Sunday, 19 March 2017

Trillium -- Ozark Wake Robin

"Trillium pusillum var. ozarkanum -- Ozark Wake Robin"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

Trillium pusillum var. ozarkanum is commonly known as Ozark Wake Robin. It is a woodland Trillium which blooms from April to early May. Ozark Wake Robin inhabits cherty (rocky soils containing quartz and silica) soils in oak-pine and oak-hickory woodlands. This species of Trillium is found in Kentucky, Tennessee, the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas and southern Missouri. Ozark Wake Robin is threatened by the loss of habitat as a result of logging, land conversion and improper use of herbicides. 

Ozark Wake Robin differs from the other representatives of Trillium by its stalked flowers with white to pinkish-white petals that darken to rose-pink as they mature. Its flowers consist of three petals above three green sepals. The slender, solitary stems are dark green with a purplish tinge near the ground. Its three leaves grow around the stem in a circle. Leaves are dull or grass green. They are blunt or rounded at the tips. A single flower blooms at the end of a short stalk above the circle of leaves. 

 The genus name of Trillium comes from the Latin for “three” and “lily” in reference to the three leaves and three-petal flowers on each plant and the members of the genus being part of the Lily family (Liliaceae). The species name, pusillum, comes from the Latin and means little or small. While “ozarkanum” is the Latinized form of Ozark, of course.

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


"Is this a brotherly hug or the beginning of a wrestling match?"
(still taken from video, March, 2017)



Suki sitting and wondering when she is going to feel better
Well, Suki is unwell once more.  It all began a week ago, Saturday.  Actually, both of us were sick last Saturday; however, by Sunday, I had recovered sufficiently to begin to really worry about Suki.

By the beginning of the week, I was determined to take her to the vet and made an appointment.  Then, suddenly, she appeared to be feeling much better!  So, I cancelled the vet appointment expecting to see continuing improvement. Suki, however, has not really improved any more at all.  So, now, I am thinking about making another vet appointment in the morning. 

Meanwhile, I continue to worry and have been searching all over the Internet to see if I can find her exact symptoms listed.  So far all I have done is frighten myself by reading descriptions of terrible and fatal cat diseases!

As for me, Suki has been my biggest worry.  My own problem fade into insignificance when compared to the possibility that Suki might have some terrible disease.  She is probably going to be just fine, but until I know that for certain, I will continue to worry.

During the past two weeks, I have had a couple of visits from friends (which were very enjoyable) as well as some delightful telephone conversations. Tomorrow morning I have one of those lengthy eye exams at St. Michael's Hospital.  Thankfully, our extreme cold weather alert has now ended and I expect the temperature to be just above freezing -- a warm day for this time of year in Toronto!

Wishing you all a belated St. Patrick's Day although Toronto is holding its annual St. Patrick's Day Parade this afternoon.  Anyway, here is the St. Patrick's Day drawing of Suki that I posted a couple of years ago.  Enjoy once again!

"Suki Celebrates St. Patrick's Day", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Aquilegia caerulea - Columbine

"Aquilegia caerulea -- Columbine", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

Aquilegia saximontana *
Aquilegia caerulea is a species of flower native to the Rocky Mountains from Montana south to New Mexico and west to Idaho and Arizona. Its common name is Colorado Blue Columbine. Frequently, it is called "Rocky Mountain Columbine", although, technically, this name properly refers to Aquilegia saximontana (see photo above, right, in which you can see the differences between Rocky Mountain Columbine and Aquilegia caerulea -- notice particularly the difference between the calyx of the A. saximontana and those of A. caerulea in my drawing).

Aquilegia caerulea is an herbaceous perennial plant growing to 20–60 cm tall. The flowers are very variable in color, from pale blue to white, pale yellow and pinkish. Very commonly the flowers are bicolored, with the sepals a different shade to the petals. The five points that stick out further than the petals are all part of the calyx of all the Genus Aquilegia blossoms. Compound, medium green leaves with lobed and deeply-cleft leaflets somewhat suggestive of meadow rue. 

The genus name, Aquilegia, comes from the Latin, aquila, which means "eagle" and refers to the spurred petals that are suggestive of an eagle’s talons. The specific epithet, caerulea, comes from the Latin and means "dark blue". The name "columbine", by which most members of the genus are commonly known, is derived from the Latin "columba," meaning "dove," since the upside-down blooms were thought to look like a circle of doves around a fountain.

*By Ghislain118 (AD) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
**Much of the above text was taken from various Internet sources.



Found this on Facebook and thought immediately of Suki!
(I added my own cat picture).

A big event coming up this week: Suki's appointment with the vet! Since March 8th is her birthday, I decided that would be a good date for such an appointment.  Actually, the last time the vet prescribed Suki's pain medication, she told me that she wanted to see Suki again before prescribing any more of the stuff.  So... I finally made an appointment... mainly since I am just about to run out of Suki's medicine!  I will let you know how it goes.

As for me, I continue to manage to find ways of keeping the pain from becoming too overwhelming. Thus, one day follows another filled with my distraction techniques, medication and Suki.

I will return with another drawing in a fortnight.  Here's hoping the next couple of weeks will be filled with good things for us all.