Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A sense of Spring

Breathe in the fragrance of a new season,
drink in the vibrant colours of a new year (you really don't think January marks a new year, do you? ),
gorge on the flavours of the new fruits weighing down the trees,
smile at the crescendo of joyous bird-calls overhead and faraway and round-about  ... Spring is here and makes sure you know it by a mad, merry, exuberant sensory overload!

When else would you find such a serendipitous juxtaposition of a Blue butterfly sunning itself next to a Rosy Periwinkle?

Or gangs of ants quilting a heliconia bloom? Or could they be the heliconia artists, gently nipping a blush into every bloom? 

Nothing gentle about this exuberant bougainvillea screaming its presence! Rambunctious climber, irrepressible bloom-smith, unfussy tenant .. who doesn't appreciate the bountiful blooms of the bougainvillea when sunny, roasting hot days drag by? 

Sprays of Petrea wrap my garden in a soothing cloud of lavenders and purples fading into silvery grey. Twirling ballerinas of the botanical realm, each bloom matures into a role rarely essayed. How many flowers, after all, can spin and dance on the Spring breeze?  
And sometimes the heavens come down to earth! And high-flying Pariah Kites grant their royal stamp of approval to my humble bird-bath. Spring today, Summer tomorrow; a bird's got to sip and dip. In the meantime, they have an awestruck pair of eyes (and camera lens) following their every regal move!   

High up on the denuded teak trees, the very voluble parakeets screech and gossip about every passerby and every new tree in fruit. They love hanging around my garden now. No one will disturb their babies here and there are plenty of tender cashewnuts on the trees to gnaw on.

Tender cashewnuts, did I say? Oh so young to imagine the trial by fire awaiting it, to prove itself and be crowned king of the palate! Hundreds of bunches of these very quirky fruits are growing now, kissed by the Spring sunshine, dreaming of the day when the cashew-apples will be full-grown and all filled out. No celebrations for a Size Zero here!

Until then these Star Gooseberries are rocking the show in my garden. Clusters and clusters of them crowding the trees until the branches bend down, almost begging to be picked. 
The child in me loves the slight sourness in every pop of these. Have you found the child in you drooling over this too? 

Or, over this? The Carambolas are growing too. These star-shaped fruit are such an attractive sight, on the tree or the table. Or on the hawkers' carts. Did they use to sell the Carambola, dipped in salt and red-hot chilli powder, outside your school too? Does your mouth begin to water when you see this photo, as mine is beginning to?

Spring. And the Winter vegetables are still yielding.
Fresh crisp green cabbages growing among a forest of iron-rich red amaranths. Just as colourful as it looks and a hundred times more flavour-packed.
Did you know that ever since I grew the cabbages among the red amaranths, I've had less trouble with the foliage vandals? All the grasshoppers seem to be drawn to the red amaranths, leaving the cabbage alone.

On the roads, the Rain Trees are dotted with flowers. 

In my home, a few brave (and fool-hardy) centipedes try to barge in and are summarily tossed out on their ear!
But I do sneak an admiring glance at those mango-yellow boots. This gal has style!

And why am I repeating a pic of this Blue? Just because. 
Because it's so pretty and has a cute up-turned nose and big, big eyes.
Because it has a model's poise; look at the bend of that knee.
Because it knows where to hang out ... in my garden.
Because I like this photo.
And because it's Spring!

And because Spring means that all kinds of pretty fragrant flowers like this Vallaris are making the air heady with their scent. 
sigh .... did I mention that I absolutely love Spring? 


24 comments:

  1. Lovely captures Sunita... Loved the Green Tender cashnuts and even more green pair of birds..

    This post is like a fresh breeze of spring..

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    1. Thank you, Kaivi, that's such a nice thing to say. Glad you enjoyed this post :)

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  2. Sunita, Your happy post sings words of spring. Wonderful stories of plants and wildlife a happy correlation in your garden. I am always amazed at the fruit of the cashew tree, a real "nutcase" tree!
    Why are ants so attracted to the Heliconias? They always have their Sunday outings there. No doubt, love the Petrea you describe her merits so well. She is pure poetry.

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    1. Trudi, I can't imagine my garden without the wildlife in it. They're so much a part of it!
      I giggled at your description of the 'nutcase' tree. So apt!
      I wonder if there's any sugary secretions from the Heliconia which we dont know but the ants do?

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  3. Like you we are welcoming spring too Sunita. You have such gorgeous birds I am almost envious. Interesting about the cabbage and Amaranth, I will have to try that. Have a great week!

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    1. Helen, our gardens are mirror images. Even if they're on opposites sides of the globe. I love finding these little similarities.

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  4. Sunita, Sunita! Where do you grow all these! The ari-nellika brought back so many memories. They look amazing.
    And the cashew nuts!

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    1. All grown and enjoyed right here in Mumbai, Shri :D
      I must see what I can do to post more pics of memory-triggers. Tell me what you'd like to see :)

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  5. What a beautiful ode to spring!Thank you for letting us have a peek into your enchanted garden with its fascinating fruits and flowers,birds and bees!

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    1. Thank you, Minnie! Don't forget the centipedes (the snakes were missing. I think the Pariah Kites keep them away) :)

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  6. What a lovely, colourful and cheerful post. I love spring and I particularly love the lush plants of the tropics. We are still waiting for winter to unleash its grip here. Not even the first signs of any buds about to burst. Thank you for sharing your spring!

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    1. Thank you, Nick! Do you know, I can't imagine living winter-bound for so many months of the year. In a few days we'll be stepping into full-blown Summer and I'm sure I'll be envying you then. In the meantime, feel free to enjoy Spring via my blog :)

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    2. Yes, I definitely live in the wrong country. My main interests are classic cars and butterflies. Both hobbies only last for six months in a year here and then I have to hibernate along with my cars and the butterflies!!

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    3. Nick, the other six months you're welcome to make your virtual home here (until you decide to move countries)!

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  7. Beautiful spring..ly post Sunita...I drool at every wonderful pics of your garden :)

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  8. I was there with you for a few moments, just looking at your fantastic photos! We still have bare branches, lots of bare soil and chilly winds.

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    1. Ah, yes, I did feel a warm presence near by, Jane. Glad you came over to visit! :)

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  9. Hi Sunita !
    Those ants....they certainly know what they are doing !
    The regal Pariah Kite....a thing of beauty and majesty and it knows how to strike a pose.
    The stunning centipede and its blue metal armour and copper legs....where did she learn to dress like that?
    I'm drooling over the star gooseberries all right and I haven't forgotten the sprinkling of salt and a smidgeon of chillie powder.
    The Petrea...I have seen it's larger cousin that grows on a tree and pirouettes madly when twisted between the index finger and thumb as it floats to the ground.
    And finally.....YES TO EVERYTHING !

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    1. Usha, so good to see you here! Looks like you too have Spring fever. Not surprising at all! :D

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  10. What a paradise! That kite is just fantastic. OK, it all is!

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    1. Lol! Shady C.,your part of the world isn't half bad either, going by all your pics :D

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  11. The Pariah Kite and everything else in this post is so beautiful. So much more lush and tropical than where I live.

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    1. Thank you, Alex.I wish I could take full credit for the 'lush and tropical' look but I guess I have to admit that it goes with the territory :D
      Where do you live and garden?

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