Friday, October 19, 2007

Bandanna Day ... #148

CanTeen was established to ensure that no young person in New Zealand living with cancer should ever have to feel alone ... but as Canteeners say "We’re not a cafeteria! We’re not just about bandannas! We’re not all bald!" but we do sell bandannas at this time of the year to raise funds for our organisation.

These photos are of me yesterday, experiencing the harsh life of a street salesman, on a cold windy afternoon outside Farmers department store on Lambton Quay. Special thanks to Vinh Vu who took the photos and was also helping out despite going through some hard times himself.

My daughter Anna is a member of Canteen and designed the pohutukawa flower bandanna ... maybe it should called an "AnnaBandanna". It reminded her of Kiwi summers at the beach and good times shared with family and friends. Anna joined CanTeen as her older brother, Scott died when he was two after a year long fight with Neuroblastoma. Through CanTeen, Anna has learnt a lot about herself and met some very inspirational people.

The Pōhutukawa flowers from November to January with a peak in mid to late December (the southern hemisphere summer), with brilliant crimson flowers covering the tree, hence the nickname New Zealand Christmas Tree. There is variation between individual trees in the timing of flowering, and in the shade and brightness of the flowers. In isolated populations genetic drift has resulted in local variation: many of the trees growing around the Rotorua lakes produce pink-shaded flowers, and the yellow-flowered cultivar "Aurea" descends from a pair discovered in 1940 on Mōtiti Island in the Bay of Plenty.

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