The Christmas tree has become one of the most recognisable shapes and symbols the world over, to the point where almost any tree or piece of foliage in that specific evergreen shape reminds us of the festivities. The colour red has also become intertwined with Christmas and so it’s not a surprise that in motifs and art and designs, the red Christmas tree shape is quite a common occurrence. There are also the occasional faux tress make of plastic or paper or other material in red, a growing trend with the increase in the need to celebrate Christmas more responsibly and without the sacrifice of a living tree. A real red Christmas tree is probably not far away with genetic engineering and hydroponic mass production, but for now we do try to replicate the effect with other naturally red leaves. This poinsettia tree, carefully decorated in the classic Christmas tree shape in Birmingham Botanical Gardens, is a fine example.
We think of ladybirds as red but compared to these very red leaves, they seem to pale into a rich orange. This almost monochrome image is a wonderful find. Not only is the inclusion of the ladybirds subtle, but over time you realise just how many of these there must be on an average sized tree of this sort. The sheer numbers of the insect population can be astonishing, and beautiful.