More loveliness of a tropical floral kind. From Nancy Anne Kingsbury Wollstonecraft’s 1828 “Specimens of the Plants and Fruits of the Island of Cuba.”

"Convolvulus purulia et rubra, blue and red bindweeds." Plate XV.
“Convolvulus purulia et rubra, blue and red bindweeds.” Plate XV. Collection of and digitalized by Cornell University. Ithaca. In the public domain due to age. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=67;size=175
"Convolvulus brasiliensis, sea bindweed." Plate XVII
“Convolvulus brasiliensis, sea bindweed.” Plate XVII. Collection of and digitalized by Cornell University. Ithaca. In the public domain due to age. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=71;size=175
"Datura Arborea,  floripondio." Plate XIII.
“Datura Arborea, floripondio.” Plate XIII. Collection of and digitalized by Cornell University. Ithaca. In the public domain due to age. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=59
"Convolvulus." Plate XVIII.
“Convolvulus.” Plate XVIII. Collection of and digitalized by Cornell University. Ithaca. In the public domain due to age. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=75;size=175

More tropical flowers but from a bit further back than yesterday. From Nancy Anne Kingsbury Wollstonecraft’s 1828 tome “Specimens of the Plants and Fruits of the Island of Cuba”.

Plumeria alba. Flower of the jasmine tree. Plate 8.
Plumeria alba. Flower of the jasmine tree. Plate 8. Rare and Special Collections, Cornell University. In the public domain. Digitalized by Cornell University. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=1
Cordia sebestena or scarlet cordia. Plate 9. Page 59.
Cordia sebestena or scarlet cordia. Plate 9. Page 59. Rare and Special Collections, Cornell University. In the public domain. Digitalized by Cornell University. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=43
Cordia gerascanthus/Prince wood or Spanish elm. Plate 10. Page 41.
Cordia gerascanthus/Prince wood or Spanish elm. Plate 10. Page 41. Rare and Special Collections, Cornell University. In the public domain. Digitalized by Cornell University. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=47
Cameraria latifolia or Bastard Manchioneel. Plate 11. Page 45.
Cameraria latifolia or Bastard Manchioneel. Plate 11. Page 45. Rare and Special Collections, Cornell University. In the public domain. Digitalized by Cornell University. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=51
Fruit of the Naseberry. Plate 12. Page 49.
Fruit of the Naseberry. Plate 12. Page 49. Rare and Special Collections, Cornell University. In the public domain. Digitalized by Cornell University. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=55

Second blog post of botanical drawings from this book. More coming. Much left to look through.

Flowers in Cuba from a long time ago. From American Nancy Anne Kingsbury Wollstonecraft’s “Specimens of the Plants and Fruits of the Island of Cuba”. Gone since 1828 she has left a glorious treasury for us to see. Digitized and made available for download at the HathiTrust digital library, by way of Cornell University’s Library Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections.

Canna indica or Indian shot.
Canna indica or Indian shot. Library Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University. In the public domain due to age. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=9
Justicia.
Justicia. Library Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University. In the public domain due to age. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=9
Justicia picta leaf. Number 10.
Justicia picta leaf. Number 10. Library Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University. In the public domain due to age. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=9
Rivina humilis, Hoop withe.
Rivina humilis, Hoop withe. Page 27. Library Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University. In the public domain due to age. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=9
Pothos. Plate 7M.
Pothos. Plate 7M. Library Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University. In the public domain due to age. via https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924100271463;view=1up;seq=9

An envisioning . . . 1910 and Three Kings Day winding down in the house outside Havana . . .

Oh to be here.

Cuba for Christmas and a palm tree covered with glass bells and garlands of berries. The neighbors all with something else but all of them from somewhere else. Grandfather having fled Prussia when everything went crazy in 1848. From Berlin, not Madrid like half the neighborhood.

Midnight mass and enough presents to wrap around the house twice if not three times. Three cases worth from the cousins in London and one from the ones in Saint Petersburg.

No one small needing amusing. A tribe of children, not just two, and enough toys for each one to play with something different every day. Skinned knees from climbing the banyan trees while someone small enough to fit between the roots has a doll tea party under it with frangipani for sofa cushions and poinsettia for plates.

Bookshelf of romances to read through. One about a girl who ends up in Malta and another about someone in Johannesburg. Grandmother’s, they are. Must be a memory thing. Not a single one about anyone who stayed put.

Book put down and the armoire instead. A bit cold and a shawl. But something leaning up in the back with the brown paper they always use. Someone done up as cupid with the little wings. Grandfather’s uncle as a little one, it says on the back.

Funny . . . all those scandals . . .loose women, gambling and who knows what, but before that of course. . .last one on earth to be cupid but no one knew . . .

Prince Boris Nikolayevich Yusupov  as Cupid. ca. 1800.
Prince Boris Nikolayevich Yusupov as Cupid. ca. 1800. Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, artist (1755-1842). In the public domain. via https://www.myartprints.co.uk/a/regional-art-museum.html&sfl=1&INCLUDE=LIST

Cuba back in the dreamtime . . . .I’ve been in a number of West Indian hostelries and none were as romantic as these . . . trade winds not included.

Corridor of the Hotel Camagüey.
Corridor of the Hotel Camagüey. Undated. Color postcard. Cuban Railroad Company, publisher. Fair use license. Collection of the University of Miami. via https://merrick.library.miami.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/chc0359/id/3528/rec/10.
Parque Central y Hotel Plaza, Havana. Undated.
Parque Central y Hotel Plaza, Havana. Undated. Publisher not known. Fair use license. Collection of the University of Miami. via https://merrick.library.miami.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/chc0359/id/3519/rec/49.
Playa de Marianao, Havana. Undated.
Playa de Marianao, Havana. Undated. C. Jordi,, publisher. Fair use license. Collection of the University of Miami. via https://merrick.library.miami.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/chc0359/id/4027/rec/8/.
Cafe Restaurant at Vista Alegre, Santiago de Cuba. Undated.
Cafe Restaurant at Vista Alegre, Santiago de Cuba. Undated. Publisher not known. Fair use license. Collection of the University of Miami. via https://merrick.library.miami.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/chc0359/id/3717/rec/2
"Havana Club" Rum Private Bar, Havana.
“Havana Club” Rum Private Bar, Havana. Undated. Fair use license. Collection of the University of Miami. via https://merrick.library.miami.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/chc0359/id/4057/rec/1

Last one has everything except for Ernest Hemingway. We’ll just have to imagine him up.