Tuesday, May 1, 2018

MAY


Hello, everyone! It's a new month already. How did you survive the past month? Do you look forward to this one?

For me, May symbolizes the arrival of the warmer days, lush green forests and a lot of flowers everywhere. Does this month have any meaning for you? It seems like yesterday when I started writing these monthly posts - in fact, last year's May post was the first one I wrote (my first post on this blog was about the previous release of Furry Friends in April 2017, which also made me realize that we had to wait a whole year for a new release in the said store), and that made the task of writing these a bit more difficult as I don't want to repeat myself 100%. 



May is the fifth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the third of seven months to have a length of 31 days.

May is a month of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Therefore, May in the Southern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of November in the Northern Hemisphere and vice versa. 


May's birthstone is the emerald which is emblematic of love and success.
The May birth flower is the Lily of the Valley and the Crataegus monogyna.
The zodiac signs for the month of May are Taurus (until May 20) and Gemini (May 21 onwards).


Emerald is a precious gemstone and a variety of the mineral beryl (Be3Al2(SiO3)6) coloured green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Beryl has a hardness of 7.5–8 on the Mohs scale. Most emeralds are highly included, so their toughness (resistance to breakage) is classified as generally poor. Emerald is a cyclosilicate. 



The word "emerald" is derived (via Old French: esmeraude and Middle English: emeraude), from Vulgar Latin: esmaralda/esmaraldus, a variant of Latin smaragdus, which originated in Ancient Greek: σμάραγδος (smaragdos; "green gem").


Emeralds in antiquity were mined in Egypt at locations on Mount Smaragdus since 1500 BCE, and India, and Austria since at least the 14th century CE. The Egyptian mines were exploited on an industrial scale by the Roman and Byzantine Empires, and later by Islamic conquerors. Mining ceased with the discovery of the Columbian deposits, only ruins remain.


Colombia is by far the world's largest producer of emeralds, constituting 50–95% of the world production, with the number depending on the year, source and grade. The three main emerald mining areas in Colombia are Muzo, Coscuez, and Chivor. Rare "trapiche" emeralds are found in Colombia, distinguished by ray-like spokes of dark impurities.


Zambia is the world's second-biggest producer, with its Kafubu River area deposits (Kagem Mines) about 45 km (28 mi) southwest of Kitwe responsible for 20% of the world's production of gem-quality stones in 2004.


Emeralds are found all over the world in countries such as Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In the US, emeralds have been found in Connecticut, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In Canada, in 1997 emeralds were discovered in the Yukon.


Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis), sometimes written lily-of-the-valley, is a sweetly scented, highly poisonous woodland flowering plant that is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia and Europe. Other names include May bells, Our Lady's tears, and Mary's tears. Its French name, muguet, sometimes appears in the names of perfumes imitating the flower's scent.


It is possibly the only species in the genus Convallaria (depending on whether C. keiskei and C. transcaucasica are recognised as separate species). In the APG III system, the genus is placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoideae (formerly the family Ruscaceae). It was formerly placed in its own family Convallariaceae, and, like many lilioid monocots, before that in the lily family Liliaceae.


Convallaria majalis is a herbaceous perennial plant that forms extensive colonies by spreading underground stems called rhizomes. New upright shoots are formed at the ends of stolons in summer, these upright dormant stems are often called pips. These grow in the spring into new leafy shoots that still remain connected to the other shoots underground, often forming extensive colonies. The stems grow to 15–30 cm tall, with one or two leaves 10–25 cm long; flowering stems have two leaves and a raceme of 5–15 flowers on the stem apex.


The flowers have six white tepals (rarely pink), fused at the base to form a bell-shape, 5–10 mm diameter, and sweetly scented; flowering is in late spring, in mild winters in the Northern Hemisphere it is in early March. The fruit is a small orange-red berry 5–7 mm diameter that contains a few large whitish to brownish coloured seeds that dry to a clear translucent round bead 1–3 mm wide. Plants are self-sterile, and colonies consisting of a single clone do not set seed.


Some facts:
  • Lily of the valley was the floral emblem of Yugoslavia, and it also became the national flower of Finland in 1967.
  • The Norwegian municipality Lunner has a lily of the valley on its coat-of-arms.
  • Lily of the valley is the birth flower for the month of May. It represents humility, chastity, sweetness, and purity.
  • Its scientific name, majalis or maialis, means "of or belonging to May", and old astrological books place the plant under the dominion of Mercury, since Maia, the daughter of Atlas, was the mother of Mercury or Hermes.
  • In the "language of flowers", the lily of the valley signifies the return of happiness. Legend tells of the affection of a lily of the valley for a nightingale that did not come back to the woods until the flower bloomed in May.
  • In terms of musical influence, “Lily of the Valley” is also a song by Queen on their album Sheer Heart Attack.


Crataegus monogyna, known as common hawthorn or single-seeded hawthorn, is a species of hawthorn native to Europe, northwest Africa and western Asia, in the family Rosaceae. It has been introduced in many other parts of the world. It can be an invasive weed. 



Other common names include may, mayblossom, maythorn, quickthorn, whitethorn, motherdie, and haw. This species is one of several that have been referred to as Crataegus oxyacantha, a name that has been rejected by the botanical community as too ambiguous.


The common hawthorn is a shrub or small tree 5–14 metres (15 to 45 feet) tall, with a dense crown. The bark is dull brown with vertical orange cracks. The younger stems bear sharp thorns, approximately 12.5mm (half an inch) long. The leaves are 20 to 40mm (1 to 1½ inches) long, obovate and deeply lobed, sometimes almost to the midrib, with the lobes spreading at a wide angle. The upper surface is dark green above and paler underneath.


The hermaphrodite flowers are produced in late spring (May to early June in its native area) in corymbs of 5-25 together; each flower is about 10mm diameter, and has five white petals, numerous red stamens, and a single style; they are moderately fragrant. The flowers are pollinated by midges, bees and other insects and later in the year bear numerous haws. The haw is a small, oval dark red fruit about 10mm long, berry-like, but structurally a pome containing a single seed. Haws are important for wildlife in winter, particularly thrushes and waxwings; these birds eat the haws and disperse the seeds in their droppings.


The common hawthorn is distinguished from the related but less widespread Midland hawthorn (C. laevigata) by its more upright growth, the leaves being deeply lobed, with spreading lobes, and in the flowers having just one style, not two or three. However, they are inter-fertile and hybrids occur frequently; they are only entirely distinct in their more typical forms.


Taurus (Latin for "the Bull"; ♉) is the second astrological sign in the present zodiac. It spans the 30–60th degree of the zodiac. It is an earth sign like Virgo and Capricorn. It is a sign with a Fixed modality like Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. The Sun is in the sign of Taurus from about April 20 until about May 21 (Western astrology). People born between these dates, depending on which system of astrology they subscribe to, may be called Taureans.


Taurus was the first sign of the zodiac established among the ancient Mesopotamians – who knew it as the Bull of Heaven – because it was the constellation through which the sun rose on the vernal equinox at that time. The Bull represents a strong-willed character with great perseverance and determination. In India Taurus is known by its Sanskrit name Vṛṣabha, which is occasionally given as a name for Shiva and his vehicle Nandi as well as the first of twenty-four Jain Tirthankara, Rishabhanatha. In Egypt, Taurus was seen as the cow goddess Hathor. Hathor was the goddess of beauty, love, and happiness, and she represented all of the riches seen in cattle as the providers of nourishment. Roman astrologers considered Taurus ruled by Venus, the goddess of beauty, and Earth, the goddess of the earth and nature.

On Stardoll

I don't recall seeing any Lily of the valley or hawthorn inspired items on Stardoll; if I'm wrong, please feel free to correct my mistake in the comments below. The Taurus inspired item form Other World zodiac collection is still in Plaza and costs 15 (14) SD.

Emerald-inspired items are rather common if I'm not horribly mistaken - most of them are jewellery type.

May Birthdays

May 25th: giniaparks

If you missed the original "Calling for May birthdays" post and celebrate your birthday in the month of May, please leave a comment with your username and birth date in the comments.


RULES: You have to be a follower of this blog and you MUST be an active member, meaning taking part in competitions, upvoting, posting OOTD's, voting in polls and generally taking part in this community. and, of course, be active on Stardoll. NOTE: Your activity will be checked.



RAFFLE: Same as in April, I'm asking you to post your favourite emerald item in the comments below - DO NOT FORGET YOUR USERNAME. A low number of participants = no raffle.


As the birthstone of May is emerald, I decided to challenge you to present me with your best "Emerald City resident" inspired look. Let your imagination run wild!


You have until the midnight of 15th of May to post your entries in the comments below. DO NOT FORGET YOUR USERNAME. The entries will be judged by as many people as possible :)
The prize is 50 SD, but it can vary depending on the number of entries.

Good luck!
Share:

No comments

© Stardoll's Most Wanted... | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig