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