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Flower Shows and Jelly Fish

Flower show in Philadelphia
One of the many splendors of the PHS Flower Show in Philadelphia

We’ve just wrapped up another Flower Show season, having purveyed Haitian metal to blizzards of happy shoppers in Seattle, Philadelphia, and Boise. And while they were FLOWER shows, the biggest hits of the season were…..sea life sculptures.

I suppose it’s not so strange when you think about it. All three of the shows were in the northern tier of the country, and let it be said, the northern tier had more than it’s share of winter in the past several months. (Let’s not even talk about “snowmageddon” or cyclone bombs!) So it’s probably to be expected, after such a winter, that thoughts can easily march right past April showers and May flowers to beach combing and lounging poolside in the warmth of a sunny summer’s day.

While our gold-standard birds, sun faces, trees of life continued to be popular, we worked especially hard in the months before the shows to make our sea life sculptures ever more beautifully crafted and finely detailed. How wonderful that those efforts paid off. The enthusiasm of our Flower Show customers was proof positive: They really are great! See for yourself…..

Contributed by Linda for It’s Cactus

octopus metal sculpture
Marvelously fluid octopus by Jimmy Dade
jellyfish sculpture from Haiti
Kendy Bellony created this jellyfish with details so intricate, it looks as if its trying to get back to the sea.
Metal sculpture from Haiti
A floating set of three sea horses for display at the beach house on the shore or the bungalow in town.

Jellyfish, art and ancient warfare

"Jellyfish" sculpture by Kendy Bellony SM504

“Jellyfish” sculpture by Kendy Bellony SM504

Earlier this week, we posted 39 new catalogue pieces on our website.  Designs that we have worked long and hard to bring about, we are now excited and proud to present.   Though it is hard to pick a favorite, I’m going to.  Hands down, and for the next three or four days at least, it is Kendy Bellony’s jellyfish.

Isn’t it elegant?  That’s what I think of when I think of jellyfish. Elegance.  I saw them in an aquarium one time and in that particular exhibit, each of the tanks was surrounded by a heavy, highly ornate, gilt frame and in the background, classical music was playing – Bach or Handel, I’m sure. It seemed entirely appropriate as I marveled at the jellies gliding with refined grace through the water on the other side of glass.   Watching this video by David Regner for the National Aquarium in Baltimore took me right back to that experience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJUuotjE3u8  They are works of art, pure and simple.

Kendy’s sculpture looks to me like a sea nettle, which is a type of jellyfish found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  They are characterized by their long tentacles and frilly mouth-arms (I did not make that up.  That’s what they are called, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium website.) and by the star-like pattern on the top of their bell. They eat zooplankton, small crustaceans, and other jellies, while they are preyed upon by tuna, dogfish, butterfish, sunfish, and sea turtles.  Jellyfish as a species have no blood, brains, teeth, or fins and are 95% water, which sort of makes you wonder about nutritional value and why ANYTHING bothers to eat them at all. Balance of nature and circle of life considerations, I presume, or maybe just roughage…

Sea Nettle - serene and elegant.

Sea Nettle – serene and elegant.

The splendid, flowing tentacles and mouth-arms of the jellies are, of course, where the “sting” is carried.  This insidious business is conducted by a multitude of stinging cells called nematocysts, which vary in toxicity from mildly irritating to deadly. Though my research resources are replete with gee-whiz facts with regard to “the sting,” this one, in my opinion takes the cake:  The National Aquarium website reports that the ancient ninja warriors of Japan used to scatter dried venom from the Northern Sea Nettle into the wind to irritate the nose and eyes of their enemies during battle.

Sayonara, Baby!


Contributed by Linda for Beyond Borders/It’s Cactus

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