Sunday, 1 April 2018

Spring Song of Delhi - Part II

March 2018

The colourful and vibrant spring continues to delight under blue skies. Enjoy the colours of nature.

A sight guaranteed to make you break into a Spring Song

The Spring Kaleidoscope - Yellow Tabebuias, Scarlet Indian Corals and Silky Oaks
As you go about exploring the little known monuments in Delhi, you realise the beautiful side of your city that lay hidden from you all these years. Then came the turn of all these wonderful cultural events happening and you discover yet another aspect of the city which was unexperienced so far. Even as Delhi gets pummelled for its grey skies and toxic air, there is always some beauty around the street corner and in the neighbourhood parks – all you need to do is to stop and observe.

One of the prettiest flowering trees of Delhi - Moulmein Rosewood (Millettia peguensis)

Spring however makes the job easy. Walk or drive along any road in Delhi and watch the colours of joy on every tree and shrub. The joy is two-fold. The flowering trees after shedding leaves turn into glorious showers of yellow, pink and mauve. The trick is to be everywhere every few days to be able to catch the colours. The change is so sudden that it will leave you gasping with bewilderment.

You had a feeling that the sight would be incredible but were not sure of the timings. Things change pretty fast during these spring days. As you drive down the road, the surprise reveals itself slowly. Entire canopies are filled with hanging strings of purple pearls. They sway in the breeze twinkling soundlessly.

Spring Song of Delhi - Part I

On one of the side streets, the flowers shimmer in the setting sun. The area is a high security zone. You approach the plain clothes wearing security personnel asking for permission to shoot. You got to see the expression on the cops’ faces as they crane their necks up. It is apparent that they noticed the flowers hanging right above them for the first time. Walkie-talkies crackle and permission is granted.

Pradip Krishen describes Moulmein Rosewood as “in full bloom the massed, tiny flowers look like a diaphanous mauve mist”

Now here's the question - why do honey bees and even wasps love the Moulmein flowers so much - there is constant buzz around the entire tree

Here the Moulmein Rosewood looks like a deciduous tree with spreading canopy

Up ahead more trees bedecked in mauve and purple create never seen before scenes. The good news is that the maximum flowering happens in the second week of April.

Moulmein Rosewood - The guy in mauve shirt and the tree with mauve flowers posing for you! On Maharshi Raman Marg
The trees are interesting in their shape. While some are very tall with no radiating branches, others look decidedly deciduous with spreading canopies. 

Also known as Jewels on a String
Moulmein Rosewood posing against the corner turret of Sikander Lodhi Tomb in Lodhi Gardens - this one is tall and straight like a conifer
A week ago these tall slender trees in the back of the Flower Garden in Nehru Park were all green and brown with few flowers. You were ruing the changing weather and were wondering if the early summer had forced the trees to skip flowering. And then a week later, the same setting provides one of the most unexpectedly glorious spectacle you have ever seen in Delhi.

The most incredible sight in Delhi

The horizon seems to have burst into this incredible yellow. You sit on the grass and gape at the sight. This is a perfect frame – palette of flowers scattered in the green grass, just beyond the yellow burst under perfect blue skies.

Flower Therapy under the moon

After soaking in the scene you walk and come sit under the Caribbean Trumpet Tree or Tabebuia. You are just so lucky. Last year it was Amaltash Hanami just a few yards away from this spot. Last week it was Bougainvillea Hanami at Lodhi Gardens and before that Silk Cotton Hanami at Sunder Nursery, Jacaranda Hanami at Indraprastha Park and now this Tabebuia Hanami. 

Tabebuia Hanami

What a lovely sight - Caribbean Trumpet Flowers against a blue sky

It is a breezy afternoon . The falling yellow flowers together with the brown leaves weave a carpet on the green grass. The whole setting seems festive and joyous. These are precious moments. This is nature saying that she is doing her best and it is now our turn to let nature do her job unhindered.

There is some Pink happening too. The first sighting of a lone tree on a roundabout blew you away. You had rightly called it the prettiest tree in Delhi. Since then you have discovered more trees in Lodhi Gardens.

The Amazing Pink Poui in all its glory

Basant ki Rani or Pink or Rosy Trumpet Tree
Just beyond on the grass you see these centipede like yellow flowers. You look up – these are conifer like tall trees and on the top you see the golden flowers. It is as if someone has streaked their hair brown. The tree is called Silky Oak. Now it strikes you. Looking from a distance, these trees had formed a brown and green backdrop to the yellow Tabebuias. The brown was actually these flowers. This is a pleasant discovery.
The Silky Oak

Also called Golden Pine (Grevillea robusta)
Before you get a chance to go to Purulia to savour Palash blooming across the landscape, luck has again smiled. Behind Lenin’s statue, a lone Palash has bloomed in all its orange glory. The sight is enchanting.

The orange blooms of Palash or Dhak tree

Jab Jab mere ghar aana
Phool Palash ka le aana

Parrots seem to love the nectar of Palash flowers. It is no coincidence that the flowers look like its curved red beak 

Palash is also called Flame of the Forest and is the State Flower of Jharkhand

Palash Hanami at Nehru Park

Olive Green Branches
Flaunt vibrant crimson blossoms
Seasonal bright bloom
The fire of flaming palash
Burns the dark contours of gloom

An Ode to the Palash
You can swear a few days ago, it was just another non-descriptive tree in the park that you did not even notice. What a difference a week makes in Delhi’s Spring.

The sight is enchanting. Parrots are busy gorging on the nectar. You are again gaping and smiling.

Silky Oak sprouting new leaves
Gab Tree (Diospyros malabarica) or Kala Tendu has long surprisingly red glossy leaves
The massive Peepal now sprouting leaves towers over the Bada Gumbad in Lodhi Gardens

Kosam or Kusum (Schleichera oleosa) is an enchantingly beautiful tree and is the centre of attraction in a park when its new leaves sprout in a crimson tide.

Outer Ring Road near SDA is lined with beautiful Kusums

While the flowering trees turn technicolour, fresh leaves sprout on other trees. The always beautiful Kusum tree has the most delicate red leaves. Stand under the canopy as sunlight catches the tints. This is nature therapy. This is soporific. You want to lie down on the grass, look at the shimmering stars of red and copper and scarlet and doze off dreaming of blue skies, flowers and fresh crisp air.

This is Delhi’s Spring!

Related Posts on this Blog

Photography Locations
  • Nehru Park
  • Lodhi Gardens
  • Maharshi Raman Marg, Lodhi Estate
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