|"Linum lewisii -- Blue Flax", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2018|
Linum lewisii, commonly known as blue flax or prairie flax, is a perennial plant in the family Linaceae. It is native to western North America from Alaska south through western Canada and on down to Baja California. It is also found growing as far east as the prairies of Manitoba and the western shore of the Mississippi River. It is a hardy plant which can be found on ridges and dry slopes from sea level up to 11,000 ft.
Blue flax grows up to 18-20 inches in height. It rarely stands straight up, but rather leans at an angle. Flowers are pale blue, with 5 petals veined in darker blue. The yellow center has 5 styles that are about as long as the 5 stamens. Each stem produces several flowers, blooming from the bottom upward. The seeds are produced on the lower flowers while those above continue to bloom. Flowers open in early morning and usually close by noon. The stem is leafy when the plant is young, gradually losing most of its leaves as it matures. The medium-green leaves are spirally arranged and somewhat narrow.
The genus name, Linum, is taken from the Latin and means “flax” or “linen”. The specific name of lewisii is used in honour of Meriwether Lewis, the European explorer who first documented this plant for Europeans.
|"Iris versicolour -- Blue Flag", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2018 rev.|
"Posted to Blog on 2 March 2009 (revised):
It is interesting to me how often I feel attracted to the idea of drawing or sketching something and only later, as I am working on it, do I recall the memories that it brings to mind -- my hand recalls the memories before my mind does. This first sketch of Blue Flags is a good example.
I recently saw a picture of some Blue Flags on a wildflower web page and said "yes" I need to draw that. As I worked on the sketch, I begin to recall all the times I had seen these flowers growing wild and how much the sight of them always pleased me.
When I was growing up, I called these Wild Iris and it wasn't until I started using a field guide to wildflowers that I learned they were properly called Blue Flags. When I was still in my twenties, I even did a watercolour of these flowers which I named "Wild Iris" (see image below)."
|"Blue Flag Watercolour 1968", by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer|
As noted above, Iris versicolour is commonly known as blue flag. It is a species of Iris native to North America and is found growing wild in Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States. It is usually found in sedge meadows, marshes and along stream banks. The specific epithet, versicolour, means "variously coloured".
One of Iris versicolour’s more unusual names is “Poison Iris”. This is because the species has been implicated in several poisoning cases of humans and animals who consumed the “blubs” which have been found to contain the glycoside, iridin.
Portions of the above text were taken from various Internet sources.
SUKI AND SALLIE
|Undercover Agent Exposed!|
Poor Suki has been having a very difficult time. Not only has she had to deal with our extreme cold weather alerts (which seem to be over for the time being), but she has also been dealing with increased pain.
As is common with cats, along with many other animals, Suki has kept her increasing pain hidden from me. It wasn't until this past Thursday when I reached out to brush something off her fur near her hips that I finally discovered just how bad it had gotten. As I put just the lightest of touches on her fur, Suki attacked my hand!
Suki has always been one of those cats who never showed any signs of unpredictability or a liking to seriously attack my hands or feet. So, when this attack happened, I knew immediately that she must be suffering from really serious pain.
I immediately put in a call to the vet who, after listening to my story, prescribed pain medication. I had it delivered to me by taxi and began using it at Suki's very next feeding time (it has to be taken with food). I know it will take a few days before there is a therapeutic level in her system; however, it does seem to be helping already. For example, I noticed yesterday that she is no longer hesitating so long prior to jumping up into her favourite chair.
Poor kitty. I had no idea she was suffering so very much. I will have to be much more attentive in the future in order to try to determine if the pain is continuing to worsen even with the use of this medication.
I have had visits from a couple of dear friends over the past two weeks along with my regular encounters with Joycelyn and my dear neighbour, Sharon. I have a couple of medical appointments scheduled during the next two weeks; however, the are, as usual, simply follow-up appointments. So things are looking fairly quiet for me which means I will have even more time for reading books!
Speaking of reading books, I recall, as a teenager, frequently visiting one of my many great-aunts. I simply called her Aunt Tal. She lived with her unmarried daughter -- a lovely, intelligent woman who gave up her career to take care of her mother. Every time we arrived at their home, the daughter, my cousin, would be reading another book. Even though their home was filled with bookshelves, the chair in which my cousin was sitting would be surrounded by stacks of books waiting to be read. I recall being envious of the fact that she had the time and opportunity to do nothing but read and now I have that opportunity myself -- so long as my poor, old, glaucoma-affected eyes don't give out on me!
I sincerely hope all of you are able to enjoy activities that bring you pleasure as well.
I want to wish all of my readers, who actively participate in any form of Christianity that observes Lent, a holy and blessed Lenten season. As well, I want to wish all my readers from the Far East prosperity and good fortune at the beginning of the Year of the Dog.
Above all, I want to wish each and every one of you the gift of compassion in this time of so much local and global violence and hate.
May peace be with you.