The glory of flowering trees… (clockwise from top-right) African tulip tree, sunflowers on a farm in Panaji, laburnum or amalta, frangipani, aakashneem flower, glorious gulmohar and queen’s flower tree
Text & Pics By Tara Narayan
SUMMER is on its way out but this summer has been no ordinary summer with everyone holed up indoors thanks to Covid-19 curfews and lockdowns! Otherwise we would have been out appreciating the host of flowering trees of summer. Every summer Goa’s urban and rural spaces fill up with the riot of colors thanks to the trees blooming one after another and together down the Campal promenade and in residential enclaves in capital city Panaji.
It’s a fabulous bounty of trees, first the flame of the forests or Indian dhak (but these are hard to find in urban landscapes, the flowers go into the making of the warm scented pink water which children like to fill their pichkari with come the Holi festival),
then see the ornamental silk cottons, the statuesque African tulips, copperpods are of course very gregarious and will cascade down to create entire carpets of musky yellow…consider yourself if you catch a pink cassia in bloom, especially the Burmese pink cassia. The glorious laburnums are sway like floral chandeliers here and there although this not so merry month of May the Tauktae cyclone came and sent all floral blooms cascading down to sweep the roads and streets.
Post-thunder showers only the gulmohurs acquired a new fire and are blazing away currently everywhere, washed clean by preliminary rain showers along with the thunder claps…but thanks to the cyclone this year’s summer carnival of flowering trees cut short! Tauktae’s gales of wind had many trees crashing down, mangoes, casurinas, banyan branches, peepals, ficuses and soon the city of Panaji was a scene of a timber windfall!
Amazingly, only the coconuts stood strong and resilient, few coconut trees fell, instead they swayed and danced and swirled in the fierce sweeping winds, stood their ground. Like some metaphor of our times! Salute coconut trees anew please, it’s one of our all-purpose useful and most eco-friendly
tree given what all we can do with fruit (best health drink), empty coconut shells (turn them into bowls and eco-friendly kitchen ware), leaves (our most used brooms are made from coconut frond central ribs), coconut husk makes for a great sponge to wash vessals and in the countryside of Goa the coconut tree resides double as torches some dark night….all this and much more if only we would be smart enough to patronize natural eco-products instead of vile plastics in our daily life! Salute the coconut trees the next time you see one you take a fancy to!
We managed to catch some of summer’s trees blooming away here and there, enjoy! A photo-essay…