The Tranquillity of New Ireland
In April 1990, several months after I was crowned Miss PNG (1989), the PNG Red Cross sent me on a national tour across Papua New Guinea. The tour was to promote the work of Red Cross in charity, disaster relief, blood transfusion services and youth growth and development programmes. This trip enabled me to learn new things, see new places and make many friends. It was a discovery of the magnitude of the work of Red Cross had done in the country and how many people dependent on these services. I was happy to be part of it all and be an ambassador for Red Cross. Unfortunately this privilege no longer exists in the quest due to lack of funding and the changes to the beauty pageant.
During my Red Cross travels, I also saw some of the most beautiful parts of PNG. Pictured is a small coastal village we passed during my tour of Kavieng, New Ireland Province. I took this picture of the house on the waterfront. A few days ago, I was delightfully surprised to find the picture (above) while going through some photos from 27 and 28 years ago. It brought back many memories of the wonderful time I had experienced.
Immediately, I had to paint this little house. The colours I chose reflect the glorious feeling I had during that time, while experiencing love and friendships; the tranquillity and wonders of my beloved PNG. I was very lucky to see a lot of the country during my reign.
I hope you like the images. Feel free to comment and share the tranquillity and beauty of this beautiful PNG Province.
Day’s Reflection – Poetry
A reflection mirrors today
In trapped waters, blue melts white light
Finding its way as water may,
where leafy dense could not steal this sight
Far beyond, a rainbow display
as if to say, blue sky has come to stay
A cluster of dark brown to black pelleted fungi invaded one of my plant pots. I had never seen anything like it. They were tiny, but the use of micro lens helped produce these pictures. When each ‘lid’ – size of a tack pin head came off, the mushroom’s inside was full of black pellets.
Some of you may remember this bromeliad (as pictured below) I posted on this blog on Christmas Day, 2015 and called it The Christmas Star. Well guess what? The star of Christmas 2015 is still alive and even as I write. Pictured above in August, 2016 the gorgeous pineapple family flower has started to fade and slowly die but only in the last week. It is the longest surviving flowers I have had in my garden.
My sister-in-law asked me once if I wanted to see ice cream cones.
“To eat?” I asked.
“No – just to see,” she said.
I thought that was a rather weird thing to suggest, until I actually saw what she meant.
Shampoo Ginger Cones are referred to as ice cream cones in Lae, Papua New Guinea where many other beautiful ginger plants are found. This plant species originated from Hawaii.
When it flowers, these tiny orchid-like bloom protrudes from the cones. It is hard to imagine that a tough, robust and rubbery bulb could produce such a delicate flower.
The featured collection (here) came from photos I took of my sister-in-law Esther Kauc’s garden. Both Esther and my mother have cultivated a wide range of ginger plants for the unique flowers and dense leafy coverage which provides shade and boundary for their homes.
Upon seeing the plants, I realised what Esther had meant. I didn’t have any urge to bite into them – but I was captivated by the ginger’s beauty so much so, I could not stop looking at them.
Under the leaves of the double (petal) fuchsia hibiscus is where the butterflies sleep. The withered hibiscus leaves dying and hanging, provide the perfect camouflage for the butterflies. If light does not reflect on their folding wings or their shimmering patterns, you just don’t know – that is where the butterflies sleep after dark.
How did I know this? I was helping my mother late one evening to prune these beautiful hibiscus bushes and I saw the butterflies. There were lots of them under the leaves – hanging upside down like the flying foxes. As soon as light arrived the next morning, I went to check and the butterflies had gone.
When the Cattleya orchid bloom, the petals remind me of watercolour on paper. Translucent layers, flow the streams into each other. Lights, waiting to burst in unseemly angles. The orchid’s veins like fine ice crystals are so delicate that it bruises to touch; such a complete contrast to its thick leathery dull green leaves.
Inside, many secrets are kept. But who is to know…
When you are up close to a Cattleya, there are so many things to look at and the mind can play tricks on you. I get lost in the ‘skirts’, the twists of the lines, and ruffled ends of its petals that tilt like a Latin dancer’s skirt. Sometimes the ruffles can look like bird feathers.
It is not hard to see a Latin dancer stretch her legs and throws the ruffled hem back, leaving the wind and the music to take her. Round and round in her twists and turns until the last note, a high-pitched violin is played to bring her home.
That note is also the mosquito humming in my ear as it bites me. I know I am staring at the orchid under the tree outside my house. Show is over.
Nature photography – Mushrooms
This grasshopper made a perfect landing on our red bar chair when I was up-close and photographing a Kookaburra outside yesterday. Sounds like a David Attenborough moment, but only because, the grasshopper injured its second left joint. There is an ant on it if you check the third picture down.
I shall post the Kookaburra pictures tomorrow. I was pleased the red bar chair provided more than what I could hope for in a backdrop, especially providing a good contrast to the insect’s beautiful green colour. The grasshopper did take off as soon as the hungry bird made a move towards it.