Sunday, 25 June 2017

One New, Two Repeats

"Ixia viridiflora -- Turquoise Ixia", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

Ixia viridiflora, also known as Turquoise Ixia, is a member of the Iris family. It is native to only particular areas of the Cape Province in South Africa and it is a very rare plant. Its habitats are continuing to be destroyed by human activity so, sadly, its conservation status is now listed as “Vulnerable” in the Red Data Book, and is likely to be upgraded to “Endangered” in the near future. 

Turquoise Ixia gets its name from the really spectacular blue-green turquoise colour of the flowers. Turquoise is a rare colour for flowers. These lovely blossoms are grouped in long rows and are traditionally star-shaped. They have a black-purple centre. This flower is pollinated by specific scarab beetles known as monkey beetles. 

It is said that Linnaeus derived the name for the genus, Ixia, from an old Greek name for a plant noted for the variability of its flower colour. The species name viridiflora is from the Latin and means "green-flowered".

"Impatiens niamniamensis - Congo cockatoo", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

As posted 5 November 2009:

There is a species of Impatiens that is one of the most unusual members of the genus and that is the type pictured above. Its name is Impatiens niamniamensis, commonly known as Congo Cockatoo or Parrot Plant. This shrub, native to tropical East Africa, is of the Family, Balsaminaceae

These truly fantastic flowers are said, by some, to look like parrots. One commentator has said that they actually remind her more of candy corn! I think I agree with her as I really do like candy corn! The stems of this shrub can get so thick that after a while, the whole plant looks like a dark, tropical tree. 

The genus name of Impatiens is from the Latin and refers to the seed pod's habit of bursting open when touched. The species name of niamniamensis means of or from Niam-Niam (a 19th century name used by Europeans for central Africa -- a name which is now considered pejorative).

"Eustoma russellianum - Prairie Gentian", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

As posted 9 July 2012:

Eustoma represents a genus of 3 species belonging to the family Gentianaceae and can be found in the warm areas of Texas, Mexico, the Caribbean and northern South America. They thrive in grasslands and places of disturbed ground. 

Eustoma grandiflorum is one of the best known of the species and is valued because of the large number of cultivars that have been developed from this species. The cultivated plant is frequently listed as Lisianthus. In North America the common names include Texas Bluebell or Prairie Gentian. As well, the cultivars have been developed in colours such as white and pink. 

The meaning of Eustoma (eu = beautiful, good....stoma = mouth) is good tasting or well spoken, but in the case of this plant it may mean "beautiful mouth" referring to the extraordinary colors of the flower as you look down into its "funnel" shape. The species name of grandiflorum is from the Latin and is used as a scientific name to indicate a flower with large blooms.

Most of the above text is taken from various Internet sources.


"Suki Daydreaming"
Photo by Amra, 2017
Well, Suki continues to behave as though she is feeling quite fine. So far I haven't seen any indications of unusual lethargy or discomfort.  In fact, she seems, on occasion, to be feeling better than she has for some time. Perhaps this expensive, low-calcium diet the vet has her on is really making a difference.

At any rate, I plan to take Suki to the vet some time in the next couple of weeks so that she can take more blood from the poor kitty.  I will then pay the $300 this specialized blood test costs and wait to see if the results of this second test show any improvement over the results of the prior test.  Please join me in keeping your fingers crossed! 

As for me, I, too, continue to do reasonably well -- all things considered. My eyes are still causing me discomfort; however, until the doctor finds a medication that consistently controls the ocular pressure, I suspect things will remain a bit uncomfortable.

I have been very fortunate to have had friends visiting this past week.  In fact, I had visitors on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  It has been quite wonderful to see some of my friends again and catch up on the news.

I have also have several medical appointments over the past two weeks and have still more appointments in the weeks ahead.  I'm uncertain as to why I suddenly have a batch of doctors visits here at mid-year -- must have something to do with needing follow-up appointments every six months.


Between now and the time I post again, we will be celebrating Canada Day here in my country.  This year's celebration is a somewhat special celebration for all the immigrants (that includes me) to this country as it is 150 years since the federation of Canadian provinces was first established [the Dominion of Canada, as per the British North America Act of 1867 that unified the provinces (Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick)]. 

Of course, the indigenous peoples in this great land look with something of disapproval on these celebrations and who can blame them!  After all, this land had been their country for hundreds of thousands of years before the European invasion began in the early 1600s.

At any rate, we will be celebrating and, as you may recall, I prepared for this celebration by doing a drawing of the Canada 150 Tulip some months ago.  This is the tulip produced by the bulb that the kind folks of the Netherlands cultivated for us in honour of our celebration.  (see below)

"Canada's Tulip -- 150 Years, July, 2017", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2016

"Canada Tulip 150" blooming in
St. James' Park, downtown Toronto
Photo by Mercedes
One amusing thing regarding these tulips occurred after masses of the bulbs were planted across the country.  When they burst into bloom this spring, a surprising number of them had orange petals instead of the desired red and white! Fortunately, the majority of the bulbs bloomed in the appropriate colours as you can see in the photo above taken by a friend of mine back in the spring of this year as she passed by St. James' Park.

So, I wish you all a very happy Canada Day, a happy 4th of July (USA) and a happy International Gay and Lesbian Pride Day. Celebrate and enjoy! 


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