Black locust – an extraordinary plant

Black locust – an extraordinary plant

Robinia pseudoacacia is commonly known as black locust, false acacia or simply locust. Is a medium-sized hardwood deciduous tree endemic to a few small areas of the United States. Because is an invasive species, the locust was easily introduced to other regions like Asia or Europe. When the black locust has been introduced to a new environment, it tends to compete with native species and take over in that environment. This species loves the sun and grows rapidly in open areas with lots of light and no shade, driving other sun-loving plants away.  Also, the black locust’s fragrant white flowers compete for pollinating bees, increasing the competition with native plants.

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Acacia honey is classified as “the best honey”, but is wrong to consider it as the best and most useful. As a matter of fact, there is no bad quality honey, yet it’s true that acacia honey is the most preferred type. The honey is extremely light colored, lemonish white or yellow-green, and if relatively free of other floral sources, it can be very transparent, like liquid glass. The aroma is floral, fruity, delicate, very persistent. The flavor is very sweet, slightly acidic with hints of vanilla and no aftertaste. The flowery notes are noticed best in the finish.

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The name ‘locust’ is said to have been given to Robinia by Jesuit missionaries, who fancied that this was the tree that supported St. John in the wilderness, but it is native only to North America. The locust tree of Spain (Ceratonia siliqua or carob tree), which is also native to Syria and the entire Mediterranean basin, is supposed to be the true locust of the New Testament.

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The Goldfinch in art and symbolism

The Goldfinch in art and symbolism

Hello friends! Today I present you my second painting from the `Birds` collection, `The European goldfinch`. As the previous bird painting, `the blue tit`, this one has a story behind it as well.etsy3The goldfinch is a common European bird, known by its scientific name, Carduelis carduelis. We can find it in Europe, North Africa, and recently was successfully introduced in Australia and New Zealand. The bird is recognized by the colors of its plumage which is golden-brown on the body and red on its head. Goldfinches are commonly kept and bred in captivity as pets, because of their distinctive appearance and pleasant song. Unfortunately, the popularity of goldfinches as a cage bird in Victorian Britain led to huge numbers being trapped to supply demand, causing the population to crash.

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This bird might be common but its symbol is a strong one. It’s not much known that the goldfinch appear in the Christian symbolism. Because of its favorite food, thistle seeds, it is associated with Christ’s Passion and his crown of thorns. The goldfinch appears in many paintings of the Madonna and child, including the Madonna del cardellino or Madonna of the Goldfinch, painted by the Italian renaissance artist, Raphael (1505-1506). The painting represents John the Baptist offering a goldfinch to Christ as a symbol and warning of his future. An other painting with the same name, was painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1767-1770). It is also an emblem of endurance, fruitfulness, and persistence. Because it symbolizes the Passion of Christ, the goldfinch is considered a “savior”.

 

(Madonna of the Goldfinch – Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1767-1770) (right), Raphael (1505-1506) (left))

This little bird inspired many artists, not only painters. Antonio Vivaldi, composed a Concerto in D major for Flute “Il Gardellino” (RV 428, Op. 10 No. 3), where the singing of the goldfinch is imitated by a flute. Also, `​The Goldfinch` is title of a novel written by Donna Tartt, who won the Pulitzer prize for fiction, in 2014. A turning point in the plot occurs when the narrator, Theo, sees his mother’s favorite painting, `The Goldfinch` by Carel Fabritius (1654) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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My own version of the goldfinch is a 13×18 cm oil painting on stretched canvas. If you are interested, you can find the original available on my shop .

etsy3The goldfinches on the railway paling were worth looking at
A man might imagine then
Himself in Brazil and these birds the birds of paradise

(The Great Hunger by Patrick Kavanagh)

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Rainy day of Spring

Rainy day of Spring

Hello friends! This Spring was very rainy, but the tulips are blooming anyway. You know how much I love tulips and of course, I had to make some photos before they lose all the petals. Despite the rainy weather, I took a walk in the botanical garden to admire them and make some pictures. If you want to find out more about the tulips, I invite you to read my article `The tulip garden`, or if you want to see more picture visit `the tulip collection`.

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The story of a blue bird

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Hello friends! Today I want to show you my recent painting and the story behind it. I named this piece `the blue tit`, after the bird with the same name. Actually, the real name of this bird is Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) and it is a common bird in Europe and Asia. It is easily recognizable by its blue and yellow plumage and small size.

I tried to reproduce the best that I could the color of the bird. In reality are way more details on its body. A typical Eurasian blue tit has an azure-blue crown and dark blue line passing through the eye and encircling the white cheeks to the chin, giving the bird a very distinctive appearance. The forehead and a bar on the wing are white. The nape, wings and tail are blue and the back is yellowish green. The underparts is mostly sulphur-yellow with a dark line down the abdomen. The yellowness is indicative of the number of yellowy-green caterpillars eaten, due to high levels of carotene pigments in the diet. The bill is black, the legs blue-ish gray, and the irides dark brown. The sexes are similar, but under ultraviolet light, males have a brighter blue crown. Young blue tits are noticeably more yellow. 

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The blue tit – oil painting on canvas (13×18 cm) – 2019

This bird has an interesting story, even it is very common, and we can find it in parks or gardens in the early spring. The color of its feathers are pretty unique because blue is not a very usual color that we see on animals and people are generally attracted with unusual things. Maybe that is way through years in different cultures this bird received interesting symbols.

The Blue Tit symbolizes a loyal and faithful love, because this birds have only one mate in life. Blue Tits never fly far distances from their homes, so the sight of them always denote good tidings to a sailor. It would mean that land is near. Blue Tits are also believed to carry the spirits of sailors who have died at sea, to their home in heaven. The Blue Tit can represent the best things in life, in Celtic symbolism is seen as a powerful symbol. During the earlier eras of our life, Blue Tits were connected with the gods and the soul of those people who died. The Greek and Roman’s believed in gods who transformed themselves into Blue Tits. Killing a Blue Tit was considered to be an immoral practice.

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This is a beautiful and simple bird with a powerful meaning of life. I hope you had the opportunity to see one, it is a magical creature indeed. But if you never saw one, I gave you the opportunity now. You can admire my reproduction of this tiny little bird, oil painted on canvas. If you want this painting on your home, you can get it from my online shop or send me an email if you need more information.

Shop online: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AdelaFineArt

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The legend of a perfume

The legend of a perfume

Spring is the best time to talk about flowers and their essential oils. From ancient times, the flowers were used to decorate gardens and homes. Some physicians found the flowers beneficial properties, some used them in rituals and some people discovered their essential oils and perfume. But like the most of the great discoveries there were made by accident. This is also the story of a famous natural perfume, which is today the symbol of Capri Island. This perfume is fascinating and unique because after all the years they kept the original recipes and all the fragrances are made only with ingredients find on the Island.

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The legend tells that in 1380, upon receiving an unexpected visit from Queen Joanna I of Anjou, the father prior of the Carthusian Monastery of St. Giacomo hastily created a bouquet of the most beautiful flowers on the island. After three days, he noticed that their water had acquired a fragrance unknown to him, so he went for the answer to the father alchemist, who trace the origin of this scent back to the wild carnation of Capri, the Garofilium Silvestre Caprese. This water became known as the first perfume of Capri.

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History confirms that in 1948 the prior of the Monastery discovered the ancient perfume formulas and, with permission of the Pope, revealed them to a chemist from Torino, who then set up one of the smallest professional laboratories in the world, which came to be known as `​Carthusia`.

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Via Camerelle – This scent shares its name with the most prestigious street of the Island. The freshness of the lemon and orange, mixed with the fragrant notes of sea moss and cedarwood create a flavour amazingly akin to the natural yearning for the sea flowers and genuine living.

The tradition is now continued and the traditional production method used by the Carthusian monks are still in practice today. Only the highest quality products are used, and after the fragrance is filtered and distilled to perfection, it is bottled and delicately wrapped by hand. In the men`s products, the essence contain rosemary hand-picked on Monte Solaro, while the Capri wild carnation finds place in the women`s fragrances.

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Today Carthusia has put into practice its centuries-old knowledge in order to develop a culture of perfume unique in the world. Over the years, it has refined its mastery about the olfactory sense, refining and structuring its comprehension of essences, in order to grant to those who choose its fragrances the purest and most intense emotions. Nowadays, as in the past, all stages of production are carried out by hands to guarantee the accurate application of the natural methods involved and the precious care of traditional craftsmanship.

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All Carthusia fragrances have a hidden yet indivisible bond with Capri. The feelings and emotions of Carthusia products are the result of dedicated and professional research into components derived exclusively from Capri’s environment. These ingredients meet, mix and match in the Carthusia laboratories, producing unique harmonies of scents that create perfumes as great as the island from which they come.

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Fiori di Capri – The refined floral notes deriving from the lily of the valley and wild carnation blend together with the enigmatic allure of sandalwood, ylang-ylang and oak.

The symbol of the company, a beautiful work in liberty style, was created in 1948 by the painter Mario Laboccetta. It portrays a „flower siren” that brings to mind the surreal and mythological landscapes of Capri’s heritage. She appears to be in the midst of an evolution, blooming with a myriad of colorful flowers, from which Carthusia perfumes descend, achieving a logo which recalls both art and nature in all their forms.

Source: https://www.carthusia.it

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Happy Women’s Day

Happy Women’s Day

Happy Women’s Day! Today is a beautiful day of Spring and because we celebrate women`s day I thought that it’s the perfect time to talk about the symbol of the month.

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Galanthus nivalis or the snowdrop is one of my favorite spring flowers. I’m looking forward to seeing them every February because they are the messengers of Spring and when they are in bloom it means that the good weather is coming. Also, there are some interesting things about the snowdrop. The scientific name of snowdrop has a beautiful meaning. Galanthus is derived from the Greek word `gala` which means milk and `anthos` means flower, `nivalis` is an epithet with meaning `of the snow`, referring as the snow-like flower. The snowdrop is a toxic plant and very dangerous if it’s eaten because of the active agglutinin GNA (galanthus nivalis agglutinine), which can cause intestine damage. But other substance found in snowdrop, galanthamine, can be helpful for Alzheimer`s disease.

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In Romania, we have a beautiful tradition on March 1st. As a symbol of life, love and hope, in the first day of spring, we give bouquets of snowdrop to our loved one’s. Also, on March 1st the ladies receive a talisman pendant or brooch attached to a red and white wire. This talisman is named `Martisor` and the girls wear it for luck. Also, in March 8th we celebrate the women`s day and mothers day as well. So, as a gift, we give bouquets of snowdrops to our mothers.
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