Red hibiscus 

It has been three years since we last stayed at the Pink Flamingo, Port Douglas, Australia. In that time we have moved house, married at the British Consulate, Sydney, and my position title, at work, has changed three times. 

This trip to Far North Queensland is an opportunity for us to live a simpler life. Relaxing, unwinding and spending time together are the only objectives. 

October in Port Douglas is usually dry with occasional showers. It has so far rained every day since Sunday, with more forecasted to come. This has not stopped us from enjoying the pool in the resort and going into town. 

This morning, the clouds parted to reveal the deepest blue sky. I was fortunate to be able to take the above picture of a beautiful red hibiscus flower. 

Reflecting on the bigger picture

Nature’s reminder of the importance of the ‘how’ and the ‘why’  

Walking from Randwick shops to my office, the vibrant pink of this hibiscus attracted my attention. Quickly activating the photo app on my phone, I hoped the breeze would not move the blooms too much. Visualising hot pink against a contrasting green background with an accent of yellow, I focussed and clicked several times.
While reviewing the pictures I noticed that in editing the leaves to make the flower the star I would lose the way the sunshine catches the leaves. Instead I decided to allow the pride of the plant to draw one’s gaze to the powerhouse of the plant. 
On reflection I realised that I am often drawn to the prize without thinking about the bigger picture – focussing on the ‘what’ rather than the ‘how’ and the ‘why’.

Winter red

It has been an unusually warm August. Cherry, magnolia and jasmine flowers are bursting forth in response. The above bush in Petersham Park, Sydney, Australia appears to be bearing miniature hibiscus blooms. Or could it be a camellia?

Jewel Bugs

When I first spotted these lustrous beetles going about there business on a tree trunk I thought they might be Christmas beetles. A bit of google research revealed their true identity.

According to the Queensland Museum website they are commonly known as jewel bugs. This particular species is the Hibiscus Harlequin Bug (tectocoris diophthalmus).

Females lay clusters of eggs around twigs and guard them until they hatch. The nymphs are often a different colour to the adults. The Hibiscus Harlequin Bug is found in coastal dunes, rainforest, open forest and gardens in northern and eastern Australia, New Guinea and some Pacific islands.

Length about 15 mm. The body is rounded and convex. Its colour varies, from pale orange to heavily patterned with metallic green, blue and red.

Information on jewel bugs – Queensland Museum website

Italian Hibiscus

We arrived in Rarotonga, Cook Islands in the early hours of the morning, buds seemed to be scattered on every surface in our room. We awoke to the sight of fully opened brilliant red blooms. Since that day Hibiscus flowers remind me of the tropics.

I was pleased to see these beauties in Sorrento, Italy.