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Good morning from a cool but sunny spring day in Hastings.
I found these photos taken last autumn which are perfect for Cee’s challenge at Cee’s Photographyceenphotography.com I love the contrast of the strong orange on both the Leonotis leonurus and monarch butterfly and the green stems and leaves.
This rose is called Tequila Sunrise – such a strong vibrant orange contrasting with the dark green of the buds and leaves.
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Good morning from a cool and cloudy spring day here in Hastings.
Jennifer from Jennifer Nichole Wells jennifernicholewells.com has finished with her weather series. Now we are onto People, Places and Things.
First up is ants. Well I searched high and low, thinking I had some photos of ants on flowers. After some time I came across this image. I am sure I have some more somewhere.
Then I thought I would show a photo looking up into the foliage – just to get an ant’s view of looking up.
I have always been fascinated with how tall these plants can grow.
This genus was traditionally placed in the figwort family Scrophulariaceae, but recent phylogenetic research has placed it in the much enlarged family Plantaginaceae. This genus is native to western and southwestern Europe, western and central Asia, Australasia and northwestern Africa. The scientific name means “finger-like” and refers to the ease with which a flower of Digitalis purpurea can be fitted over a human fingertip. The flowers are produced on a tall spike, are tubular, and vary in colour with species, from purple to pink, white, and yellow. The best-known species is the common foxglove, Digitalis purpurea. This biennial plant is often grown as anornamental plant due to its vivid flowers which range in colour from various purple tints through various shades of light gray, and to purely white. The flowers can also possess various marks and spottings.
The first year of growth of the common foxglove produces only the stem with its long, basal leaves. During the second year of the plant’s life, a long, leafy stem from 50 to 255 centimeters tall grows atop the roots of healthy plants.
Then when I was nursing I found out more about this plant.
A group of medicines extracted from foxglove plants are called digitalin. The use of D. purpurea extract containing cardiac glycosides for the treatment of heart conditions was first described in the English-speaking medical literature by William Withering, in 1785, which is considered the beginning of modern therapeutics. It is used to increase cardiac contractility (it is a positive inotrope) and as an antiarrhythmic agent to control the heart rate, particularly in the irregular (and often fast) atrial fibrillation. Digitalis is hence often prescribed for patients in atrial fibrillation, especially if they have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Digoxin was approved for heart failure in 1998 under current regulations by the Food and Drug Administration on the basis of prospective, randomized study and clinical trials. It was also approved for the control of ventricular response rate for patients with atrial fibrillation. American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines recommend digoxin for symptomatic chronic heart failure for patients with reduced systolic function, preservation of systolic function, and/or rate control for atrial fibrillation with a rapid ventricular response. Heart Failure Society of America guidelines for heart failure provide similar recommendations. Despite its relatively recent approval by the Food and Drug Administration and the guideline recommendations, the therapeutic use of digoxin is declining in patients with heart failure—likely the result of several factors. Safety concerns regarding a proposed link between digoxin therapy and increased mortality in women may be contributing to the decline in therapeutic use of digoxin.
Good morning from another beautiful spring day.
A big thank you to Cee for featuring my post from 2 weeks ago of the baby’s bootie left behind, this week.
Anyway last week while at Frimley Park I found this pine cone just hanging from the tree. I have no idea how it got there. it was rather high up. And where did the string come from?
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Good morning from a sunny spring day here in Hastings.
This week BEN HUBERMAN of the Daily Post has asked us for our ornate photos:
In your photo this week, share something unabashedly ornate — where it’s clear that the creators pulled no stops and went all out. Whether it’s a breathtaking triumph or a total train wreck, I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
What better than to show off these ornate but unusual roses. Yesterday I took my Social Snappers group to Frimley Park, and the rose garden. As I was wandering around I came across these very unusual roses called abracadabra.
Each one was a work of art in itself.
I have never seen them before.
Each one so ornate in design.
I was in heaven yesterday and took over 1000 photos.
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Good morning from a warmer and drier Hastings day. I have my Social Snappers group today and we are heading over to Havelock North to a stream for some water photography. My group is growing and we are really enjoying discovering new sights around where we live. One of the ladies has got a new camera so wants me to help her learn about it.
Last Wednesday one of the ladies from my group and I headed over to Napier to the Centennial Gardens. The weather turned lousy on us but there is a big waterfall there so I was able to work on some long exposures.
I also found this plant there – and when I looked it up I was surprised to find out it’s properties on Wikipedia.
Leonotis leonurus, also known as lion’s tail and wild dagga, is a plant species in the Lamiaceae (mint) family. The plant is a broadleaf evergreen large shrub native to South Africa and southern Africa, where it is very common. It is known for its medicinal and mild psychoactive properties. The main psychoactive component of Leonotis leonurus is leonurine.
n its native habitats Leonotis leonurus attracts nectivorous birds (mainly sunbirds), as well as various insects such as butterflies. The flowers’ mainly orange to orange-red colour and tubular shape are indicative of its co-evolution with African sunbirds, which have curved bills suited to feeding from tubular flowers.
This photo was taken at Frimley Gardens and the butterflies are mad about it. Now I know why.
The dried leaves and flowers have a mild calming effect when smoked. In some users, the effects have been noted to be similar to the cannabinoid THC found in Cannabis, except that it has a much less potent high.[unreliable source?] It has also been reported to cause mild euphoria, visual changes, dizziness, nausea, sweating, sedation and lightheadedness.
It is sometimes used as a Cannabis substitute by recreational users as an alternative to illegal psychoactive plants. Leonotis leonorus is not currently scheduled under federal law in the United States.
The picked and dried leaves are also commonly brewed as a tea.
Maybe I should sneak around and take some leaves to dry to make some tea??????
Toxicology and pharmacology
An animal study in rats indicated that in high doses, lion’s tail has significant toxicological adverse effects on organs, red blood cells, white blood cells and other important bodily functions. Acute toxicity tests in animals caused death for those receiving 3200 mg/kg dose. At 1600 mg/kg extract led to changes in red blood cells, hemoglobin concentration, mean corpuscular volume, platelets, and white blood cells. 
Leonurine has both antioxidant and cardioprotective propertiesand shown to significantly improve myocardial function (XinHua, 2010).
But it seems one must be careful.
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Good morning from a very cold and frosty morning.
The second week in the month means it is macro time for Sally’s challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally
for mobile photography.
These photos of late peonies was taken a month ago at Frimley Park.
Edited with Snapseed and Aviary.
What has WordPress done to the reader. Weird. It will take some getting used to.
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Good morning from a cool Hastings day.
This week JEN H. from The Daily Post has asked us for symbols. So what else can I show, except my favourite flowers – Roses. I just love their smell and the many varied colours. I can’t grow them, but we do have a public rose garden for me to get my fix.
There are so many different websites with different meanings for the different colours. These meanings come from:
Roses have been long used as symbols in a number of societies. Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. “Rose” means pink or red in a variety of languages (such as the Romance languages and Greek).
The rose was sacred to a number of goddesses including Isis, whose rose appears in the late classical allegorical novel The Golden Ass as “the sweet Rose of reason and virtue” that saves the hero from his bewitched life in the form of a donkey. The ancientGreeks and Romans identified the rose with the goddess of love, Aphrodite (Greek name) and Venus (Roman name).
In Rome a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret or confidential matters were discussed. The phrase sub rosa, or “under the rose”, means to keep a secret — derived from this ancient Roman practice.
Islam and Sufism
The cultivation of geometrical gardens, in which the rose has often held pride of place, has a long history in Iran and surrounding lands. In the lyric ghazal, it is the beauty of the rose that provokes the longing song of the nightingale – an image prominent, for example, in the poems of Hafez.
In turn, the imagery of lover and beloved became a type of the Sufi mystic’s quest for divine love, so that Ibn Arabi, for example, aligns the rose with the beloved’s blushing cheek on the one hand and, on the other, with the divine names and attributes.
Other well-known examples of rose symbolism in Sufism include;
- The Sufi master Jilani is known as “the Rose of Baghdad” and his order, the Qadiriyya, uses the rose as its symbol.
- Two prominent books aligned with Sufism are The Rose Garden by Saadi and Mahmud Shabistari‘s The Rose Garden of Secrets.
Medieval Christians identified the five petals of the rose with the five wounds of Christ. Roses also later came to be associated with the Virgin Mary. The red rose was eventually adopted as a symbol of the blood of the Christianmartyrs. A bouquet of red roses, often used to show love, is used as a Valentine’s Day gift in many countries. On St George’s Day in Catalonia people offer dark red roses as gifts, especially between lovers. The Virolai, a hymnto the Virgin of Montserrat, one of the black Madonnas of Europe, begins with the words: “Rosa d’abril, Morena de la serra…” (April rose, dusky lady of the mountain chain…). Therefore this virgin is sometimes known as “Rosa d’abril”. The red rose is thus widely accepted as an unofficial symbol of Catalonia.
Roses are occasionally the basis of design for rose windows comprising five or ten segments (the five petals and five sepals of a rose) or multiples thereof, though most Gothic rose windows are much more elaborate.
The Rose of England
The rose is the national flower of England. The usage dates from the reign of Henry VII who introduced the Tudor rose, combining a red rose, representing the House of Lancaster, and a white rose, representing the House of York, as a symbol of unity after the English civil wars of the 15th century which, long after, came to be called the Wars of the Roses. The rose thus appears in the histories of William Shakespeare and in the Child Ballads. It has been the symbol of England Rugby, and of the Rugby Football Union, since 1871.
In North America
In 1986 it was named the floral emblem of the United States, and it is the provincial flower of Alberta (the wild rose) in Canada. It is the state flower of four US states: Iowa and North Dakota (R. arkansana), Georgia (R. laevigata), and New York (Rosa generally). Portland, Oregon counts “City of Roses” among its nicknames, and holds an annual Rose Festival, as does Pasadena, California, holding the Tournament of Roses Parade since 1890 in conjunction with the Rose Bowl since 1902. In April 2011, the United States government space program agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration celebrated the Hubble Space Telescope‘s 21st anniversary by releasing an image of spiral galaxies positioned in a rose-like shape.
A red rose (often held in a hand) is a symbol of socialism or, more notably, social democracy: it is used as a symbol by German, British, Irish, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Brazilian,Dutch, Bulgarian, Korean, and other European labour, socialist or social democratic parties, mostly adopted in the period after World War II.
In the world today
The rose is used as a symbol of love and compassion in many countries (e.g. USA, England, Spain, France, Italy). The meaning ascribed to the rose depends on context; general examples include the romantic love of roses given on Valentine’s Day, as part of courtship or for an anniversary; filial love in the case of mother’s day; compassion in the case of a funeral.
Ok, I cheated and went to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_(symbolism). But roses do have such a fascinating history, I couldn’t resist.
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