Fire in the Sky

Last night the sky lit up with fireworks.

New Year in the Philippines. The view of the Metro Manila skyline from Monterey Hills in San Mateo, Rizal. Photographed by: Paolo Nacpil. From: Photographs by Paolo Nacpil on

In a fireworks crazy country like the Philippines, people spend crazy amount of money on fireworks to welcome the new year.  Manila was practically a war zone last night - fireworks exploding here, there and everywhere. Fireworks debris fell from the sky.  Ash fell from the sky.  My cars were covered  in ash and worse, my plants were covered in ash.  Smoke was everywhere.  The runway of Ninoy Aquino International Airport is usually closed every year on new year from twelve midnight until two hours later because of zero visibility.  Consistent with our government's tourism slogan . . .

. . . new year celebrations are more fun in the Philippines, unless you have asthma.

In a quiet corner of my garden, a small plant was also welcoming the new year with its own version  of fireworks display.  In its non-blooming state, this plant looks mundane with its greyish-white leaves and its unremarkable form.  In its blooming state, the Tillandsia harrisii, a kind of airplant, can be very flamboyant like a fire in the sky.

It is named after Rainforest Flora's original corporate partner, Mr. Bill Harris. 

This species boasts soft, succulent, white leaves.  The inflorescence is bright, long-lasting red, which is a great contrast to the white leaves. Tillandsia harrisii is a hardy species that prefers bright light. A very low maintenance plant and a generous pupper.

Happy New Year everyone!!!