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!

Tigers Nest (Wordless Wednesday)

Last year we trekked up to the Tigers Nest, at Paro in Bhutan. It is an iconic monastry situated precariously at the very edge of a cliff at an altitude of around 10,200 feet. A visit to Bhutan is incomplete without trekking up to the Tigers Nest.

It is a demanding walk but the beautiful surroundings makes one forget time and effort. The walk is made richer as one can can spot amazing birds, butterflies enroute.

Here are a few glimpses … all images from my cell phone..

First glimpse. .there is it high up and far away…
The route meanders through an amazing Pine, Rhododendron forest .. steep in parts and gentle on the knees at others.
The gorgeous forest offers cool shade to the trekkers
Enroute one meets grand old trees!
There is a cafeteria at the half way mark.. And we got a tantalising glimpse of our goal in the distance on the opposite mountain..
Catching my breath!
Its been about an hour and half of steady climbing.. The Tigers Nest seems so close…but we have to climb down several stone steps, across a small bridge and waterfall and climb up again ..
So near..
The final climb up..
All bags, cell phones, shoes have to be deposited at this point.

I hope you enjoyed this virtual trek with me! I would love to hear from you!

I am joining Natasha in her #WordlessWednesday Bloghop!

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

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!

Witness (ThursdayTreeLove)

Can anyone guess where this image has been taken?


Ok, let’s not spend time on guessing games.. This gnarled tree is some species of Eucalyptus that I spotted at the Sanchi Stupa complex. It seemed really old and possibly has witnessed some the great events that occurred at this site. Or maybe it was planted later.. 


Heritage sites are usually home to old trees which are just as spectacular as the structures there. I have seen lovely trees at the Qutub Minar and at Hampi as well.

Have you noticed the trees when you visit a heritage or archaeological site? 
If they could only tell us their version of the events they must have witnessed!!


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

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!

Coexistence (ThursdayTreeLove)

Anyone who goes tree spotting is sure to have noticed that some trees become ‘host’ to other plants …
I mean that other species grow on this main or mother tree either for support or nutrition – this is a normal phenomenon seen in Nature ..peaceful coexistence.. take and give support when needed and when it can be given!


Here is a massive old Bougainvilla and a Monstera growing on a Neem tree. In fact it was the gnarled warty trunk that caught our attention and it took us quite a while to identify the Bougainvilla. We had to follow the trunk like way up to the top before the pink-purple blaze of flowers gave away its identity. The carpet of pink flowers were yet another clue!


Tree Walk, Pune, Bogan


Walk, Nature, Health

What clues do you look for to identify a plant? Have you experience the tremendous satisfaction and joy of identifying a tree/herb/shrub? 


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!

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!