Wander Into Nature

And Nature, the old nurse, took

The Child upon her knee,

Saying: ‘Here is a story -book

Thy Father has written for thee.’

‘Come, wander with me’, she said,

Into regions yet untrod;

And read what is still unread

In the manuscripts of God.’

Longfellow The Fiftieth Birthday of Agassiz

I came across these words recently on the first page of a book I am reading and they immediately reminded me of the Bhorgiri trek we took a few years ago. It was one of my first experiences of walking out in Nature and being the monsoon the experience was fantastic. One that I have craved for again and again. To feel free and to experience Nature as it is meant to be.

Here are a few images from that wonderful outing.

Till date, I have not identified this tree.. And it was the only bare leafless one, surrounded by a profuse burst of green.
The mist covered hill beckoned us …
Some Orchid on the tree.. could not photograph properly due to the rain
We walked through a thick jungle, over rocks and gurgling streams.. the forest showed some of its mysteries to us..
The entire countryside was covered in a glorious green carpet..

I did identify some trees and herbs, but the lasting impression was of the green countryside… Raw. Rejuvenated. Glorious.

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in.

More Morning Hues (Wordless Wednesday)

A beach in Goa..
The Sun rises in Goa
The sugarcane fields were in bloom and I could not resist trying to capture the glowing inflorescence from the moving vehicle. The camera does no justice to the beautiful scene..

Posting a day late, but I am sure you will enjoy these images of beautiful mornings ..

I am joining Natasha in her #WW blog hop.

Offspring (ThursdayTreeLove)

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees – Amelia Earhart

While roots of trees are underground in most cases , plants do grow aerial roots. The Ficus species is the easily recognisable example. When the hanging root touches ground, a new tree is born at that spot. Over time, the single tree has several offsprings and it becomes a forest!!

The Great Banyan at the Botanical Garden in Kolkata, the Banyan at Pemgiri and the Banyan at Auroville are famous for creating such forests.

Have you seen these or other similar ancient Ficus?

Your city would surely have mini versions of such new trees.

Here are two lovely roadside trees that provide a shelter from Sun or Rain to passerby’s. A wonderful spot for evening chats!

And a cool spot to park a vehicle 😉

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around thecworld.

Better still, join in!!

Happy Diwali folks!!!

May this festival of lights bring good Health and Happiness to everyone!

Autumn Colours (ThursdayTreeLove)

“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower” – Albert Camus

Looking at Autumn or Fall colours is a right on top of my Tree Travel wish lists.. I have always just got a glimpse of the glorious foliage never really catching the plants in their full Fall Glory.

As the above quote says, each leaf dons a spectacular unique colour that truly makes it look like a flower.

Here are a few images from my travels.. I am looking forward to the day when I can see the Fall Colours with my own eyes.. sigh…. Till then, I look forward to the TTL posts from around the world in the next couple of month..

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

Brush (ThursdayTreeLove)

A visit to the Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden in Kolkata was at the end of our trip to the Sunderbans. It was a botanically wondrous trip to say the least! The Garden itself is huge and home to unique trees like the famous Banyan


Here is another tree that I met for the first and only time! A beautiful red brush like structure beckoned me from a distance and located as it was amid leaves had me immediately thinking of the Shaving Brush tree (Pseudobombax ellipticum) which does grow in Pune. However when I went closer, the tree looked different especially its leaves. It was end of January and the digitate glossy green leaves suggested a different ID. 

Seen from afar

Luckily for me, the placard saved me the trouble and I could freely admire the Pachira aquatica without any stress of identification. It belongs to the Bombacaceae family just like the Shaving Brush Tree which explained the similarity in the flowers. Also known as Malabar Chestnut tree it is an introduced species in India. I loved its flowers which are nothing like those used for table decorations or bouquets. 

Flower and Fruit
Leaves


Have you seen this wonderful tree? When in Kolkata please do make time for the botanical garden! 
I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove Blog hop. Do head over to see some wonderful trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

Tree Trunk

Holy Tree (ThursdayTreeLove)


What do you first see in this image? 
This photo has been taken by my husband to catch the first golden rays of the Sun reaching this small Maruti temple on our walk route. What struck me was the perfect V shape flare of the Peepal tree that grows right behind it. 


The Peepal is yet another Ficus variety common in my city and goes by the botanical name Ficus religiosa. It belongs to the Moraceae family and exudes milky sap when a branch is broken. This tree has typically heart shaped leaves with a long tail.. some of us have preserved these in books whereby they dry up and only the intricate venation is visible. It loses all its leaves in spring and is covered with lovely new red leaves. 

Leaf



I wonder if this lovely leaf could have been the inspiration for the famous Paisley design??!!


Unlike other Ficus varieties, I have not seen aerial roots on the Peepal. It is usually seen in temples and as a roadside tree often growing to a mammoth size and provides welcome shade for any and everyone! 


I am sure all of you must be familiar with the Peepal. And its a popular tree on the fantastic ThursdayTreeLove blog hop hosted by Parul. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. If you have an image of a tree you like, then do join! 

Coffee Tales (ThursdayTreeLove)

 
This gnarled looking trunk is that of a Coffee tree! I am sure all those who have travelled to Coorg would have seen these.. It was wonderful to see the origin of something that was my saviour from drinking plain milk in childhood! 

Hence for a long time, Coffee, to me, meant the instant variety  in powder form that came out of a bottle. 

Later, I was intrigued by the strong aroma outside a coffee bean shop and as the years passed, I made lifelong friends with the ‘filter kapi’! The logical next step was to see a coffee plantation but it was only recently that this materialised.

And the wait was worth it.

The brown seeds we use are from the fruit of the plant Coffea canephora or Coffea arabica (Robusta or Arabica varieties) which belong to the Rubiaceae family. It is shrub like or a small tree and blooms profusely in February and I was told they set off a heady fragrance in the entire neighbourhood. Soon green fruit called a Berry develop which turn to red and then black when dry. It has two seeds. The fruit has to be processed to get the seeds which can then be roasted and powdered to give us that out-of-this world, mood elevator, ice breaker, life saver beverage we call coffee! 

Here are some more images..
Berries PC @puneribaker
Berries ripening to red PC @puneribaker

The trunk is used to make lamp stands which will hold a place of pride in any drawing room. Here it has been used to make a sign post. 
Baba Budan has been credited with bringing coffee to India and the rest is history as they say.

Coffee has the characteristic of creating strong fans who refuse to drink Tea. At least it has done so in my family!! 
Have you noticed this? 
Have you seen the coffee tree? Do you enjoy Coffee or Tea?

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. It is live on the second and fourth Thursday every month. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in with your tree!

White Beauty (ThursdayTreeLove)

This glorious tree stood out from a distance even as I craned my neck out of the window.. The white blossoms stood out even against the white clouds in the background. Of course, its the glorious Magnolia in full bloom! Even after getting closer to the tree, my humble phone camera could not capture a decent image (that I could post here) as the flowers stood high up on the branches.  


Magnolia, Travel, Bhutan

Magnolias belong to the Magnolia genus of the Magnoliaceae family. There are some interesting things to read about the Magnolia genus and I wont like to take up your time here.. Do head over to this Wikipedia page for more.

Either way, this sighting was a temporary satisfaction of a long time wish to see this beautiful tree. I hope I get another opportunity for a closer view of this White Beauty …

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Do head over to see some glorious trees from around the world. Better still, join in!