26 November 2023

Stopping In My Track (ThursdayTreeLove)

The roads in Munnar (a town renowned for natural beauty in the state of Kerala), are narrow and constantly curve up or down hill depending on where one is going. Since I wasnt driving, I was free to enjoy the lovely views and especially the plants. One particular plant with spiky pink flowers was especially interesting.. almost making me stop our vehicle to see it (I finally did do so on the final day of our stay). Stopping and getting off the vehicle was difficult as the road was very busy with lots of cars and buses.  

Its leaves resembled Tamarind but flowers reminded me of the Powder Puff tree. Yet this was different. The plant grew profusely by the roadside, its flowers beckoned me to stop and see. 

Here are its photos when I finally could manage to 'meet' the plant.

A bit of research told me this is the Spiked Powder Puff of Calliandra calothyrsus of the Mimosaceae family. 
The pink thread like structures are staminal filaments

The tree is not native to India but seems to be happy in Munnar. 

Travel has introduced me to several new species and some of them stop me in my tracks (metaphorically speaking). There are two more such plants from the same Munnar trip but I shall share those in another post!

When on a drive, my family is now quite used to my (apparently) random calls to stop.. just cause I have seen some 'different' 'interesting' 'new' plant! 


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

26 October 2023

Another Castle Tree (ThursdayTreeLove)

The post title is a spoiler to today's tree .. ..

It has its home in the famous Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. As such I did not see many trees inside and being a hot sunny day the cool shadow of this tree was a magnet for everyone. 

We had a wonderful guide to tell us the story and history of the Castle but.. he did not know the name of the  tree. The Castle staff too could not help.

I could see that it was a Maple of some kind. I now enjoy trees just for themselves but knowing their botanical name is always better!! 


Our guide promised to find out and let me know. I did not have much hope but surprise surprise.. he sent a word next day that the tree is indeed a Maple. A Norway Maple he said. 

I said a mental thank you to him! 

Here is the tree. It grows right outside the CafĂ© on the road that gently climbs to the top. Do see it whenever you visit the Castle in Edinburgh!! 

The Castle was very crowded hence it was practically impossible to photograph the tree by itself. Every tree image I have includes tourists. 

Maples do not grow in Pune and I have only met them in my travels. I love them for the beautiful leaves and the lovely colours they wear in Fall every year. 

Google search tells me that Norway Maple is the Acer platanoides of the Sapindaceae family.

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

A couple of images of the Castle..

View from the Castle

12 October 2023

A Castle Tree (ThursdayTreeLove)

 Today I have a tree from my travels. It is a new and hence unfamiliar species to me so I will just go with sharing images of a glorious really old tree. 

Without much ado.. .here we go.. This is a tree from the 18th century that has its home at the Cardiff Castle in Cardiff

It is a Holm Oak which is apparently the Quercus ilex of the Fagaceae family. 

The impressive trunk invites attention

A bit of the tree's history

29 September 2023

Tree In Fog (ThursdayTreeLove)

 Sometimes when you lose your way in the fog

You end up in a beautiful place! 

Dont be afraid of getting lost! Mehmet Murat ildan

I came across this quote and was immediately reminded of our visit to Malhargad

Malhargad is a fort close to Pune and yet our visit had never materialised. 

Finally we did go there and as we entered the complex, a thick fog enveloped the place. The path ahead was barely visible so the question of identifying Flora growing there was out of question. We could not see or contact our friends (no cell phone range) so definitely felt a bit 'lost'.

The fog cleared after a while to reveal the old and beautiful structure. However it was getting late so another trip is mandatory to see the remains of the fort. 

Here are a few pix. 

Finding our way

18 September 2023

Talking Tree (ThursdayTreeLove)

Today's post is about a tree that's really telling a story..

I met this tree in Waterford, Wales located right in the middle of a bylane. It is a 23 metre long masterpiece carving by John Hayes and his team on an entire Douglas Fir that was uprooted in a storm. The uprooted tree was used to carve the story of the Vikings and their history in Wales

Sounds amazing isn't it? And it is... 

The 'sculpture' if I can use that word, is too long to capture in a single frame..so here are part wise images. 

From a distance, I thought the building was the focus here.. but it was the installation that caught my attention.

25 August 2023

Do Trees Have Emotions? (ThursdayTreeLove)

A recurring thought among ThursdayTreeLove bloggers is .. what if trees could talk? what must they be seeing and feeling? I have expressed such thoughts often as well.

Todays tree has been featured earlier on TTL before. It is a Mulberry (locally called Tooti) . Morus alba of the Moraceae family. 
Its home is in an old apartment complex where the ageing buildings need major revamps that are only possible via redevelopment. The Mulberry grows in the centre of the plot and will certainly be affected in the rebuilding, and this rebuilding is vital for safety and health of the people living there. Obviously, home owners have to temporarily shift elsewhere till works are competed. 
(Local laws mandate trees to be suitably replanted when such redevelopment takes place.) 

For all these years, I have seen the tree grow upright and tall and full of fruit when in season. 

Recently I noticed that the Mulberry seemed to be bowing down, its canopy touching the ground. Yet it is full of fruit. 

Could it be sensing the upcoming changes? Must it be missing the laughter and chatter of people walking in the premises? 

Or is it just a case of being top heavy and its wet branches becoming too heavy for the not very thick trunk to hold up especially in the heavy rain?

10 August 2023

Monsoon Beauties (ThursdayTreeLove)

 The best part of a rainy day is exploring all the new flowers that pop up - Unknown. Found this on the internet

Seeing that the monsoon has been active for a month, its only right that I share some ephimeral flowers that bloom around me! They last only a few days and occasionally weeks and are a joy to the eyes and soul. I look out for them every year and enjoy their annual show!

Here they are. These are from our very own Vetal Tekdi (that's a hill right in the centre of Pune city). These photos are misleading about size of the flowers which are at the most the size of a thumbnail! Despite this tiny size, they are eye catching!The plant size is from about ankle height up to knee height.

Here we go..

Flower of Ledebouria sp . Now Scilla.  Blooms after first rains and only lasts a few days.

Chlorophytum so. Seen only in specific spots after the first rains.

Iphigenia sp

Cyanotis sp. This usually keeps flowering all through the monsoon. 

Phyla sp. 

Neanotis sp.

Another sp of Neanotis. Had flowers in 2 colours though its not clear in this image. 

As the season progresses, other varieties will bloom. I hope I can photograph them and shar them here. 
Next month (September) is also the time to enjoy the beauty of Kas Pathar which is home to several ephimerals that paint the ground in different colours. But thats for another post!! :-)

How is the weather in your part of the world and which plants are blooming in the rains?

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