Sunday, 9 July 2017

Two Kalanchoe Repeats and a Primula

"Kalanchoe blossfeldiana -- Flaming Katy",  drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

From my blog posting of 05 October 2010:

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is a member of the family, Crassulaceae. The plants in the genus, Kalanchoe, are succulents of the same family as the Jade plant. Common names for this plant include Flaming Katy and Christmas Kalanchoe The Christmas name refers to the fact that Kalanchoe blossfeldiana is often purchased at Christmastime – particularly, the variety which has bright, reddish/orange blossoms such as those in the featured drawing above. 

These plants are native to Madagascar. They produce clusters of small flowers above dark green, waxy leaves. The flowers of four petals each are found in many colours including red, white, orange, yellow and pink. Parts of Kalanchoe blossfeldiana are poisonous if ingested. 

The generic name of Kalanchoe allegedly originated "from the Chinese name for one variety of this species." The specific name of blossfeldiana is derived from the name of the German botanist (Robert Blossfeld) who introduced this species to the West in 1932.

"Kalanchoe (Bryophyllum) manginii - Beach Bells", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

Kalanchoe (Bryophyllum) manginii is a species of flowering plant in the family, Crassulaceae, native to Madagascar. It is commonly known as Beach Bells or Chandelier Plant. 

As regards this plant’s binomial nomenclature, there are two camps – one using Kalanchoe manginii while the other uses Bryophyllum manginii. The generic name of Kalanchoe allegedly originated "from the Chinese name for one variety of this species." The generic name of Bryophyllum is derived from the Greek bryo (sprout) and phyllon (leaf), referring to the ability of the plant to propagate via leaf cuttings. The specific name of manginii, is used to honour Louis Mangin (1852-1937), professor at the Natural History Museum of Paris. 

Kalanchoe manginii is a succulent perennial, it has branches of fleshy, narrow, spoon-shaped leaves paired along wiry red-tinged stems. Small clusters of bright pinkish-red, bell-shaped flowers with protruding yellow anthers dangle from the stem tips in spring.

"Primula japonica - Japanese Primrose", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

Primula japonica, commonly known as Japanese Primrose or Candelabra Primrose, is a species of flowering plant in the family, Primulaceae, and is native to Japan. 

Primula japonica produces whorls of blossoms, suggestive of candelabras, emerging from rosettes of dark green leaves. This species, and its cultivars, features flowers in a range of shades, from white through pink, to purple. 

The genus name of Primula is taken from the Latin word “prime”, meaning first (blooming). The specific name of japonica, means, obviously, something of or from the country of Japan.

Portions of the above three texts were taken from various Internet sites.


I recently received a bunch of wonderful new photos of the boys taken, mainly, I think, by their mother.  She has taken many excellent photos, but one from this recent batch, to me, seemed outstanding in its simplicity and beauty.  

“ Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.” – Marc Brown.
Brothers walking down the road of life, hand in hand.



"Why are you bothering me?  Can't you see that I am
engaged in very important work here?"
-- Suki
Poor Suki!  She, once again, had to suffer the indignity of attending the vet and having blood taken. Since she had been fasting from the night before, I was grateful that I was able to get her an early morning appointment.

The vet's first attempt to take blood from the large vein in her left leg was unsuccessful so she tried the same vein in her right leg and this time she was successful. Ever-patient Suki was very concerned about the pressure bandage that the vet put on her left leg to stop the bleeding. Fortunately, it was taken off after a few minutes as Suki was in danger of tipping herself off the examination table as she tried, unsuccessfully, to dislodge the pressure wrapping from her leg.

Finally, all was completed and, with Joycelyn's assistance, I managed to return home with a reasonably-subdued kitty, 2 cases of her special low-calcium wet food and a big bag of her low-calcium "crunchies".  Fortunately, we had a very helpful taxi driver who assisted us in get everything into the lobby of my building.

As soon as we reached my apartment, I opened the carrying case so that Suki could be free again.  She was out in an instant and then begin to meow, loudly telling me how hungry she was. So, I left everything else and set about feeding her as she had been fasting for well over fifteen hours prior by this time.  

Suki was delighted to see food again and ate greedily until I finally took the bowl away from her and suggested she digest what she had eaten before having any more food.  She must have already eaten her fill as she promptly left the kitchen, jumped into her favourite chair, gave herself a good bath -- especially where the vet had been working on her and then settled down for a long nap before lunch time! 

Now I will have to wait for at least a week before the lab results are in as these samples, once again, have to be sent to a special lab somewhere.  I hope everyone is still keeping their fingers crossed that the results will be good news.

As for me, I continue to be about the same as last reported.  I did have a few very painful days last week, but the pain was the price I paid for giving into my desire to see a certain exhibit at the Ontario Art Gallery.

The AGO has been hosting an exhibition of the works of the painter, Georgia O'Keefe, along with photos by some of the important photographers in her life, including:  Alfred Stieglitz (whom she eventually married), Paul Strand and Edward Steichen. I have admired O'Keefe's work for years now and it was quite wonderful see her actual canvases along with the photos taken of her by various well-known photographers.

Of course, after all the walking, including standing and looking at all those paintings for over two hours, my feet and legs felt as though they were on fire.  So for the next 48 hours or so, I was most uncomfortable and even with my pain meds, barely able to distract myself or sleep at all.  

I knew that the price I would have to pay for attending the exhibit was going to be a period of discomfort, but I didn't realize that it would last for so long! Anyway, I am better now and well aware that the next time I want to do something like this then I will just have to set my pride aside and rent a wheelchair for the occasion. 

I did have a very pleasant Canada Day on the July 1st (below, please see the drawing I posted on Facebook for Canada Day). Hope all my Canadian readers had a good holiday as well, including my American readers on the 4th.  While it is good to be proud of our countries and to remember all the fine people who have gone before us and whose sacrifices brought our nation into existence, I feel we all need to be careful these days to avoid nationalist fervour and jingoistic thinking.  

Most of us in North America are all immigrants of one kind or another -- other than the Indigenous peoples, of course. Newly arrived immigrants have as much right to be here as we do and, if we are really honest about it, we know that our countries need new people with new ways of thinking and new approaches to creating a better life for everyone.  I also think it is good to remember as we celebrate that many of our ancestors were crooks, scoundrels and such like -- some were even illegal immigrants.  Yet, look how positively many of our family members, over the generations, have contributed to our various countries and cultures.

Enough preaching -- I do get carried away at times, don't I.... 

Anyway, until I post again in two weeks time, things should be fairly quiet for me and Suki (unless we get bad news from the vet, that is).  I do have a few more medical appointments scheduled but they are all just follow-up appointments.  Additionally, I am hoping to hear soon about when I can next visit my two favourite little boys and their parents. 

So, until next time, take care and remember to keep your fingers crossed that there will be good news for Suki!

"Indigenous Dancer", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, rev. 2017


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