Friday, October 17, 2008

Horseman's Star

Yes, it's winter.
Yes, it's only +2F outside my front door today.
Yes, the car is plugged in and there's a fire in the woodstove.

None of this matters to the beautiful flower which is gracing my studio this week! A friend brought some bulbs back from Hawaii last February and gave them to me, knowing I was savvy with the green, living things. (This happens more and more often as my reputation spreads for having a talented Green Thumb.) Their stipulation was that if the bulbs grew and thrived, they'd want one back, and I could keep the other. Of course, said friend had no actual idea what the bulbs were....

They could report on the beautiful orange color, and that was it. No info on leaf shape, petal shape or number, flower shape, etc. I had to just wait and see what the bulbs would give me.

I've nurtured the bulbs for months, tucking them in with my orchids. This is the gorgeous result!

I began doing research once the flower buds formed. Tricky business..... Bulb like a Hyacinth, leaves like an Amaryllis, buds like a Daylilly. The Amaryllis lead was the best one, that and via a marathon googling session, I stumbled upon a blog where the writer linked Amaryllis with a post titled, "Naked Ladies and Hippie Ass Trims." (Who would've thought?)

'Hippie ass trims' is the convenient pronunciation for Hippeastrums, a genus in the family Amaryllicdacea. I'm no botanist, but I'm doing pretty good with the research! The Greek origin of the genus name translates as, "Horseman's Star." I think that name is just beautiful.

Hippeastrum puniceum, which seems to be what these bulbs are----from visual comparisions of pictures online, only----is also known as Barbados Lily. Another sexy name.

One bulb is blooming beautifully, the other seems to be along for the ride at this point.

In the deepening winter days, these blossoms are a bright sun.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My World

It's been snowing off and on for three days. Temps this morning were +18. We've had the woodstove going for about a week now: Winter is really here.

To inaugurate winter, Team Sharema put on skis and went out for the first ski of the season. We'd been at it an hour, skimming along on not-completely-snow-covered trails when Shannon asked me, "Is there a reason that your poles are so different?"

I looked at them and realized that one was my pole and one was Fromage's......three inches difference in height, different color, different basket, you name it! I was so excited about skiing, I didn't even notice... (Fromage thought this whole incident very funny when I told him...)

My fellow Alaskans in the Blogosphere are talking about winter (and skiing!):

Alaskan Girl

Northern Flux

Red Doors

Winter up here heralds a totally different way of living daily life as well as a different focus on projects and goals. This winter I'll be spending a lot of time in my studio, preparing for my May solo exhibit at The Alaska House Gallery. Also, I'll be working (!) and hopefully skiing my ass off whenever and wherever possible.

What are you doing this winter?