Boxing Day 2011

Have never seen a butterfly this colour before. The sight of it brought me out of the house with my camera.

Boxing Day is the day after Christmas Day.  I guess we just took this on as part of the colonial legacy in Papua New Guinea. There are no post-Christmas sales like everywhere else in the Western world. For most, in PNG, it is an extended holiday and especially so if Christmas was celebrated on Sunday or Monday.

A single bright pink bloom

It was a lovely sunny day in Port Moresby but I opted to stay home and just chill out despite the power black out which made any breeze-less day inside my house unbearable.

I looked out the front yard and was so happy at the sight of the lovely zinnias. The front yard was a flush with a myriad of colours, mostly lilac, hot pink and orange. It was a good time to experiment with different settings on my Nikon D90 and I must say I was pleased with the results. I am happy to share them on this post.

A beautiful lilac coloured zinnias. Looks like a windmill.

These flowers attracted the butterfly and a small bee-like insect. There could have been other insects too buzzing around with the odd mosquito which I did not notice as I was too busy trying to take shots of a couple of the zinnias which did not look too wind-swept.

Bee-like insect on the bloom. Took a couple of shots before I caught it on this one to take this close-up shot.

As I walked around my small front yard I could see that although Port Moresby has  33 degree temperatures all year through still anything can grow with very little watering but regularly.

A bright orange zinnias. Beautiful.

Another shot of the butterfly (below). I had to chase it around the garden to be able to take this shot. The tint of blue on its head and part of the wingspan is unbelievable which is not obvious on the first shot I took (the first photo on this post).

Another shot at the butterfly feeding on pollen.

The long power black out on Boxing Day drove me out of the house and onto the front yard and the searing heat however I was compensated with the sight of these beautiful flowers. A power blackout on Boxing Day was unacceptable because we couldn’t heat up food or have the fans on. I hope it doesn’t happen again next Boxing Day. I can only hope.

Lovely blooms but a little battered about with recent heavy rains in the area
The butterfly was almost a different colour every time I tried to take a shot. Here it looks kind of golden.

Next time there is a power black out and I’m home during the day, I ‘ll remember to take my camera and explore other flower gardens in the neighbourhood. Sounds like a pretty good one to include as a New Year’s resolution.

Happy Holidays to everyone.

Christmas Day 2011

The spirit of Christmas

There were many Christmas parties, lunches, dinners and get- togethers in the lead up to Christmas Day. The shops were filled with shoppers – relatives, friends, and colleagues all looking for that  special gift. It is that time of the year when our minds turn to gift shopping, buying and giving. Most people will open their gifts on Christmas Day, 25th December, 2011 and celebrations continue well into Boxing Day, 26th December.

A big part of the shopping is for food that will make our celebration of Christmas unique. And talking about food shopping at this time, I treasure the freedom to be able to choose what makes a Christmas meal in my own home. There is no pressure to rush around for ham, turkey or whatever – can you imagine if millions of Papua New Guineans were searching for that ‘national’ Christmas meaty centrepiece for their Christmas meal. That will most certainly change our shopping habits for Christmas Day in Papua New Guinea. One could be eating fish on Christmas Day which we did – a succulent Red Emperor (from the pristine waters of Tufi), aibika from our very own back garden cooked in coconut cream, Highlands potatoes, tender lamb chops and Thai jasmine rice graced our Christmas table followed by home-made pawpaw pie (my late Mom’s recipe) – all cooked with heaps of TLC. Water, soft drinks and hot beverages followed. It was the family and fellowship that was the most important element. Earlier in the day Christmas breakfast was a family affair too.

Throughout the day as I watched one Christmas movie after another on the telly, I pondered over why we celebrate Christmas. I’ve attached this interesting link on the origins of Christmas wherein lies the origins of the Christian Christmas celebration. As a country colonised by the British and Germans and later administered by Australia, we have taken on whatever Christmas traditions they practiced – perhaps not all of the traditions though.

As a Christian, I thought about the gifts I have received for Christmas this year, and my thoughts naturally turned to the more significant gift. The birth of Jesus Christ our Saviour.  When we have opened our presents and  have enjoyed all the Christmas treats,  in the final analysis – that one Christmas gift is the only one that remains because of the world of difference it makes in our lives when we believe. The birth of Christ brought hope and faith and so each Christmas the hope for a wonderful life in Christ.

I thought about the proclamation in Luke 1: 14, “You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at His birth” and from Isaiah 9:6, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” A gentle reminder for 25th December.

I wish all my family, friends, colleagues and readers a wonderful Christmas Day.  I trust that you all had a wonderful day with family and friends wherever you are.