No Mud, No Lotus

No Mud No Lotus 1

Lotus flowers always make an interesting subject, and this is a set I took yesterday morning from a man made pond within the neighbourhood. Large sections of the muddy pond was literally swamped with lotus plants with their deep pink flowers looking extremely fresh and vibrant, as if they just bloomed that morning. Nice flowers for a subject, but not very nice background to complement them with (sigh!). But the reality is, the muddier (and ‘dirtier’) the environment, the better the lotus thrives, and I suppose this is corroborated by what I saw in the pond, the lotus flowers do looked so healthy and vibrant amidst the muddy and mucky environment!

No Mud No Lotus 2

A rather interesting find and read awaited when I went looking for an appropriate (and also nice) title for the photos and post. Upon googling a number of word phrases, I came upon ‘No mud, No lotus’, a phrase coined by Thich Nhat Hanh* and liked it immediately …

“Everyone knows we need to have mud for lotuses to grow. The mud doesn’t smell so good, but the lotus flower smells very good. If you don’t have mud, the lotus won’t manifest. You can’t grow lotus flowers on marble. Without mud, there can be no lotus.”

His philosophy round the concept is interesting and worthwhile noting, like ying and yang, the complementary opposites, something which I can observe and relate to in many ways in our daily lives …

“Without suffering, there’s no happiness. So we shouldn’t discriminate against the mud.
We have to learn how to embrace and cradle our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with a lot of tenderness.”

So, there you go, a couple of lotus photos and some new learnings on an easy lazy Sunday, not bad at all, yes?

(* Thich Nhat Hanh, No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering)

All photos: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF 55-200 mm

 

Pink Plumerias

Alluring In Pink

Appearing in clusters at the end of branches, each plumeria is formed by five oval shaped waxy petals curled towards their edges, and carries a distinctive sweet and enticing scent which gets more pronounced in the evening. Their beauty and delightful scent make them universally loved and are commonly used as an ornamental flower in the home as well as a beauty accessory in the tropics. It is easily one of the most recognisable and popular ‘tropical’ flower (the thought of it alone connotes an exotic tropical feel) within the plant kingdom. The white variety being the most common, with many others ranging from deep crimson to orange and yellow.

Delicate Softness

The name ‘Plumeria’ is attributed to Charles Plumier, a 17th Century French botanist who described several tropical species. Its more common name today, frangipani, comes from the Italian nobleman, Marquis Frangipani, who created a perfume used to scent gloves in the 16th century.  When the plumeria flower was discovered its natural perfume reminded people of the scented gloves, and so the flower was called frangipani.

Curvaceous

These were all shot outdoor on a sunny morning, processed accordingly to emphasise the delicate shape, softness and alluring colours of the delightful pink plumerias. I hope it comes across well as intended. A good weekend to all.

All photos: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF 55-200 mm

 

 

Prostrate Pasture Weed

Bunch Of Prostrate Pasture Weed Enjoying Their First Kiss Of The Morning Sun

This bunch of prostrate pasture weed (Cyathula Prostrata) were low lying in the shade of some oil palm trees of an oil palm plantation I visited for some morning nature photography. I was not particularly attracted to them except for how some of its lanky stems were catching the morning sun light amid the spread of billygoat-weed (ageratum conyzoides) purplish buds. Took a few shots but didn’t give them much thought until now while spring cleaning one of my image disks. I quite like this particular low-key image of the plant and did some research to find out what they are for this post, and surprise surprise, what I thought was an undesirable and invasive weed is actually a plant highly valued for its varied medicinal properties …

The prostrate pasture weed is an annual to perennial plant with prostrate or erect stems growing from a long taproot to 30-60cm tall. Widespread in the Asian and African tropics, the plant is often harvested from the wild as a source of food (leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable), medicine and soap! Often used in traditional medicine, different parts of the plant and its associated preparation serves as an expectorant, mild laxative,  antiseptic, haemostatic, abortifacient; for the treatment of coughs, headache, fever, dysentery, rheumatism, dropsy, sores, burns, wounds, scabies, skin ailments (shingles).

What an amazing plant! reminds me of the coconut tree, another plant of many uses.

Photo: Fujifilm X-E2 with XF 55-200mm