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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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