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. 


 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. 

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! 😉


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!

V is for Visitors

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. 

Visitors!
While at any other time, I love for people to visit us, I dreaded any one to call us with an infant at our home. 
I can almost hear the surprise in your mind, dear readers..
Let me clarify..


Traditionally, the new Mother and her baby were kept almost isolated.. Washing feet and hands was mandatory for anyone who wanted to see them.. obviously to protect them from infections. 
In our modern set up, it is a tricky job to ask visitors to do so..  People were actually offended when I asked them to. 


Of course Corona has now ensured everyone has reconnected with this particular and important hygiene aspect at all times. 


Then came the next hurdle.


Let me clarify again, at any other time, I am a welcoming host (I hope) but with a new born, my priorities had changed. Babies dont like to be held by strangers and many end up being upset with all that talk and laughter in the house – especially in the Flats that are now the common abode in urban India. 


Guests forget time – I take that as a compliment – but I had to choose between being a good host and a caring grandmother. I was way behind my chores. Asking guests to stay for Lunch or Dinner (or the meal at that time of the day) usually worked like magic! 


The mental anguish of doing the right thing, not hurting people was too stressful for me.


Of course all come with only best wishes and love for us and I appreciate the gesture. All had words of advice, some of it very useful. 


I know what not to do when I next visit a newborn. In fact its best to wait till baby is at least a month old. 

What has been your experience? 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 after the weekend 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!

A for Advice

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


A is for Advice! Does that sound strange for or from a grandmother? 
Hmmmm…


When I became a grandmother..  advice poured in from everywhere.. all contradictory to each other.. some of it mired in old customs, some practical and some simply idiotic. 
Finally I chose to follow the doctor and just ignored the others. Some persistent advisers had to be firmly told to refrain and this was not a comfortable task. Yet it had to be done. 

A few years ago, when I tried to give Advice to my newly married daughter, I was gently but firmly turned away. Naturally I was a bit upset.. But when I heard her explanation, I thought my heart and head would burst with pride.


“Did you not do everything by yourself Ma living in far away isolated places? Then why can I not do so in the city?” (She was referring to our stays in remote places in India where my Fighter Pilot husband was posted.) 
I had obviously done something right to have brought up a sensible girl. 
Thereafter I stepped back and made it known that I was available if and when she needed help or advice. 
I followed this through her pregnancy and now even as the baby is growing. 


Bottom line, give advice when asked for. 
Similarly, when in need, seek advice without inhibition or fear of what people will say. For everything else there is Google! 😉


Do you face an Advice overload? How do you deal with it?Are you a prolific advice-giver?  
I am sure my thoughts may cause a deja vu to some of you especially someone who has hosted a newborn! I would love to hear from you!


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

See you tomorrow folks! I would love to hear from you!


Disclaimer: My posts do mention some products or service providers but these are not sponsored and not meant to be an advertisement. All posts from a maternal grandma’s point of view!!

Towering (ThursdayTreeLove)


What is it that strikes you first in the above image from Leh?
The snow clad peaks in the background, or the cloudy sky and or is it the trees? 

Leh has a rugged terrain surrounded by the mighty Himalayas and the ground is covered with flora that can survive in the bitter cold. Apple, Apricot, Seabuckthorn are a common wondrous sight but these towering lean Poplars are equally eye catching. 

These are most likely the Populus nigra trees belonging to the Salicaceae family. (The same family as Willows). Male and female flowers are borne on different trees but the flowering season was some time away when I visited. 

Here are a couple more images of this wonderful tree. 

Straight trunk bole

Leaves

Have you visited Leh? Did you notice these towering Poplars? Here is a list of some landmark trees of Leh. 


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

Hidden Gem (ThursdayTreeLove)

I have read about Flower Remedies by Dr Bach. I will not go into details of that therapy but suffice to say, I came across names of all European trees. Among these was the Larch which is a remedy for under confident people who actually have huge potential. A “hidden gem” as it were.
I found it works magically and I have seen a great transformation in a person who was prescribed Larch.


Since then, seeing the Larch has been a top priority for me. I find it difficult to distinguish between conifers. Their needle like leaves are too high up to see their arrangement on the branches. Maybe I take the easy way out and wait for someone to tell me! 


And then my wait was over. We saw this great tall majestic Larch which grew along the road up to the castle at Bled in Slovenia. Seeing that huge dominating tree, I sort of understood how it gave its strength via the Bach Flower Remedy. 

First sight of the Larch

This image taken from a higher spot but the tree still towered over me

Larch belongs to the Larix genus of the Pinanceae family. Despite being a conifer, it is deciduous and the needles turn a glorious golden in autumn and can be seen from a distance. I noticed they have pendulous branches. 


This image is of a Larch from another place at the end of winter hence branching is visible.


I must mention here that, at Bled, for the first time in my travels, I met a guide who knew about Trees, their botanical names, habitats etc. She was happy to share info about ‘her’ trees and even helped id some images from my cell phone. At one point, our walk threatened to become a tree walk and I stopped before my co-travellers protested!

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!