26 March 2020

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. 

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! 

21 March 2020

2020 AtoZ Theme Reveal

Hello! Welcome to my seventh attempt at the April AtoZ blogging challenge. 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

To become a grandmother for the first time has meant precious days, highly emotional, highly demanding and filled with gratitude for the Almighty. 

People think that become a grandmother means she (in this case me) is immediately endowed with solutions, tips, knowledge of how to handle the newborn. That may have been true in bygone times when every house hold had many kids and grandkids. But we live in an age of small nuclear families and most of us have one or two children. Some are DINK couples (Double Income No Kids). The joint family concept is almost over. 

So for me, the job of a grandmother has been learning on the go. A fulfilling responsiblity that has had me reading, learning many new things. 

You see, medical science has evolved in past few decades  - Obstetrics and even care of newborns (Neonatology) has new concepts. One cannot be stuck in the past and I have had to adapt and fast. Of course there is space for the traditional time tested customs and I have tried to fuse traditional with modern. 

Grandma duties include looking after baby, letting the new Mom rest as much as possible, ensure she gets her nutrituve meals on time, deal with visitors and at times even refuse them visiting (even at the cost of misunderstanding), ensure that the laundry and other usual home chores go on as usual. I specifically mention laundry as baby clothes need special attention. 
This is just for starters. There is no place for complaining or anything that lane. No comparisons either.

I now realise the efforts my Mother (and Mother-in-law) had made years go to ensure I had a comfortable and happy time with a smooth transition. 

Now it was my turn.

By now you must have guessed my theme.. 

Yessss... it 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 not meant to be a guide. 

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

So buckle up folks and come back on 1 April 2020 because that's when this great blogathon gets going. 

Disclaimer: My posts do mention some products or service providers but these are not sponsored and not meant to be an advertisement.  

12 March 2020

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.

27 February 2020

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.

13 February 2020

Hairy (ThursdayTreeLove)

Ficus is a species indigenous to our country and I found 35 different species of ficus on the Flowers of India website.

Amazing indeed! 

Today I have a Ficus microcarpa from the Deccan College in Pune. It is also called 'Nandruk' in Marathi. It grows to be a massive shady tree and boasts these delicate hair like aerial roots. These are very unlike thick aerial roots that develop on Ficus benghalensis . Its leaves and these thin aerial roots can easily help shortlist ID of this Ficus. Ficus microcarpa is a good choice to make into a Bonsai as well.

23 January 2020

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

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!

10 January 2020

Fragrant Twenties (ThursdayTreeLove)

The title must have surely intrigued you.. The image above is of a young Chandan .. Yes Sandalwood.. This species grows quite commonly on the hills of Pune and even in the city. Here are its flowers which are little smaller than a grain of Arhar Dal..