Monday, July 9, 2018

JULY



First of all, I'd like to apologize for posting this a bit late - as it is, studying demands it's time and not much can be done against it. For that reason I decided on a more detailed post; I hope you don't hold it against me. On a lighter note, can you believe that half of the year is already behind us? It seems completely unreal to me. And now, back to the scheduled program ;)

July is the seventh month of the year (between June and August) in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the fourth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. It was named by the Roman Senate in honour of Roman general Julius Caesar, it being the month of his birth. Prior to that, it was called Quintilis, being the fifth month of the 10-month calendar.

It is on average the warmest month in most of the Northern hemisphere, where it is the second month of summer, and the coldest month in much of the Southern hemisphere, where it is the second month of winter. The second half of the year commences in July. In the Southern hemisphere, July is the seasonal equivalent of January in the Northern hemisphere.




July's birthstone is the ruby, which symbolizes contentment.
Its birth flowers are the Larkspur or the Water Lily.
The zodiac signs for the month of July are Cancer (until July 22) and Leo (July 23 onwards).



A ruby is a pink to blood-red coloured gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum (aluminium oxide). Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires. Ruby is one of the traditional cardinal gems, together with amethyst, sapphire, emerald, and diamond. The word ruby comes from ruber, Latin for red. The colour of a ruby is due to the element chromium.



The quality of a ruby is determined by its colour, cut, and clarity, which, along with carat weight, affect its value. The brightest and most valuable shade of red called blood-red or pigeon blood commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality. After colour follows clarity: similar to diamonds, a clear stone will command a premium, but a ruby without any needle-like rutile inclusions may indicate that the stone has been treated. Ruby is the traditional birthstone for July and is usually more pink than garnet, although some rhodolite garnets have a similar pinkish hue to most rubies. The world's most valuable ruby is the Sunrise Ruby.



Rubies have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Among the natural gems only moissanite and diamond are harder, with diamond having a Mohs hardness of 10.0 and moissanite falling somewhere in between corundum (ruby) and diamond in hardness.



The Mogok Valley in Upper Myanmar (Burma) was for centuries the world's main source for rubies. That region has produced some exceptional rubies, however, in recent years few good rubies have been found. In central Myanmar, the area of Mong Hsu began producing rubies during the 1990s and rapidly became the world's main ruby mining area. The most recently found ruby deposit in Myanmar is in Namya (Namyazeik) located in the northern state of Kachin.



Historically, rubies have also been mined in Thailand, in the Pailin and Samlout District of Cambodia, as well as in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, India, Namibia, Japan, and Scotland; after the Second World War ruby deposits were found in Madagascar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam. In Sri Lanka, lighter shades of rubies (often "pink sapphires") are more commonly found. The Republic of Macedonia is the only country in mainland Europe to have naturally occurring rubies. They can mainly be found around the city of Prilep. Macedonian rubies have a unique raspberry colour. The ruby is also included on the Macedonian coat of arms. A few rubies have been found in the U.S. states of Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wyoming.




Spinel, another red gemstone, is sometimes found along with rubies in the same gem gravel or marble. Red spinels may be mistaken for rubies by those lacking experience with gems. However, the finest red spinels can have values approaching that of an average ruby.



Delphinium is a genus of about 300 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae, native throughout the Northern Hemisphere and also on the high mountains of tropical Africa. All members of the genus Delphinium are toxic to humans and livestock. The common name "Larkspur" is shared between perennial Delphinium species and annual species of the genus Consolida. Molecular data show that Consolida, as well as another segregate genus, Aconitella, are both embedded in Delphinium.


The genus name Delphinium derives from the ancient Greek word δελφίνιον (delphínion), meaning "Larkspur". The name "delphinium" also derives from the Latin for "dolphin", referring to the shape of the nectary. The leaves are deeply lobed with three to seven toothed, pointed lobes in a palmate shape. The main flowering stem is erect, and varies greatly in size between the species, from 10 centimetres in some alpine species, up to 2 m tall in the larger meadowland species.


In June and July (Northern Hemisphere), the plant is topped with a raceme of many flowers, varying in colour from purple and blue, to red, yellow, or white. In most species, each flower consists of five petal-like sepals which grow together to form a hollow pocket with a spur at the end, which gives the plant its name, usually more or less dark blue. Within the sepals are four true petals, small, inconspicuous, and commonly coloured similarly to the sepals. The eponymous long spur of the upper sepal encloses the nectar-containing spurs of the two upper petals.


The seeds are small and often shiny black. The plants flower from late spring to late summer and are pollinated by butterflies and bumblebees. Despite the toxicity, Delphinium species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the dot moth and small angle shades.
Various delphiniums are cultivated as ornamental plants, for traditional and native plant gardens. The numerous hybrids and cultivars are primarily used as garden plants, providing height at the back of the summer border, in association with roses, lilies, and geraniums.


Most delphinium hybrids and cultivars are derived from D. elatum. Hybridisation was developed in the 19th-century, led by Victor Lemoine in France. Other hybrid crosses have included D. bruninianum, D. cardinale, D. cheilanthum, and D. formosum. Numerous cultivars have been selected as garden plants and for cut flowers and floristry. They are available in shades of white, pink, purple, and blue. The blooming plant is also used in displays and specialist competitions at flower and garden shows, such as the Chelsea Flower Show.


All parts of these plants are considered toxic to humans, especially the younger parts, causing severe digestive discomfort if ingested, and skin irritation. Larkspur, especially tall larkspur, is a significant cause of cattle poisoning on rangelands in the western United States. Larkspur is more common in high-elevation areas, and many ranchers delay moving cattle onto such ranges until late summer when the toxicity of the plants is reduced. Death is through cardiotoxic and neuromuscular blocking effects and can occur within a few hours of ingestion.



Nymphaeaceae is a family of flowering plants, commonly called water lilies. They live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs in temperate and tropical climates around the world. The family contains five genera with about 70 known species. Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on or emergent from the surface. The leaves are round, with a radial notch in Nymphaea (this genus contains what we perceive as water lilies in narrower terms) and Nuphar, but fully circular in Victoria and Euryale.



Water lilies are a well-studied clade of plants because their large flowers with multiple unspecialized parts were initially considered to represent the floral pattern of the earliest flowering plants, and later genetic studies confirmed their evolutionary position as basal angiosperms. Analyses of floral morphology and molecular characteristics and comparisons with a sister taxon, the family Cabombaceae, indicate, however, that the flowers of extant water lilies with the most floral parts are more derived than the genera with fewer floral parts. Genera with more floral parts, Nuphar, Nymphaea, Victoria, have a beetle pollination syndrome, while genera with fewer parts are pollinated by flies or bees, or are self- or wind-pollinated. Thus, a large number of relatively unspecialized floral organs in the Nymphaeaceae is not an ancestral condition for the clade.



Water lilies do not have surface leaves during winter, and therefore the gases in the rhizome lacunae access equilibrium with the gases of the sediment water. The leftover of internal pressure is embodied by the constant streams of bubbles that outbreak when rising leaves are ruptured in the spring.
The white water lily is the national flower of Bangladesh and state flower for Andhra Pradesh, India. The seal of Bangladesh contains a lily floating on water. The blue waterlily is the national flower of Sri Lanka. It is also the birth flower for July.


Lily pads, also known as Seeblätter, are a charge in Northern European heraldry, often coloured red (gules), and appear on the flag of Friesland and the coat of arms of Denmark (in the latter case often replaced by red hearts).


The water lily has a special place in Sangam literature and Tamil poetics, where it is considered symbolic of the grief of separation; it is considered to evoke imagery of the sunset, the seashore, and the shark.



Cancer (♋) is the fourth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation of Cancer. It spans 90° and 120° celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area between approximately June 21 and July 23, and under the sidereal zodiac, the Sun transits this area between approximately July 16 and August 15.


In astrology, Cancer is the cardinal sign of the Water trigon, which is made up of Cancer, Pisces, and Scorpio. It is considered a negative sign, whose domicile, or ruling planet, is the Moon. Though some depictions of Cancer feature a lobster, the sign is most often represented by the crab, based on the Karkinos, a giant crab that harassed Heracles during his fight with the Hydra.
In ancient times, Cancer was known as the "dark sign" because of the obscured visibility of its constellation in the night sky.


On Stardoll
There are five water lily inspired items (still) available on Stardoll. Besides the three I mentioned last year, we got two with the release of Giardini. There was also a Victoria lily leaf released with the Oz-inspired release of Film Theory in 2012.

I counted six jewellery items with the word "ruby" in their name. Did I miss any? What is your favourite ruby inspired item on Stardoll? Please share in the comments below.




July Birthdays

July 5th: Anya-Samantha
July 9th: SunnySidesSue
July 11th: leighways
July 16th: Scarpin



Thank you for your patience with me.
Love, Anja
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