Purple Snow and Boys Gone Bad

Posted in Mixed Nuts on April 8th, 2010 by MadDog
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Well, I certainly have some strange stuff for you today. We’re moving from a stunning sunrise, to Purple Snow (magenta, actually) to Boys Gone Bad and ending up with ship lights in the rain. Eclectic, eh? We’re dealing with the product of a meandering mind here, folks. Fasten your seat belts. We’re going where no Hoosier has gone before.

First I have to mention my soaring spirits as I note the change of season. It has been a dismal rainy time. I mentioned to Eunie this morning that I can tell the season is changing because I’m getting more good sunrise shots. They have been rare and peculiar for months. This morning’s was a beaut:I guess this means that I’m going to have to start getting at 05:30 again. I nearly missed the one above at 06:00. I had to run to the bedroom to grab some shorts and my camera. Both are needed for a sunrise shot. The neighbours would not appreciate a wild-haired naked white man waving a camera around in their yard in the morning.

Yesterday on the way home from the office we had to stop to get pictures of the incredible display of flowers fallen from this tree along Airport Road:I don’t know what kind of tree it is. It appears to be similar to the trees that are referred to in Australia as “bottle brush” trees. I’m a fish guy, not a tree guy. If you know the name of this tree, please leave a comment.

Here’s the closest shot of the flowers that I could manage without a ladder or my long telephoto Olympus SP-590UZ camera:As you can see, the flowers not unlike small pom-poms.

If this shot doesn’t blow you mind, I don’t know what will:From years of watching these kinds of trees that cover the ground with flowers, of which there are many kinds and colours, it seems to me that the phenomena lasts only a very few days. It reminds me of the intense but brief flowering of some desserts.

UPDATE: Our own Lucy Proctor of Madang says that this is a Lau Lau Tree, sometimes called a Bellfruit Tree. She commented on Facebook. I’ve gotten several other comments, all different, which you can see below. No way I’m going to get caught up in this one. Let them battle it out. I’ve offered to supply more detailed images so that maybe we’ll get a species name. Stay tuned.

UPDATE FROM JUSTIN FRIEND: Jan – its of the Genus Syzigium  – which species exactly is hard to say as there are abundant varieties very similar to each other. Its part of the Myrtaceae  Family hence the number of comments mentioning similarity to Eucalyptus genus, they are indeed first cousins. The fuit of the Syzigiums in PNG are generically referred to as Lau Lau, the fruit … See More of Syzigiums in Australia are generically referred to as Lily Pillys. Various Syzigiums produce various fruits known by various names around the world such as Malay Apple, Water Apple, Water Cherry, Rose Apple, and many other fruits often with the word Water and Apple involved. Samarai has huge Syzigiums on the main street. Some Syzigiums are native to PNG, other varieties have been introduced, in my humble opinion PNG has the largest variety of edible fruit bearing Syzigium varieties I have personally come across in the Asia-Pacific.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: A storm (okay, a little breeze) of controversy has been generated concerning the exact species of this tree. Here are three images that should allow the botanists out there to continue their battle with fresh ammunition:
That’s the trunk, as any fool can see. Here is a closer shot of the flowers in the tree:And, here is a close-up of the flowers:

FINAL UPDATE (hopefully): [From Steve Bennett] I’m hoping my last post on this matter… after consulting with my paper based library (the internet can be very vague in searching for botanical taxonomy), I have ended up with the timeless tome by Stirling Macoboy “What Flower is that?” and Stirling comes up with the goods and a great quote when discussing Syzygium malaccense  or the Malay Apple. Stirling says “A taxonomist’s nightmare and a great nuisance to gardeners, these lovely trees have changed names as often as Elizabeth Taylor (note from Steve: I’m sure MadDog remembers who she is…): Acmena, Jambosa, Phyllocladyx, Eugenia, Stenocalyx, Myrtus  and now – Syzygium!”

Stirling then follows this up with a picture of Syzygium malaccense  and it matches the new pics posted by MadDog. One of my other books mentions the brownish reddish flaky bark of the trunk.

And as a consolation to my namesake, Syzygium  and Eugenia  are both in the genus Myrtaceae  which is where you will find Eucalyptus  as well.

Let’s take a break from the gaudy pictures to find out what matters of great import are occurring in our world. It seems that big  boys have gone bad. You may be familiar with an English expression, which I shall not use here because of my New Year’s Resolution regarding naughty language. The expression graphically depicts the settlement of serious disagreements between men (and, presumably between women, though I don’t know how that would work) by comparing the relative distance that a stream of urine can be projected by the respective individuals. The following reminds me of this kind of silly contest:

LOS ANGELES: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is in hot water with the governor of Alabama for his response to comedian Robin Williams’ “Australians are basically English rednecks” jibe. Williams made the joke on the Dave Letterman TV talk show in the US earlier last week and Rudd, during a radio interview last Wednesday, hit back by recommending the comedian “spend a bit of time in Alabama before he frames comments about anyone being particularly redneck”. Rudd’s reference to Alabama and rednecks generated a terse response from Alabama governor Bob Riley. “I’m not sure if Prime Minister Rudd has ever been to Alabama,” Alabama governor Bob Riley responded in a statement.

“If he has, he would know that Alabamians are decent, hard working, creative people.”  [and also rednecks, Eunie added as she was reading this to me – ed.]  Williams was recently in Australia voicing a character in the animated film sequel  Happy Feet 2  and spoke about his visit during the Letterman TV talk show appearance. “The Australians are basically English rednecks,” Williams said. “I realised if Darwin had landed in Australia, he would’ve said ‘I’m wrong, I don’t know what I was thinking’… “You look at some of these animals and realise there was an open bar in heaven on the last day.”  — AAP

I have but a few succulent comments concerning the above.

First, Robin Williams is the consummate clown who modelled himself after one of the greatest buffoons of the 20th Century, Jonathan Winters. Anyone who takes serious umbrage concerning any of his “jibes” needs to immediately and determinedly lighten up. Shame on you, Prime Minister Rudd, for falling for that one. It was an obvious trap.

Next, the Honourable Governor of Alabama, Bob Riley, needs to get real. I’m sure that most Alabamians are “decent, hard working, creative people”, but an astonishing percentage of the population are rednecks, pure and simple. Proud of it too, they are. Eunie and I spent several months at a U. S. Army installation at Fort Rucker in Alabama. We can attest to the redneckism rampant among the population. I don’t know what the fuss is about. Being redneck is like being gay. There’s not a lot you can do about it.

As for the whole matter of Australians being merely Englsih Rednecks, it’s patently obvious that that’s rubbish. Firstly, Australians are nothing at all like Pommies. Pommies hardly ever remove all of their clothing in public. Secondly, the Redneck population is confined primarily to Queensland. Get your facts straight, Robin. Factual material is nearly always funnier than made-up crap.

Concerning the open bar in heaven . . . well, it’s heaven, eh? Everybody gets a little social lube and there are no noisy, rude drunks picking fights. Sounds like heaven to me.

I’ll knock this one off with this peculiar image that I got the other night in the middle of a moderate rain storm:Sometimes the images of which I expect the least are the ones which please me the most. I love moody stuff. This one really appeals to me. It was a devil to work with. I had to convert it to a 32 bit per channel image and then do a heavy Gaussian blur on the area above the lights to get rid of banding in the extremely subtle tonal variations. The image was shot hand-held at medium telephoto with the Canon G11 at ISO 800 for 1/5 second at ƒ4.5. The blurring is caused mostly by the heavy rain.

As if anybody cares.

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