Sunday, 6 November 2016

Lilium catesbaei - Catesby’s Pine Lily

"Lilium catesbaei -- Catesby’s Pine Lily", drawing by 
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the pine tree and mixed growth forests of Alabama -- the kinds of trees that surrounded the home where I spent most of my growing-up years.  As I recall the many happy hours I spent out in those woods, I also remember all the creatures I saw and the many wild flowers I found.  One of those wild flowers was the Pine Lily -- always easy to recognize with its bright orange colour and the backward-curving petals. 

Lilium catesbaei, commonly known as Pine Lily or Catesby's lily, is native to the wet pine woods and savannas throughout the southeastern United States, usually found growing in damp areas from Louisiana to Virginia. 

Lilium catesbaei requires hot, wet, acidic soil inhospitable to most other lily species. Producing a single flower, it blooms from late spring until late in the year – depending on the geographic location. The flower is upright with 6 tepals (petals and sepals that look very similar). The tepals are curved backward and are bright orange toward the tip, yellow with purplish-brown-spots toward the base. 

It is resident to open habitats that routinely become very wet to saturated during the summer rainy season -- places such as the flat pine woods of north Florida, south Georgia and south Alabama. This species is primarily pollinated by a native species of swallowtail butterfly. Loss of their specific habitat is the principal threat to the species.

The genus name, Lilium, is Latin for “lily”. The specific name of, catesbaei, is derived from the name of Mark Catesby, an 18th century English naturalist and botanical collector.

If I still had the ability to paint these flowers on a canvas, I would be able to show you what it really looks like when you come across one or two of these lilies as you are walking through the shade of a pine tree forest.  The colours are so bright that they seem to have a light within, brightening up the shadows like a candle flame. 

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


Suki playing with two of her favourite "mice"!
Well, Miss Suki did something this week that she hasn't done for over a year now: She went into her toy basket, pulled out two of her favourite toy mice and began to push and chase them around the apartment!

Truly, I watched her in amazement as she pushed one of the toy mice along the hardwood floor with just enough force to make it slightly slide under the sofa.  Next, she begin walking alongside the sofa, casually strolling past the place where the toy mouse was "hiding".  Then, just as she reached the location of the hidden mouse, she would turn quickly, stick both front paws under the sofa and pull out the hapless mouse. Grabbing the poor stuffed mouse by her teeth, she then proceeded to shake the mouse so vigorously that I thought the tail would surely fly off!

She begin playing this way on Tuesday morning and has continued to do so almost every day since.  True, her play times only last for about 20 minutes a day, but when you compare that to all the months she has been so inactive -- in too much pain to even jump up onto some of her favourite chairs -- then I think this is pretty amazing.

I am not sure if there has been a bit of healing of her ruptured ligament or if the pain medication is suddenly working better, but, whatever is going on, I do hope it continues.  Until Suki begin feeling better this week, I had not realized how much I was struggling with her each day as I watched her painfully trying to maneuver herself from the floor to the seat of a chair so that she could settle down for one of her much-needed naps.

If these signs of decreased pain continue then I will ask the vet about the possibility of decreasing Suki's medication.  I will keep you informed of Miss Suki's progress in this important matter.


As for keeping you informed about my progress, I will say that this past week has been a bit easier for me as well.  I think I have fully recovered now from my reaction to the flu shot and I do not seem to be any worse for the experience.

I am grateful for the emails I received regarding my comments about my health in last week's blog posting.  You are all very gracious and I thank you for your kind words.

The general consensus seems to be that if I am not well enough to post weekly, then I should continue to post only when I am able -- maybe once every two weeks or once a month.  This makes perfect sense.  

This solution, however, is complicated by my own desire to lose myself each day in some kind of art work. When I am able to do this, I, obviously, end up drawing something.  Every drawing, remember, involves my taking time to research the object I am trying to create. So, by the time I finish, I have all this information, along with the completed drawing AND the desire to share this with my friends.  The easiest way to do this is to publish it in my blog.

I have been able to keep myself from posting more than once a week for several years now, but I really don't know if I could cut back even more.  The only thing that will slow me down or stop me, I think, is when my hands are no longer able to create the pictures I see in my head.  

So, for the time being, I am going to try to continue to post a weekly drawing along with a bit of news about Suki.  I have, however, decided to stop posting the Sunday gospel with an appropriate drawing. This way, I will have one less piece of art work to try to complete each week.

Wishing you all a good week...


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