Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas down under

Christmas in Australia
click to enlargeNuytsia floribunda Loranthaceae

When I was living in Western Australia while teaching at Edith Cowan University, I was charmed by this Christmas tree (it is actually called Christmas tree). It is a parasite and only blooms at Christmas time...big, clusters of yellow flowers. It has roots that tenaciously can grow for yards and yards underground and pop up a new tree a long distance from its mother.

Christmas season seemed alike but different in some ways from the USA. Santa Claus showed up in the mall and stores were decorated but there never seemed to be the prevalence of crass materialism that prevades the States. Stores would have a small display of cards and ornaments and lights but not racks and racks of glittery stuff which was really nice.
What was really fun was the big parade in downtown Perth with bands and fire engines and of course, Santa but what a difference in the crowd. We were all wearing shorts, sunscreen, sandals and Santa hats. Fun with the spirit of Christmas no matter what the temp.

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