Fragrance Overload (ThursdayTreeLove)

As the heat increases at this time of the year, our trees and plants burst into new leaves and flowers. This makes every Nature Walk a magical experience for the splendid colours that it dons. Fragrant flowers and the crunch of dry leaves under our feet, add to this multi sensory joyous experience! After the glorious red leaves of Kusumb, the haunting sweet fragrance of Shirish flowers announce the trees’ celebration of a season change. It beckons you to stand below the tree and drown yourself in its sweetness.

In March, on the tekdi, Shirish is among the few trees sprouting green and stands out from a distance
The Flower Up Close.. Pretty and Light and Fragrant!

Shirish goes by the botanical name Albizia lebbeck of the Mimosaceae family. The flowers are curiously shaped and look like a bunch of delicate strands that would wilt if we touch. Greenish white in colour, each ‘flower’ is actually an inflorescence. These turn into broad green fruit that dries to white over the year. At any time, the Shirish always bears these white pods which rattle in the breeze.

Standing under this row of Shirish is a heavenly experince.
Another view of a flower

As luck will have it, I am unable to locate the image of the pods but I will get a new one and upload it here. πŸ™

This species grows to a fairly large size and is common as an avenue tree in Pune. At times, it is confused with the Rain Tree (Samanea saman) also of the same family but the flower colour, pods are some of the distinguishing features.

This is the flower of the Rain Tree

Shirish is among my favourite species and in bloom right now. I am sure many of you would have seen it. Enjoy it’s flowering as the tree celebrates a season change.

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove bloghop. Head over to see fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in.

Red

I had another post with the same title a few weeks ago. So yes, you dear readers, are right in wondering if you have reached the wrong page. But no, this is a different Red, just as spectacular.

I am talking about the spring foliage of a native tree called Kusumb or Schleichera oleosa. It belongs to the Sapindaceae family and is a treat to watch. This deciduous tree bursts into new leaf as winter ends and the tree dons a glorious red. It can be easily spotted from a distance.

The blaze of red one sees when travelling in the ghats in Maharashtra at this time of the year is most likely the Kusumb.

Here are some of the tantalising glimpses we got as we were returning home from a Botany field visit. Finally, we just had to stop and enjoy this beautiful foliage.

Capturing images from a moving bus is so difficult! This is just one Red that we whizzed past.
We just had to stop!!
All of us trying to capture the red in our cell phones.

Here is the Kusumb from Pune from our Vetal Tekdi.

My phone camera does not do justice but the red is easily spotted among the bare trees, even from a distance!
A good camera in the hands of a knowledgeable person captures such great images! Photo credit Pallavi Gharpure

The Kusumb also bears flowers at this time but the leaves steal the show! Its fruit is very useful among them is being used to make a special kind of hair oil that encourages hair growth.

Schleichera oleosa finds a mention in Trees of Delhi and Jungle Trees of Central India … which means it grows in those regions as well.

Do try to see these gorgeous leaves..because they will turn green soon.

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

Tree Love (ThursdayTreeLove)

This is one of the glorious sights on my morning walk on Pune’s Vetal Tekdi. Some may well ask what is remarkable in this image .. the grass has dried, many trees have shed their leaves and so on…

The Sun just peeping out from the horizon on a chilly winter morning (yes Pune does have a few every season πŸ™‚ ) is a glorious sight to behold. Refreshing the mind and soul.

But tree lovers will adore trees in all the seasons in all their natural states. A leafless tree displaying its trunk and branch architecture is as beautiful as one in full bloom. The golden grass carpet crunching below our feet and rustling in the breeze soothes as none other.

As John Muir has said, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

I am sure you all agree!

I am joining Parul in her ThursdayTreeLove blog hop. It the hundredth edition this time and I am happy to say I have been participating since the 20th. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

As 2020 ends, let me wish you all, dear readers, a Merry Christmas and Happy Healthy year ahead.

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.

Elephant Apple (ThursdayTreeLove)

What is it that first strikes you about this tree?

I am sure you will agree with me that its the glossy leaves that are eye catching. This is the Dillenia indica of the Dilleniaceae family and commonly known as Elephant Apple. This is a native species and its flowers are just as beautiful as its leaves.

The family Dilleniaceae is in honour of Johann Jacob Dillenius who was a Botanist and Botany Professor at Oxford. India Post has released a commemorative stamp of this tree species.

The leaf has a serrated margin and distinct veins
Flower

The five petaled fragrant flowers are large, solitary and face downwards.

Fruit

Apparently the fruit is a favourite of elephants hence this common name! It is about the size of an apple and I have read that the pulp is used in some our our curries etc.

A few years ago, this species was not very common in Pune, and tree lovers made it a point to visit the few known locations where it did grow. However now I have seen it growing at many places , even on roadsides!

Have you seen the Dillenia indica? Do look out for its blossoms in June/July and Oct to Jan.

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

Morning Hues

Stepping out before Sunrise means we can enjoy the beauty of rising Orb before its blaze makes it impossible for us to look up.

The advent of Smartphones allows us to capture these moments where ever we are.

I am sure you agree!😊

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 πŸ˜‰

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!

Surprise ( Wordless Wednesday)

Rains continuing into October is a surprise for us folks in Pune. Of course it means we are spared the October heat.

An added surprise is this unexpected bloom on my Mogra.

It usually flowers from April onwards , and the last blooms are by end of June.

A lively surprise indeed!

I am joining Natasha in her bimonthly Wordless Wednesday Bloghop!

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!