- maybe longer.  Considering the age of my old computer and all the problems it already has, I decided that I purchasing a new one was the better option for me.

The store offers a free, in-home installation so after leaving them my external hard drive so that all my information from the old computer could be easily downloaded onto the new one, I went home expecting the computer to be delivered and set up the following afternoon.  Sadly, the following afternoon came and went without the arrival of my new computer.  I did receive numerous phone calls from the store apologizing for the delay. 

When I asked them why they were delayed, I was told that whoever was responsible for doing the downloading had not started the process until just about 1 and 1/2 hours prior to my appointment time of 2 p.m.  Only then did they start to believe my comments of the previous day regarding the huge number of files on my hard drive, many of which were large art files.

After three attempts to reschedule on Wednesday afternoon, it was finally decided that the computer delivery and installation would be scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.  And, thankfully, the young man arrived with my new computer the following afternoon at the appointed time.  All went well until I discovered that the Microsoft software that I have used over the past 20 years -- the software that was always, in the past, a part of the basic software provided with any new computer -- now must be purchased separately!  So, this meant more money for me to pay and another visit to schedule with the store.

My final appointment was scheduled for 9 a.m. yesterday, Saturday, and another nice, young man arrived promptly at 9 and stayed until everything was done to my satisfaction. All my software is now installed.  As well, after a lengthy conversation with my Internet provider, my email account is back open and functioning normally -- although I hope no one expects any answers to their emails of the past week any time soon!

I must say that it has been one of the strangest weeks in recent memory as it is the first time I have been without a computer for more years than I can recall at the moment.  It felt almost like there had been another death in my family. Fortunately, I am now once again part of the "computer generation" and, thus, am able to publish my Sunday blog posting as usual.  I will admit, however, that this is the only thing I have done on my new computer since I got it set up yesterday afternoon and it is likely to be the only thing I will do on my new computer until tomorrow.  I am still just too tired.

This is how I am feeling at the moment!

Wishing all my U.S. readers a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday and may they and all the rest of us have a safe and happy week.


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