They look like festive exploding fireworks to me. Fireworks that shout "the weekend has arrived, everybody party!" Or something to that effect. These trees from the tropics bear a bud that turns into the softest of fluff, and are called, therefore, the Red Powder Puff flower. It's actual name is the Calliandra and I've tried in vain to get a decent photo of these at our local tropical greenhouse over the last few months. But it's been difficult, I'll admit.
The reason being is that they are on the far side of the koi pond, and up high where the light is the harshest. And they really beg to be photographed. I think they're wonderful. Like a fantastical flower in a Dr.Seuss book. So here's one that turned out using my telephoto and my handy dandy tripod, and the cloudy weather that day helped even out the light coming directly from above. I will indeed keep returning, hopefully a branch will lean out close enough to the path that I can get nice and close, and if I time it right, the staff will have just sprayed everything with a fine mist of water first thing in the day...
So stay tuned for an update on whether I can get the shot I really see in my mind everytime I visit this fantasty plant. And have a terrific weekend!