Summer Blooms

I love trees that bloom in the summer. Anything that blooms in the blistering, blazing Indian summer is surely worthy of admiration for it’s sheer tenacity!

When I was little, I used to exult at the sight of the first flowers of amaltas. They reminded me–not that I needed any reminding–that summer vacations were just around the corner and so was our annual trip to my grandparents’ place.

The amaltas in bloom is a sight to behold. I found out yesterday that it is called the Golden Shower tree in English–how apt!!

For much of the year the tree is a study in inconspicuousness. It is not a tall tree and is nowhere close to being as grand and majestic as the banyan or the peepal or the neem. It doesn’t even have pretty leaves like the gulmohur. Everything about it is thoroughly unremarkable. It is the plain Jane of trees, so ordinary in it’s looks that nobody gives it a second glance.

And then one fine summer day it blooms. And how.

When in bloom, the tree can be spotted from a mile away, as if to make up for all those months of being literally invisible. For a short time every year, every other tree in it’s vicinity pales into insignificance. Talk about every underdog having it’s day!

It’s delicate yellow flowers appear in such profusion that the leaves are not easily seen–all you can see is a blazing yellow. And true to its English name,  a shower of golden petals can always be seen falling under the tree in slow motion.

And while I am gushing about summer blooms, how do you like these? Do you know what this tree is called ? Please let me know if you do!

Take a closer look 🙂

Aren’t the flowers just beautiful? .They bloom in early May and are gone by mid August. They also have a sweet, very delicate fragrance. This tree is quite common in Chandigarh, (which , by the way, is also home to a lot of trees I have not seen elsewhere.)

And then there is the gulmohur, of course, though there aren’t too many gulmohur trees in Chandigarh, not in our neighbourhood in any case. The gulmohur flowers were very much around until last week (Chandigarh has a delayed onset of summer which is why the gulmohur here blooms later than elsewhere) but was nowhere to be found when I went taking photographs for this post yesterday. Too bad!! But then I found this pic in the camera, taken a couple of weeks back by the husband.

Well, these flowers certainly have it in them to make a photographer out of everyone 🙂

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22 Responses to Summer Blooms

  1. Jas says:

    Beautiful shots and endearing story to go with it.

  2. Bad Indian Woman says:

    I spent two years (1983-1985) in Chandi Mandir, the army cantonment near Chandigarh. Back then, Chandi Mandir’s roads were flanked by Gulmohur trees which would bloom in the late summer, their flowers would colour the skyline a dark shade of red. I loved walking home from school, looking at the tall Gulmohur trees; wishing I was a bird so I could perch on their high branches. 🙂

    I guess they’re all gone now. 😦

    • Maybe they’re still there, BIW. I happened to go to the Chandi Mandir cantt a few months back to the birthday party of one of my daughter’s friends and it was wonderfully lush and green and very well-maintained even by cantt standards 🙂

      Your description has made me make a mental note of visiting the cantt next year when the gulmohur is in bloom–if we manage to stay around in Chandigarh till then :-I

      My mother’s father was posted at the Chandi Mandir cantt from 1976 to 1978 and my mom, along with a one-year-old me, spent two months there in the summer of 1978. My mom has fond memories of the place and I too get a strange sense of deja vu every time I pass by the cantt 🙂

      • biwo says:

        Your baby memory probably retained some images, hence the feeling of deja vu. 🙂
        I also remember the cantt. being quiet, clean and dotted with trees. Chandi Mandir’s dogs however, had taken out a fatwa against me, and I had a couple of canine enemies whose streets I avoided. It’s nice to know it’s still the same.

        We lived there during Operation Blue Star and were on a kiddie picnic to Sukhna Lake the day Mrs Gandhi was shot. I remember feeling the tension hang heavy in the air while we drove back. We didn’t know what had happened, but there was menace in the air.

  3. We have those yellow flowers in Kerala. They normally bloom at the time of the malayalam new year. They are an integral part of the platter that is prepared along with other specialilties for people to have their first glance when they open their eyes on the new year’s day.
    And I just love gulmohars 🙂

    • They bloom at the time of the Malayalam new year? Around the 14th of April? How nice!
      Here in the north they bloom about a fortnight later in the first week of May.
      And aren’t gulmohurs just gorgeous 🙂

  4. R's Mom says:

    WOW!!! you people can click such wonderful pics rey 🙂

    yep those yellow flowers are special for Vishu 🙂 I keep searching ALL the time in Bombay, but dont get it 😦

  5. Deeps says:

    I came her to give you a little insight into the yellow flowers from a Malayalee’s perspective but wanderlustathome has already said what I wanted to :). I love the brightness the yellow flowers- konna-poo in Malayalam- spread when they bloom all around during Vishu.

    Beautiful clicks and an equally beautiful weaving of words to describe nature..made for a thoroughly enjoyable read 🙂

    • Konna-poo is such a lovely name 🙂 The flowers do symbolise brightness and cheer, and it is so appropriate that they should form a part of new year celebrations.
      Glad you liked it, Deeps.

  6. Smita says:

    Lovely pictures, the last one reminded me of my days in Gorakhpur. I have seen that tree mostly in North India. Good old days, I still cannot forget the smell these flowers leave!

  7. Jo says:

    Lovely pics.. 🙂

  8. Scribby says:

    your last line said it all…anyone would love to click pic after seeing such beauties 🙂

    • Oh yes, my husband usually makes fun of me for wanting to click flowers and leaves more than persons , so it was nice to find that sometimes he too is struck by the beauty of flowers–enough to go clicking 🙂

  9. meenamenon says:

    hey tht yelllow flower in there finds a place of honour in every keralites pooja thali on ‘Vishu’ – malayalam new year. Is called ‘Konna’ puvv(puvv is malayalam for flower)

  10. Lovely lovely pics, and lovely words to go with them. 🙂 Loved this post. 🙂
    You’re right – these beautiful flowers have it in them to make a poet or a photographer out of everyone.

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