The sixth year of this blog starts with a photo I took to isolate a bird of paradise flower against the blue sky. But when I looked at it, my first thought was that it looked like some kind of Soviet emblem from the days of the Cold War, possibly something associated with the space race or armaments.
The only thing that rules that out is that the flower is far too colorful for that kind of thing. Perhaps the version below would be more appropriate. Onward comrades to Year 7.
Last month, I posted (here) a photo of a gold dust day gecko drinking from a bird of paradise flower. This photo, taken last week, is from that same clump of plants. This flower is past its prime, but the gecko has not yet reached adulthood and has already had at least one narrow escape judging by its missing tail. It kept its eyes on me, probably wondering if I represented another threat.
The tropical-looking bird of paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae) is actually a native of sub-tropical South Africa. But it certainly has the pizzazz of a tropical plant, especially when being visited by a colorful gold dust day gecko seeking to sup on the flower’s nectar.
Posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Top.’ See more responses here.
Near the entrance to Upolu Airport there is a clump of bird of paradise plants. When the plants are in bloom I make a point of checking out the flowers as they are a favorite of the geckos. I’ll often see geckos on the flowers, especially if they have not yet begun to fade.
In this case, I saw this smaller gold dust day gecko licking nectar off a flower. The gecko noticed me after a few moments and fixed me with its gaze. It never took its eyes off me, but neither did it stop feasting on the nectar.
This variable lady beetle was one of two scuttling around on a bird of paradise flower. The flies seemed very interested in it and kept checking it out. There were also flying ants and a wasp on the flower, drawn by the nectar no doubt.