HIMALAYAS IN PINK

The Lower Himalayas from Sikkim till Uttrakhand are covered in a cloak of Pink  immediately after the lofty mountains are  touched by the first drizzle brought forth by the Monsoons.

The   Pink Rain Lily , Storm Lily , Rose Fairy Lily (English) , Zephyranthes rosea ( scientific name) bloom into vast stretches of Pink as the first rain drops touch the topsoil of The Himalayas.

The following picture  of a hillside covered with Pink flowers was taken in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India.

hills-and-lillies
Pink Himalayas

A close cousin the Zephyranthes candida  ( also called Rain Lily in English ) was seen by me in Pune and extensively covered in a previous blog titled “SIX POINTED STAR”. The dexterous labeling by the Gardners of The Corinithian Resort & Club, Pune   helped me discover the botanical name of these Pink Lilies.

However besides the difference in colour the Pink Rain Lilies on the Himalayas you see in the pictures here were growing in the wild in free abandon and in vast numbers carpeting the Hills in Pink.

lily-plant
Pink Rain Lilies in SunLight

The Pink Rain Lily like their close cousin The Six Pointed Star belongs to the Amarylis Lily family Amaryllidaceae.

These Beautiful Pink Flowers however hide a deep and dark secret in their bulbs which are hidden in the soil from which they spring forth as they contain deadly toxic alkaloids.

The alkaloids  lycorine and  haemanthamine  present in the bulbs can cause severe vomiting and convulsions and even lead to death .

a-pair-in-speckled-leaves
Speckled Leaves, Fallen Flowers and Lilies in Pink

If you read earlier blogs you will realize that many deadly toxins exist in their natural Form in Plants, yet these very toxins when used by professionals are converted into medicines and cure many ailments which affect us Humans.

After over a year of blogging and learning I am increasingly Enchanted by the numerous forms and ways of Wonderful Nature.

 

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THE HAUNTED

When I opened the window at Mussoorie,Uttrakhand ,India in the Western Himalayas I was overwhelmed by a Sea of Trees covered with multi hued blossoms.

“Have been fortunate  after many days to now identify the flowering  Sea of Trees as those of The Indian Horse Chestnut.”

view from window
Haunting view of  Himalayan Flowering Trees from the Window

On a closer look through the dense Foliage I see the Haunted Home of the Swallows. ( do see an earlier blog titled  UP IN THE SKY ). Silly me, The Swallow had been pointed towards the their home all along.

haunted house
Haunted Home in the midst of mysterious blooms

A zoom in reveals glorious blossoms in pink, yellow and white buzzing with Butterflies. If you wish to see more of the butterflies do see an earlier post titled SMITTEN BY NATURE along with the Feature Image.

For me am totally Haunted by these gorgeous and mysterious Blossoms and the mystery is compounded as I have been unable to identify them.

“The Spike of Flowers of the Indian Horse Chestnut ( English Name) tree,  I have since  learnt can be seen only in the months of May and June”.

blooms

Mysterious and  Haunting Flowers

Be Haunted like the Butterflies by the abundance of these blooms , seen at an altitude of 2000 metres ( 6000 feet approx.) in the Lower Himalayas.

” The Mystery is now finally resolved, these lovely flowers are of The Indian Horse Chestnut ( English Name), Pankor      (Hindi Name), Aesulus indica (Scientific name). A Deciduous Tree Native to the Himalayas and found at an altitude between 900 to 3000 metres.”

pink blooms
The Breathtaking  Inflorescence

Am hopeful that someone will be identify these Trees with Chestnut or Maple like Leaves and break the Haunting of these mysterious and Enchanting flowers.

“The mystery is resolved, the fruits are used as a cure for Colic in Horses and  probably the reason for the name Horse Chestnut.”

UP ABOVE IN THE SKY

The Himalayas are home to numerous Birds which can rarely be seen in other parts of India.

I spotted this Barn Swallow swinging amongst the clouds in Mussoorie, Uttrakhand ,India, which is located at an altitude of 6000 feet ( 2000 metres approx.)

string beween clouds
A String between the Clouds above

The Western Himalayas at Mussoorie turn into a glorious shade of Green in June.

The Green Trees are themselves covered with numerous blossoms which attracts numerous pollinators ( i.e. insects).

The Pollinators in turn  are a feast for these Swallows.

green hills
Green Himalayas till as far as the eyes can see

Barn Swallows ( English), Hirundo rustica ( Scientific Name) are experts in picking their prey from the skies.

The plumage of males and female are very similar of this species and thus I will not even attempt to guess the Gender of this one.

showing the way
Showing the Way

I had to stretch my neck backwards to catch a shot of  this lovely Swallow, perched high above on a Wire Stretched across the Blue Skies.

Is my Feathered Friend Showing me the Path to what lies Ahead ?

 

THE KING AND I

India is the Kingdom where Mangoes rule the World of Fruits, undoubtedly the King of Fruits.

Mangoes are the compensation to this land for bearing the Hot Summer Months. The Scorching heat fills these scrumptious Fruits with the Sweetest of Juices. The Hotter the Summer the sweeter  are the Mangoes.

Mangoes ( English), Aam ( Hindi), Mangifera indica ( Scientific name)  are native to the Indian Subcontinent and entrenched in the the History of this Ancient Land. It is from this ancient Land that they spread to the rest of the World.

The Mango Tree is revered in India and forms part of all auspicious functions like Inaugrating a New Home or A Wedding.

Garlands are made from Mango leaves and hung on the Main Entrances of Homes symbolizing Fertility and Good Luck.

mango tree
The Tree of the King of Fruits

Spring covers the trees with blossoms , the fragrance of which drives the pollinators like Bees wild.

The famous design called Paisley ( Kairi in Hindi)  owes it shape to the King of Fruits , Mangoes. Have a look at the Mango on the Left  below and turn it 180 degrees clockwise. Behold the Paisley.

the blooms
The Blossoms and Raw Mangoes

Raw Mangoes form the base of numerous mouth watering Pickles and Chutney. Each region of this Land has a different species of Mangoes and thus  naturally hundreds of Recipes abound.

It would take a lifetime  to discover and taste all the recipes.

plenty of mangoes
Curvaceous Mangoes

For me personally Mangoes are my favourite Fruit and of the hundreds of species of mangoes, Chausa rules my Taste Buds.

Are you still reading the blog, go and grab a Mango. The King of Fruits will disappear within a month.

HIMALAYAN HEIGHTS

Mount Kangchenjunga  , in the Himalayas ,glimpsed from Gangtok, Sikkim, India.

The Third highest Mountain on Planet Earth at 8586 meters.

clouds obscure
Curtains of Clouds

 

behold K2
Behold The First Peek at Snow Mountains 
K2 through pines
The Mighty Kangchenjunga Mountains

SMITTEN BY NATURE

The Hills, Blue Skies , Fragrant Flowers and Butterflies.

The Splendour of Nature has me bowled over.

himalayan butterfly
Himalayan Splendour

Trees at Mussoories, Uttrakhand , India are ablaze with Flowers during the Summers.

Besides Bees they attract are a vast spectrum of Butterflies.

white one
The Little White Butterfly

Butterflies hang onto the flowers in Celebrating the arrival of  Spring.

solitary butterfly
Precarious Post

Am speechless.