This is an orchid that I photographed while at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. A magnificent tropical garden which stretches as far as you can see. It was a bit of an effort walking around all day, on what was an incredibly hot day with 100% humidity. Though, as much as the people suffered in these stifling weather conditions, it is perfect for these orchids. They belong to a group of plants which are collectively called epiphytes, meaning that they love to grow harmlessly attached to another plant or tree with their roots free to absorb nutrients and moisture from the air and rain. These plants grow as a single, unbranching stem with leaves alternately growing on either side. They produce multiple branching flower stems with many flowers (pinkish-red, fiery red, orange or yellow) dancing on either side. Seeing a group of fully grown plants in flower is like looking at a brilliant firework display of heated colors exploding into the sky. Needless to say, this is one of my very favorite orchids.
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!
This iguana is a resident of Washington Slagbaai National Park in Bonaire. A small island in the Caribbean, it is one of the less travelled destinations in this area. The turquoise colored water of its beaches can provide stunning backdrops for any photograph. This particular iguana was incredibly unafraid, and wanted to climb into my lap to eat the avocado I was spreading on my sandwich. I have photographed many iguanas while on vacation, as they are remarkably individual with unique patterns and coloring of their scales. A truly beautiful creature, even if, regardless of how happy and relaxed they are, they always look grumpy.