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Native pig face (carpobrotus rossii) is the only species of pig face native to Tasmania, hence the name. Its vibrant pink flowers blanket the sand dues on Tasmanian beaches as well as lowland rocky areas. As a succulent, they store water in their stems in order to survive in salty, coastal regions. Their leaves, flowers and fruit are edible and were used for food and medicine by the Tasmanian aborigines. Its floral peak usually extends from mid November to mid December.
Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34)
Native pig face (Carpobrotus rossi) is my favorite Tasmanian flower (by appearance–wattles are my favorite by scent). It never ceases to amaze me how this succulent can survive in the most inhospitable of soils.
Toward the beginning of November pig face flowers explode in bloom here in Tasmania. Truly, not even King Solomon was clothed as beautifully as some of the beaches and rocky outcroppings pig face is found upon. It’s a shame that this beautiful flower was given such an unfortunate name (evidently because the flower is supposed to look like a pig’s face?)
I snapped this detail shot while I was on a walk with my little girl. As she stopped at the beach to throw rocks in the water, I took the opportunity to snap a few photos of the pig face, which was nearing full bloom.
When I consider the natural world, I never cease to be astounded at all of the plants and animals God creates to inhabit the most uninhabitable places, whether it be in the middle of frozen Antarctica or under the extreme pressures at the bottom of the ocean, in the pitch black darkness of caves or at the edge of boiling thermal pools.
All year long I look forward to the pig face bloom because it is so beautiful. It’s one of my favorite times of year. It reminds me of the Scipture in Matthew 6:25-34 (above). If God so radiantly clothes the very poorest of soils, then why do I ever need to worry about the tiniest details of my life?