Trees

Aloe vera

Aloe has a very long history of use. The sap was used medicinally by the Greeks and Romans, who obtained it from the island of Socotra. The Greek physician Dioscorides recorded the use of the leaves to treat wounds in the first century AD. Aloe had reached England by the 10th century, where it appears to have been one of the drugs recommended to Alfred the Great by the Patriarch of Jerusalem. In the early part of the 17th century, the records of the East India Company show payments for aloe being made to the King of Socotra, who held… Read More »Aloe vera

New Leaves

Everything here on our planet undergoes perpetual change. Some changes are periodic in nature. For example, the seasons. If one wants to see the variety of seasons, then India is the place where one can experience so many seasons. From biting cold to burning hot, from spring season to autumn and of course the torrid rains. Not only the periodic change of seasons, even in one country at a given point of time, one can experience different weathers. These days, the winter have given way to autumn here in Bombay. Different flora are experiencing different changes. A few days ago,… Read More »New Leaves

Bottlebrushes in Bloom

In March spring season heralds here. The nature awakens from its hibernation of freezing cold and there is a thaw in the season. The plants and trees after shedding the old leaves adorn themselves with fresh light green leaves. Within days the skeleton branches are covered with leaves. The days are becoming longer and hot. Soon it will become very hot and unbearable. The weather in India are not uniform and almost every 3 months weather changes. This is why the natives here are in continuous struggle with the weather. There are extremes of weather in North India. This gives… Read More »Bottlebrushes in Bloom

Amaltash Trees in My Colony

Amaltash also known as cassia fistula, sanskrit name aragvadha or chaturangula. It blooms in the summer and wherever there are clumps of trees, it seems that sky is melting into gold. Such are its yellow flowers hanging in big bunches on whole of the tree with very scanty or no leaves at all on the tree. There are a few trees of amaltash in our colony. Usually, they flower when the summer descends on the earth in these parts of India. But this year, these trees seem to have forgotten the time. Their biological clocks which keep track of the… Read More »Amaltash Trees in My Colony

Poplar cultivation

We traveled by Shatabadi Express from Delhi to Dehradun. First it was in winters and second only in June of this year. As soon as the train crosses the industries outside Delhi, the dead river called Yamuna, the green fields begin to span both sides of the train line. Yamuna river, one of the three rivers-Ganges, Yamuna & Saraswati- forming the holiest trinity of Indian rivers is a cesspool of industrial waste, floating dead animals. Its color is almost black and it seems like a corpse. Its chemical oxygen demand (COD), a parameter to indicate the industrial waste pollution must… Read More »Poplar cultivation

Hibiscus: Showy Red Flowers

These days Hibiscus shrubs are in full bloom and laden with bright red color flowers. Many people are seen plucking them for offerings before the Gods in their homes and temples. They think Gods are confined to the places where we have placed them and cannot go out and watch and appreciate their own creation themselves. I think They won’t recommend plucking the flowers. These shrubs bear flowers almost all the year round except in the biting winter. But in summers, there is a glut of flowers on the shrubs. Anyway, as usual I went for walk slightly late. It… Read More »Hibiscus: Showy Red Flowers

Alphonso Mangoes

Comes April and mangoes make their appearance in Mumbai. India boasts of maximum number of cultivars and varieties of this fruit which can easily claim the title of king of fruits. Its juice is full of sweetness and some varieties have the tinge of sour taste. In Maharasthra, Karnataka and Andhra states the mangoes have developed and green raw fruits are hanging from the branches. Mangoes are used in innumerable ways. Raw fruits are sour and are used to make drinks which soaks the heat  from the body nd cools you in the simmering heat. They are used to make… Read More »Alphonso Mangoes

Sitting under a Banyan Tree

More than 70% population lives in villages. In the olden days, when there were no facilities like television, radio etc, then people in the villages devised ways to entertain them. The menfolk sat under the cool shade of the trees, smoke the hookah and converse with each other. They would talk about all the things under the Sun like their family matters which in any case were not private matters, about the condition of crops and irrigation water, untimely rains which visited to damage their crops. It was a culture in which individuality was a second priority and collective or… Read More »Sitting under a Banyan Tree

Parijat

One of the many things which I miss about Assam is the flowers of Parijat. In its blossoming season, it is treat to watch these trees and ground beneath them. It is completely covered with its fragrant flowers. The flowers are very small with white sepals and one orange colored speck in the center. Children collect the flowers in little bamboo baskets. I asked them what they will do with so many flowers, to which they answered that these will be dried and added in cooked vegetables. The shrubs there are very healthy like all other vegetation which seems to… Read More »Parijat

Distant Relatives

The more I watch the nature closely and more I go through the literature, it is becoming clear how shallow is our knowledge of the world around us which the God has created. Sometimes I become more and more confused and become awestruck when some mystery of nature becomes clear to me. As we know that living things are related to one another at some stage or other during evolution though they must have diversified at some period of time but at least some basic properties resemble. By the end of January and February, one can notice that Pipal trees… Read More »Distant Relatives