Sunday, 12 November 2017

Enkianthus, Magnolia and One Revision

"Enkianthus campanulatus - Redvein Enkianthus", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

Enkianthus campanulatus, commonly called Redvein Enkianthus, is an upright, deciduous shrub which typically grows 6-8’ tall. It is native to open woodlands in Japan. 

Small, bell-shaped, nodding, creamy-yellow to whitish-pink flowers with pink striping and edging appear in pendulous clusters in late spring. Individual flowers resemble those of the genus, Pieris, another plant native to Asia. 

Medium-green leaves are crowded near the branch ends. Fall color is variable, but, at its best, features striking red foliage with tones of orange, yellow and purple. The genus name, Enkianthus, comes from the Greek words enkyos meaning pregnant and anthos meaning flower in reference to the rounded base of each flower. The species name, campanulatus, comes from a Latin word meaning bell-shaped. 

There are a number of cultivars of Enkianthus campanulatus. ‘Red Bells’ is probably the best known of these.

"Magnolia macrophylla -- Big-leaf Magnolia", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2017

Magnolia macrophylla, commonly called Big-leaf Magnolia, is noted for its huge leaves (up to 30 inches long) which are the largest simple leaves of any tree indigenous to North America. Leaves are green above and silvery-gray below. It is a member of the family Magnoliaceae

In the southeastern United States, especially Alabama and surrounding areas, Magnolia macrophylla is sometimes called the "cowcumber magnolia," in contrast with the much smaller-leaved, cucumber-tree magnolia, Magnolia acuminata

This unusual tree is rarely found in the wild, being limited mainly to a few rich, wooded areas in river valleys and ravines in the southeastern United States. It is a pyramidal tree that develops a spreading rounded crown with age, typically growing 30-40’ tall. 

Fragrant, large, cup-shaped flowers, 8-10” wide, bloom in May/June. Flowers are white with a hint of rose-purple at the petal bases. Although quite large, the flowers are often located so far off the ground that they are not always easy to see close up. Flowers give way to spherical cone-like fruits which are red in colour at maturity. 

The genus name, Magnolia, honors Pierre Magnol, French botanist (1638-1715). The specific name, macrophylla, is from the Greek words macro meaning "large" and phyllon meaning "very large leaf".

"Lotus maculatus -- Parrot's Beak", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, rev. 2017

Blog posting of 21 July 2010 (revised): 

Lotus maculatus, known as Parrot's Beak in English or Pico de Paloma in Spanish, is a beautiful wildflower native to Tenerife. It gets its common name from the flower petals that are curved upward and resemble a parrot's beak. Lotus maculatus is almost extinct in the wild but is still surviving in gardens and parks. 

The genus name of Lotus is taken from the Latin, lôtus (from the Greek λωτός) and means “bathed” or “washed”. The specific name of maculatus comes from the Latin and means “spotted” or “stained”. 

These lovely flowers have great difficulty producing seed pods. “It has been suggested in Wikipedia that the endangered species of Parrot's Beak were pollinated by bird species that have themselves died out, although other sources say this is not true because there are birds such as the Chiff Chaff, which can pollinate the flowers.” Whatever the case may be, eventually, these plants may be entirely dependent on humans for their survival!

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


Suki watches to make certain that I am awake
and just about to get out of bed
You have no idea how much I dislike this time change business.  

I know it may benefit certain people (I am not sure who they are); however, it certainly makes life difficult for me.  Why?  Because of Suki, of course!

Suki does not understand "Spring forward and Fall back".  So, now, when the clock reads 4:30 a.m., Suki is still convinced that it is really 5:30 a.m.  This means it is time to start awakening me to ensure that she gets her food, promptly, at 5 a.m which Suki believes is really 6 a.m.  

Sadly, it will take a while (probably another week) before I will be able to get her retrained.  Meanwhile, I am now, too often, ending up being fully awake at 5 a.m. thanks to my "cat alarm clock"! 

However, other than losing about an hour's sleep each night, I am doing reasonably well.  While I am certainly not getting any better, I am, at least for the moment, stable.  In other words, for now, at least, I am not getting any worse.

As you no doubt are aware, yesterday was Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the USA).  However, today, along with lots of other folks, I am still "remembering" from yesterday.  I salute all our veterans, living and deceased, with gratitude for their many sacrifices.

Thoughts about Remembrance Day reminded me of a drawing I did back in 2007 or 2008 -- back when our soldiers were still fighting in Afghanistan (see below).  I was inspired to make the drawing by a news photo -- a photo that showed that even in the violence of war, we humans can, often, exhibit kindness and gentleness.  

"A Moment of Kindness in the Midst of War", drawing by 
Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2007, rev. 2017

By the time I post again, my American family and friends will have celebrated their Thanksgiving Day (23rd of November) and we will all be very much closer to the beginning of December -- a month full of special events (including my birthday!).

Until my next posting, I wish all of you much happiness and joy.



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