My BIL, Stewart, hails from Aberdeen, although he has lived here in Tasmania for many years. His birthday party was held at the home of one of his daughters, in Lenah Valley.
Unknown to him, his sister had flown from a wintery Scotland, met up with her own daughter in Sydney, and then both travelled down to Hobart to surprise him at his lunch party...it was such a lovely surprise for him, he didn't stop smiling all day! (I should think that he probably still is).
Today is my sister in laws birthday. She is celebrating with a special lunch but unfortunately I was not able to attend. I am sure her day will be lovely and I will hear about it from my brother later. I made her a card and sent it to her courtesy of my brother...
I needed to look up plants significant to this little land-locked country and decided to use the Gloriosa superba, (that sounds like a spell from Hogwarts, rather), as this is their National flower.
The flame lily is a member of the crocus family. It is a deciduous, summer-growing climber up to 1.5 m tall, with tuberous roots and leaves with delightful little tendrils that cling to other plants as it grows.
All parts of the plant are extremely poisonous, containing colchicine. The plant is toxic to grazing animals although one of the articles I read reported that the tubers can be eaten by porcupines.
Despite the toxicity of the plant, it is a widely used and very effective medicinal plant. I was rather shocked to read that the juice of the tuber is often used to relieve toothache...I think it would have to be a very bad toothache indeed before I put this lethal juice anywhere near my mouth! One would have to know what one was about...but it seems to be very effective in treating a wide range of ailments in both people and animals, with the bright red seeds being used in jewellery.
I was also interested to read that it is listed as in invasive weed here in Australia, in both New South Wales and Queensland, where the climate must suit it rather too well. Someone has let it escape...also in many islands in the South Pacific. It is obviously a very resilient plant
I have been working on a process for drawing and colouring my inchies that will allow me to have better control...I decided to try drawing and colouring the image in a three inch square rather than struggling with the inch square I have been limiting myself to so far, then scanning the image and printing it as an inchie.
The flower detail is probably a little lost in the small digital image...it is not too bad actually, when one has it in one's hand. For example, the green of the stem is a bit darkened by the scanning, reprinting and photographing process, but at least I can achieve far better detail and don't find creating the image nearly as frustrating...I am no miniaturist, obviously...but I will see how this pans out in coming weeks.
I was much better pleased with this drawing than previous ones, mainly because I had some lovely new pencils to use for the colouring.
Ann is an artist who does some amazing pieces, she concentrates mainly now on animals. You can see some of her work at Snoring Dog Studio. She had been cleaning out little used supplies and visited to bring me some items she no longer needed. I am so lucky, aren't I?
Having relied on tank water for many years, I do know how important it is to conserve this commodity, wherever we live.
I had better trot...I believe I have a cuppa waiting. Don't forget to check out the other Zimbabwean inchies...
Bye for now,