Sunday, 20 August 2017

Lady's-Slipper, Rose and Other Repeats

"Cypripedium calceolus - Lady's-slipper Orchid", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017 rev.

From blog posting of November 8, 2015 (revised): 

Cypripedium calceolus, commonly known as Lady's-Slipper- Orchid, is a member of the Family, Orchidaceae. Other common names include Lady's Slipper, Slipper Orchid and Venus' Shoes. At one time it had a widespread distribution in Britain, almost every European country, including Russia, and the Far East. 

Typically found in open woodlands, its population declined over much of the European part of its range due to the shrinking of its habitat caused, particularly, by human clearance of the woodlands followed by the introduction of sheep. 

At present, it is a protected species in a number of countries. For example, in Great Britain, it was formerly widespread across northern England; however, by the late 20th century it had declined to just a single known plant. A reintroduction program for the Lady’s-Slipper-Orchid has led to a population of hundreds of plants in recent years.

The genus name of Cypripedium comes from two Greek words: Kypris (Venus) and podilon (sandal or slipper). The specific name of calceolus is taken from the Latin and means slipper.

"Rosa blanda - Meadow Rose", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017 rev.

Rosa blanda, commonly known as the meadow, wild or prairie rose, is a species of rose native to North America. Among roses, it comes closest to being a "thornless" rose, with just a few thorns at the base. The meadow rose occurs as a colony-forming shrub growing to 1 meter or more in height and occurring naturally in prairies and meadows. The roses are quite variable in appearance and can sometimes be confused with Rosa arkansana or Rosa carolina, the two prairie rose species. 

The species name comes from the Latin word blandus, meaning "flattering, caressing, alluring, tempting", probably referring to the beauty of the flowers. Blooming in early summer, the flowers are borne singly or in flower clusters from lateral buds. The flowers have five large petals which are roughly heart shaped. These are coloured pink to pinkish-white with a pleasant fragrance. The dark green leaves are compound with coarse teeth. The hips (fruits) are bright red and rich in vitamin C. 

Rosa blanda grows naturally in meadows, prairies and fields occurs on dry hillsides, roadsides, fence rows, in either sandy or rocky soil. The range of natural growth is from Quebec to Ontario, south to Kansas, and east to Missouri and Ohio. The “wild rose” of western Canada’s “wild rose country” is related.

"Tropaeolum majus - Garden Nasturtiums"drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017 rev.

"Poeticus recurvus -- Pheasant's-Eye Narcissus", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017 rev.

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


Here are a few new photos of "my boys" having a busy day on a summer weekend...

Having an "after-breakfast" lie-in watching a children's film
(this gives mom and dad a chance to get some house and garden work done!)

Celebrating Canada on a cool and rainy summer weekend

"Hey, big brother, I think a storm is coming!"

After another busy day, time to watch a TV show about sharks!



"I will not go to the vet.  I will not go to 
the vet.  I will not go to the vet."  (The
power of positive thinking.)
How do cats and dogs always learn to recognize the word "vet"? They may not appear to understand a lot, especially the word "no", but when it comes to the word "vet", they cannot hide the fact that they understand as they immediately begin to take evasive action!

So, if you receive an email with a petition attached asking for your signature, please read it carefully -- especially if it is from my email address and the subject heading is "People Against Taking Suki to the Vet".

I mean, I wouldn't put it past her to do something like that now that she has heard me talking on the telephone to the vet -- making an appointment for more blood to be taken from a vein in her leg on August 24th!  Poor kitty -- somehow, I don't think her petition or her positive thinking will work.  She will be going to the dreaded vet this coming Thursday.

We have got to see if this new food regimen has finally done the trick and lowered her calcium levels.  If we can't find some way to accomplish this, then poor Suki will be at great risk of developing kidney stones and/or kidney disease.  

Any of you who have been long-time followers will know that the cat who lived with me for many year prior to Suki's arrival (miz k.d.) died from kidney disease and I really don't want to go through that again. So, hopefully, this new regimen will have done the trick and I will be able to stop worrying.

Suki, by the way, appears to be feeling just fine these days, but you really can't go by that as cats are very good at hiding pain -- especially when the word "vet" is mentioned. Of course, if the current treatment is working, she would, quite naturally, be feeling a lot better. This next blood test should reveal the facts and I hope, whatever the test reveals, it will news that both Suki and I want to hear!

As for me, I continue to struggle with my ongoing issues. Sadly, however, every time I think things have gotten stable, something new crops up or something old gets worse. I suppose it is all part of getting old which, as you have probably heard, ain't for the faint of heart.

Actually, even though I continue to try to be positive about my various issues, it is becoming more difficult of late.  I think my eyes have a lot to do with it as they seem to be getting worse in spite of all the drops I am now using.  I suppose this means that I had better make another appointment with the ophthalmologist so that she can try to determine what is happening. Hopefully, it will be something easily fixed.

My next posting will be on the Sunday before Labour Day Monday, September 4th.  At the moment, here in Ontario, we are in the midst of our annual, end-of-summer celebration known as the Canadian National Exhibition.  This event, known locally as "The Ex", has been occurring here since 1879 when it was opened as a venue for displaying the latest in agriculture and technology.  Last year, over 1.5 million visitors attended the CNE.  I used to attend regularly back when I was able to walk with ease.  However, once I was required to use either a walker or a wheelchair, it all became too difficult so now I just enjoy seeing bits and pieces of the various events on the local news. 

Say "Goodbye to Summer" at the Canadian National Exhibition!  [Main entrance to the
CNE, the Princes' Gate, as the staff prepare for the arrival of the crowds who will suddenly appear on opening day.]

Hope you are all able to enjoy these final days of summer. Whatever the case may be, I wish you the very best in the days ahead.


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Lilium Repeats

"Lilium bulbiferum -- Orange Lily", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017 revision

From the blog posting of August 26, 2012:

Lilium bulbiferum -- commonly known as Orange Lily, Fire Lily or Tiger Lily -- is a herbaceous perennial plant with underground bulbs, belonging to the genus Lilium of the Liliaceae family. The specific name of bulbiferum is from the Latin, meaning "bearing bulbs" which refers to the secondary bulbs on the stem. 

Perennial lilies are native to the continental climate of the steppes, the Mediterranean countries, south-east Europe and central Asia. However, they have "escaped" from gardens in countries with similar climates worldwide and can now be said to be established in many other places. Evidently, according to people who know these things, this is one of the easiest lilies to grow. 

In Japan, it is cultivated in large quantities for the edible bulb which is described as tasting something like a sweet potato!

"Lilium martagon -- Martagon Lily", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017 revision

From blog posting of October 17, 2012:

Lilium martagon (Martagon or Turk's-cap lily) is a true species of lily. It is of the Family, Liliaceae, and the genus Lilium. It has a widespread native region extending from eastern France east through northern Asia to Mongolia and Korea.  However, just like the Orange Lily, they have "escaped" from gardens in countries with similar climates worldwide and can now be said to be established in many other places.  

The name, Turk's-cap, comes from the characteristic reflexed shape of the petals. The specific epithet, martagon, is a Turkish word which means turban or cap.

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


"Why do people have to bother me
when I am trying to sleep?"
Good news!  Suki suddenly decided that this new food I had purchased for her was not so very bad after all. Of course, it may simply have been hunger which drove her back to this particular wet food.  

Whatever the cause, I am very grateful that she changed her mind. I am now back to feeding her at the regular times and she still has this new dry food to snack on between meals. Interestingly, she is also now drinking more water than ever. For the first time since she came to live with me all those years ago, she actually uses her water bowl several times a day.  Wonders never cease!

Otherwise, she seems to be feeling fine and staying slim.  I will still have to take her back to the vet at the end of August for another blood test. Hopefully, the results will reveal that the calcium level in her blood has decreased.  This would mean that these new, expensive foods are finally doing the trick.

As for me, I continue to have the same issues which I continue to deal with in the usual ways.  I am, thankfully, no worse.  I haven't had any medical appointments since my last posting; although, I do have a couple coming up before this new month is over.  In fact, I think I have one scheduled for the week ahead.

Of course, here in Ontario, tomorrow, Monday, is a holiday.  It is now listed simply as a "Civic Holiday", but, originally, it was known in Toronto as Simcoe Day in honour of John Graves Simcoe, Upper Canada's (as the area of what is now Ontario was known at that time) first lieutenant governor and the man who initiated the abolition of slavery in Canada. The Act went into effect in July of 1793 and remained in effect until August 24, 1833, when Britain's Slavery Abolition Act put an end to slavery in most of the empire. Toronto City Council established the civic holiday in honour of Simcoe in 1869.  There are only 5 provinces in which the first Monday of August is a holiday and Ontario just happens to be one of them.  

As usual on statutory holidays, I will stay at home and enjoy my air conditioning!  I am too old and have too much pain to be trying to sit on picnic-table benches or lawn chairs, swatting at mosquitoes while trying not to inhale any fumes from the barbecuing!

There is one special event that occurs during this long weekend every year, which I would attend -- something I did attend when I still young and active -- and that is the Caribana Parade.  The celebration called Caribana has been regular part of the Toronto experience for 50 years now. It begins in late July and ends on the 1st Monday of August. Caribana celebrates the peoples, music and cultures of all the Caribbean nations including Guyana.  Below is a photo from the Parade taken from Caribana Facebook page. 

So, whatever you are doing in the weeks ahead, holidays or no holidays, I hope you will be happy and safe.  Remember, please be kind to one another, to the earth and to all its creatures.

"Fawn Fast Asleep", drawing by
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011