In a powerful metaphor for the new year, Port Macquarie in New South Wales, Australia, is witness to a stunningly abundant display of red and yellow Christmas bell flowers this year. Native wildflower grower Paul Dalley said a combination of conditions brought on by fire and rain enabled the abundant blooms of this variety this year. "It's a carry-over effect from last year. During the drought, a lot of the Christmas bells went dormant, they don't compete very well with other plants in the bush for water. So they were knocked back, then the bushfire came along and knocked out a lot of that competition. Christmas bells have an underground root structure that allows them to survive the fire and then come back quickly to re-shoot, and they've done that." Australians can go years without seeing them, but their seeds are still there, patiently waiting for the right conditions to bloom.

Read Full Story