Waiheke Island, New Zealand. The people on this island must love their gardening; greenery and colors dominate the landscape here. Of course, given the virtual tropical climate, perhaps the plants grow themselves.
That´s certainly true with the pohutukawa tree (shown here) which, according to locals, releases its red flowers before Christmas when the summer ahead will be a long, warm one. They´re blooming now„as are hundreds of other plants, some of which we recognize and many we don´t.
The most confounding thing, though, is the lack of fauna (critters). We´ve seen only one wild four-legged creature since we´ve been here„don´t know what it was. There´s nary an alley cat. And hardly any bugs, either. In Minnesota, you need to watch your step to avoid tripping over the squirrels, rabbits, and other rampant rodentia. What gives? Who knows? But after screaming for years at varmint that do big damage to gardens, homes, and sanity, this respite is as welcome as the buds and the blooms.