Last month at the New York botanic gardens I went to see the orchid display, when in fact these non-orchid photos turned out to be my favorites. In the dessert section was this beautiful plant native to Madagascar called Euphorbia didieriodes. The plant itself isn’t widely known, and I found little information on it, although other Euphorbias are common house/garden plants. I love these photos mainly because it surprised me that such delicate, cute little red flowers were poking out of a formidably thorny plant!
This is a photo from last year while on a mini road trip from Calgary to Banff in Canada. Barely a road trip, it took only about 1.5 hours to drive, but there was just so much to see along the way that it felt like a road trip. Driving in Australia you almost never see scenery like this…a stunning backdrop of snow capped mountains, and a row of Christmas trees (I know that’s not their real name), behind these cute little highway arches. It took me a few tries to get this photo right, sitting in the passenger seat, camera pointed out the front window while my husband drove. Not all the bridges had a backdrop of mountains and I had to get the distance just right before the mountains were obscured behind the bridge. Not bad for highway speed photography!
I thought it about time for another spider, also a very common species on the east coast of Australia. Don’t worry, just like the St Andrews Cross spider, this is also one of Australia’s friendly spiders which wont kill you. The garden orb weaver is a beautiful arachnid, easily identified by its signature plump belly. It spends the early evening making a magnificent web and spends the night sitting in the center, waiting for an unsuspecting winged insect to fly into this brilliantly formed trap. During the day, the spider will leave the web and tuck itself away in a rest spot, often a leaf very close to edge of the web. If you are walking around and get a face full of spider web, its usually from these guys, thankfully its most often without the spider on your face too!
I have to premise this post with the confession that I don’t really like magnolia flowers. I love seeing the trees in full bloom, like a giant cloud of pink color as in the photo below. New York springtime is at its prime at the moment, and the magnolia trees in central park really make a stunning statement.
However, when you get closer, there is something imperfect about each flower that disappoints me every time. Maybe its that they have no obvious order, or symmetry about them. Or that by the time the innermost petals open the others look close to dropping off. They are pretty mostly because of the color, but far from making my favorites list. Still very worthy of a photo though, happy weekend everyone!
This stunningly beautiful reptile finds its home in a resort in Aruba, a beautiful island in the Caribbean. Actually I was surprised and delighted to find that many iguanas use the resort pool, and surrounding display rocks for their own personal sunning spots. Even more relaxed than the tourists on vacation, these iguanas are so accustomed to having people around them, that they were most obliging to model for some close up portrait photos.
In Tasmania, like many places around the world, springtime means a lot of youngsters are finally out roaming around. Pademelons are marsupials (they have a pouch) which are particularly abundant in Tasmania, Australia. Baby pademelons are born at any time throughout the year, though higher numbers are born at the start of winter and spend the first 6 months in the warmth and safety of mums pouch.
These cute and happy flowers belong to a beautiful little orchid that is a cross between Phalaenopsis Golden Peoker and Doritis Pulcherrima, thus the amalgamated name Doritaenopsis. Each cross will have flowers that are slightly different (more or less dark/light pink, more or less ruffling of the petals), and is an easy and welcome addition to any home orchid collection. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
This gorgeous wallaby was photographed in Tasmania, Australia. Native to Australia, these beautiful animals are in the same family as Kangaroos but were informally designated as wallabies due to their generally smaller size. Interestingly, there are a number of feral populations of wallabies in various places around the world including Hawaii, England and France because these bouncy critters are great at escaping from the zoo!
Even the largest and scariest of animals were once a cute little baby (except birds which definitely get cuter with age). This adorable baby crocodile is contently sunning itself in a river in Cairns, located in far north Queensland. As cute as this little guy may be, where there is a baby, there must be a mummy and a daddy. Cairns is home to saltwater crocodiles, currently the largest living reptiles, and the much larger and more aggressive cousin of the freshwater crocs. It made me very glad that I was in a boat on this river and not in a small canoe!
Whenever I see a hibiscus flower I immediately associate it with tropical vacations. Beautiful and large flowers, they come in a variety of stunning colors. In Australia we have a hibiscus harlequin bug (Tectocoris diopthalamus) which is also brightly colored, but a dreaded pest to the hibiscus plant. It will pierce through the stem of tender shoots and flower buds to feed on the sap, causing the buds to drop off. These bugs also feed on cotton, a few Australian natives and some fruit trees. Once a female lays her eggs she will stand guard and protect them. In Australia we call them stink bugs because when they get disturbed, they release a very bad smell which triggers mass smell production from nearby friends. Happy weekend everyone!