Calm (ThursdayTreeLove)

โ€œLooking out over the lake, I felt enveloped in the most peaceful, loving utopia.โ€ โ€“ Laurie Kahn
Tree photo

My daughter sent me this image as she was struck by the beauty of the blue lake and the tree growing in it. It was impossible to identify the tree, or what made its branches look white. Was it hosting some birds? Or had its leaves turned white for some reason?

The lake itself was still and beautiful and the tree seemed happy to grow in the middle of the water.

All that mattered was the feeling of calm afforded by the view.

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!

Tree Frame (ThursdayTreeLove)

At the end of a two hour long walk the cool shade of this Ficus was most welcoming. As I focused my phone camera towards the hill and temple atop, the tree formed a lovely ‘frame’ to the photo.

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The Ficus frames the hill in the background

Most temples have a Ficus growing in their courtyard – usually Ficus religiosa or Ficus benghalensis. This seems to be a Ficus racemosa. All Ficus belong to the Moraceae family and are quite easy to identify.

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Ficus racemosa

We hiked in the Bopdev Ghat area of Pune and the place is mostly devoid of trees. There are several hills around and being the monsoon, we could see almost all shades of green. A sight for sore eyes indeed! The few trees that did grow markedly stood out from a distance.

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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!

PS: I have been facing some issues with my blog..wrt to.uploadimg images, comments. I am trying to sort them out. Thanks for your support and understanding! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

Meanwhile, this same post is on Blogger, and if you face problems in commenting , please click here to comment. Thanks friends!!

Down Memory Lane (ThursdayTreeLove)

I am happy to share that this is my 100th TTL post! I was looking for a special tree for this one but soon realised that each tree is special in its own way.

Hence I settled for a tree from a walk down memory lane. Not mine but my husbands.

Last month, we finally could visit the town where his spent his childhood holidays. Both of us were apprehensive as there were reports that the town had become quite rundown and not worth visiting. But he was not disappointed. To some extent, it felt as if the township was stuck in time. The houses, the lanes, the play ground, guest house and so on were unchanged.. Just older. This meant that my husband could locate every place that he enjoyed years ago. Days spent with grandparents are precious and forever continue to remain bathed in a golden glow.

Here is a tree that was growing near the pool where the kids learnt to swim. It is a Clusea rosea (aka Pitch Apple) of the Clusiaceae family. The tree is also called the Autograph tree because anything scribbled on the leaf with a finger nail remains till the leaf falls off. This species is native to the Carribean.

Clusea rosea (1)

The leaves reminded me of Magnolia but the flowers were different

Clusea rosea (4)
Flower

The plant can grow as an epiphyte which can explain the supporting roots that grew at the trunk base.

Clusea rosea (5)
Look closer to see the aerial roots.

I was happy to meet a new species which made the visit special for me as well. The pool and garden where this tree grew were a special part of his childhood and I was happy to be part of it now albeit via a tree growing there.

Which trees are a part of your childhood memories? A huge Mango tree growing next to our building is a distinct memory from my school days. Sadly no photos of it. What about you?

Thank you all for visiting and commenting my TTL posts. I big shoutout to Parul as well for this fantastic bloghop. Do head over to see some fantastic trees from around the world. Better still, join in!

Cousin (ThursdayTreeLove)

These cute pink ball like flowers can be quite misleading. They look like Touch Me Not flowers but the leaves do not respond to touch. Further, this is a shrubby plant whereas the Touch Me Not is mostly a ground hugging herb.

Hooked prickles visible

With no further suspense, let me share that this plant is Mimosa hamata – a ‘cousin’ of the famous Touch Me Not. Both belong to the Mimosaceae family and to the Mimosa genus. It is common on the hills of Pune and the pretty flowers demand attention from afar. They are not fragrant and the plant has hooked prickles which means one has to be careful when trying to take photographs!

Mimosa hamata is commonly seen on Vetal Tekdi

We meet several such plant cousins. The Jasmines are all ‘related’ if I may say so.. They belong to the same Genus. Which other cousins have you met?

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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!

Striking (ThursdayTreeLove)



“Love the trees until their leaves fall off and then encourage them to try again next year” – Chadd Sugg


Like my previous TTL post, this is another solitary tree on a plateau! After the first rains, the sky was absolutely clear and blue and I simply could not walk past without capturing the striking beauty of this tree against the sky.ย 


ย I think it is a Khair (Acasia genus but I havent got down to a specific ID) and belongs to the Mimosaceae family. It is deciduous and is just about breaking into new leaf right now.ย 

Here are its blossoms..

Dont they remind you of the Diwali Fuljhadi ??

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

Continue reading “Striking (ThursdayTreeLove)”

Solitary And Strong (ThursdayTreeLove)



“Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong”
Winston Churchill


This tree grows alone by the edge of a quarry… I have seen it for at least a decade and I am fascinated by the shape of its trunk. Its obviously endured some trauma – either natural (wind etc) or human but it stands strong as ever.


Let me leave you to enjoy the tree and hopefully my image will convey the beauty of the spot it grows at.


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! 

Upside Down (ThursdayTreeLove)

Majority plants we see have their flowers or inflorescence growing upwards.. or facing the sky.
I am sure you all must have noticed it.


But there are some beautiful species where the flowers actually face downwards.. towards the ground.
Up side Down as it were.
Let me first share two of my favourites..
Moha .. A species indigenous to India and has huge economic importance especially for tribals. 


Here are its uniquely shaped flowers.



Moha is known all over  by its botanical name of Madhuca longifolia and belongs to the Sapotaceae family.Just like Fall Foliage of the West, this tree puts up a spectacular show in spring when it bursts into new leaf. The book Jungle Trees of Central India by Pradip Krishen has two full pages devoted just to the spring reds of the Moha.

Yet another lovely bloom is the Bakul or Maulsari . Its flowers have a divine fragrance and in fact the tree is blooming right now in Pune! Its flowers face downwards as for Moha. Bakul goes by the botanical name Mimusops elengii and belongs to the Sapotaceae family.

Here are some others..
Durangi Babool or Dichrostachys cinerea of the Mimosaceae family.



Wrightia species of the Apocyanceae family.



Flowers of the Custard Apple or Annoa squamosa also face downwards as do those of the Hirwa Chafa or Artabotrys hexapetalus. Both these belong to the Annonaceae family.


Update: Brugmansia , Fuschia and Adansonia digitata also deserve a mention in this post!
Alana  has told us that Lenten Rose, Columbine also have downward facing flowers! 


Have you noticed downward facing flowers on trees/shrubs/creepers?


I have always wondered why this is a feature of some plants? Does it have something to do with their pollination or seed dispersal?
Any ideas folks?


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

Reflections on 2020 AprilAtoZ

Reflection #atozchallenge 2020

Hello! This is my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge and my was Experiences of a first time grandmother! 
Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! 
In case you have missed out, you can catch up here
Congratulations to all awesome bloggers who have completed this challenge. This year is unique as all of us around the world are facing the Covid19 pandemic. 


Luckily, the Internet Gods were kind enough to allow me to schedule, post and comment on many posts. The AtoZ master list listed 510 participants and 89 bloggers revealed their theme on the #BlogchatterAtoZ Theme reveal and I saw 144 awseome posts on the first of April!! Obviously I still have a lot of catching up to do, something that is top of my to-do list. 


I had delayed my decision to participate (its my seventh attempt) and once I did, I went into a frenzy of writing and managed to schedule all my posts much ahead of time. Y turned out to be most difficult and I was gasping for ideas till the last day! My posts were not image-intensive as it was more about my feelings and emotions and I did not make the effort of looking up memes to accompany the posts. Does it indicate a certain weariness? I cant say really! 


Visitors to my blog were generous with their comments and I Thank all of you! Even if you have not commented! ๐Ÿ˜‰


Across all the challenge, I saw the popular themes related to writing, books, travel, cooking and best of all, I found 4 blogs about babies/kids and one by a grandmother one about future grandkids!! Yay! I was not alone!! 

Here they are..

This post is incomplete without mentioning Quilting Patch Applique by Frederique.. She posted outstanding quilting work and has even suggested an awesome knitting site that I plan to sign up for soon. Thanks Frederique!

A couple of wonderful Nature related blogs..



As in earlier AtoZ challenges, Keith’s Ramblings by Keith Hillman and Canvas with Rainbow by Anagha Yatin were outstanding with their fiction.  


The Lockdown has been extended in India as we try to accept an upcoming new normal in our lives.. that of always wearing a mask, carrying hand sanitisers. Greeting by way of Namaste and washing hands and feet have traditionally been a part of our lifestyle and I am glad the entire world is now adopting it. 


I pray that this calamity ends soon. 
I hope all you of are healthy and safe in your part of the world. 


Take care everyone!
It was nice meeting you all and reading your thoughts. 
Lets stay in touch! 


Stay Home! Stay Safe!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 
2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver

W is for Wear

Hello! Welcome to my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge. My theme this year is Experiences of a first time grandmother! Some sweet, salty moments and learnings! My posts are totally based on what I felt (may even border on rants) and are not meant to be a guide. 

What has been your experience? 

Wear
Considering that I have showcased my new found tailoring skills (you can catch up here at my E and M posts), I am sure you expect me to talk about clothes that I made for new Mommie or the baby.


Well, not quite.
I am going to talk about Baby Wearing.
Rather my feelings about it.. because there is plenty and more about it on the Internet. 


Buying a Pram was on top of my list of purchases for the baby and Daughter was quite opposed to it. Storage space was among the last of her reasons for it. Baby wearing is her chosen method to walk outside.. 

I freely admit my reservations to this. When I saw the carrier, I was in a tizzy… it will be too hot… baby’s nose will be covered… there will be too much pressure on baby’s spine… 


I read up about advantages of baby wearing.. and continued to have reservations despite having accepted so many other innovative ideas…


Suddenly, I started noticing many mothers in Pune wearing their babies.. at the local temple, at the store, on the Walking Track and one who was riding as a pillion on a scooter.. Whoa.. and all those babies and Mommies looked so happy. Besides it allowed Mommie to be hands free .. It was at that point when I began to cave in.. maybe there was some substance after all.. 


And there is a huge range of Slings to choose from.. best of all, Pune actually has a Sling Library where Mothers can try out different types to help identify the ideal Sling for them. 


This Grandma is yet to ‘wear’ our baby but I will get around to it soon.. Promise! 
Till then, I am scouring e-commerce website for a suitable Pram for baby and me to go  for a walk!!


Have you been wearing your baby? What do you  think?


I am sure my thoughts may cause a deja vu to some of you especially someone who has hosted a new born. I would love to hear from you!

See you tomorrow folks!

Here are links to my previous AtoZ attempts. 

2013 Mixed Bag
2014 Exercising For Fitness
2015 Gardens of Pune
2016 Herbs
2018 Contemporary A to Z
2019 Caring for the Caregiver
Disclaimer: My posts do mention some products or service providers but these are not sponsored and not meant to be an advertisement.  All posts are from a maternal grandmother’s point of view!