The River Chambal was cursed by a Lady Born from The Flames of A Fire ( Yagnaseni or Draupadi from the Epic Mahabharatha) . That is only one of the numerous fablesand myths that hover over the Enchanting Terrain through which the river traverses.
A sharp eye will enable you to discern THE GHOST TREE in the picture below .
Bhutia ( Marathi), The Ghost Tree ( English),Gum Karaya, Sterculia urens ( Scientific name)is a deciduous Tree native to India.
All the leaves have been shed by The Indian Gum Tree revealing the pale White Bark which lends it the name Bhutia or GHOST TREE.
This Ghostly looking tree is however extremely Useful not only to the Langurs that can be seen in the picture below, but also to Humans as they are the source of the much sought after “Gum Karaya”.
“Gum Karaya” is the natural alternative to Viagra and has a formidable reputation as an Aphrodisiac.
Be Enchanted and do read earlier posts titled RIVER CURSED YET ENCHANTING and OVER THE CLIFF.
Have written extensively on The Chambal River Basin, which flows in Central India and is home to many Unique and Interesting Species of Flora and Fauna.
Have shared some pictures and information in previous Posts like “TROPHIES”, “RIVER CURSED YET ENCHANTED“, OVER THE CLIFF, BLUE-EYED CORMORANTS etc. which would have already given you a glimpse of the Terrain and the Inhabitants.
The picture below is of an Unusual White Tree on the banks of the Clear Blue Waters of the River Chambal.
Initially I thought White blossoms had covered the branches of this Lovely Tree.
However on a closer look , I realized the Leaves were Coated White.
After some investigations I was informed the tree is not naturally WHITE AS SNOW but covered with the Poop of Indian Cormorants.( do read BLUE-EYED CORMORANTS to know about these Water Birds) .
I wonder if the solitary Sedate Grey Heron (English), Ardea cinerea ( Scientific name) is aware that the Tree above is Laden with Poop.
The picture below is a reminder of the Gregarious habits of the Indian Cormorants who flock together in vast Numbers.
What is amazing is the fact that though the Indian Cormorants or Indian Shags as they are also called made many Trees their Roost, I spotted only One Tree which was covered in Poop and was WHITE AS SNOW.
The White Solitary Posts are Poplars , a high altitude tree you will see covering the the entire Landscape of Leh, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India.
There is a huge and exciting controversy brewing on the scientific name and I have honed onto the scientific name Populus parmirica.
As I have only seen and photographed them during the Winters when not a single leaf adorned them, let alone bear a flower or fruit, it is hard to key on the species with precision for an amateur like me.
I understand these Ghostly white posts have separate male and female trees and are an intricate part of Ladhakhi life.
Willows and Poplars dominate the winter landscape of Ladhakh.
The Ladhaki Frass or Ladakh Poplars or Populus pamirica can be seen only at altitudes above 2000 m.
Leh is at 3800 m and thus home to vast Poplar plantations.
I hope you will help me identify the species in case I have blundered . Am certain the Genus Populus is however correct.
This Gorgeous Tree Is located on the edge of a Hill in Bhopal, within the sprawling estate of the Noor-us- Sabah Heritage Hotel.
SPATHODEA CAMPANULATA or THE AFRICAN TULIP TREE
In full bloom the magnificent tulip shaped flowers of this tall and upright tree set the landscape on fire. A combination of the Origins and the Bright Flame Coloured Flowers have given the tree the alias AFRICAN FLAME OF THE FOREST.
The Tulip Tree is a close relative of the Sausage tree. Both are native to the African Continent.
True to its name the blossoms have set the tree on fire.
Do locate such splendid trees in your neighbourhood
History of Food leads me to a MIRACLE FRUIT which is indigenous to the Western Ghats of INDIA. There are records of the fruit being consumed as far back as 6000 BC.
It is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world and can weigh upto 45 kgs.
The “Kathal” or Jack fruit literally grows all over a very large tree which can grow upto 80 feet ( 26 m) . The large trees made perfect perches for Vultures ( Gyps Indicus) which once ruled the skies of Delhi.
I still recall my grandmother telling the Gardner to scare away the Vultures as their poop smeared the Jackfruits. ( this was on a now infamous road in the heart of Lutyens Delhi)
New Delhi has changed dramatically in the last 4 decades , the Vultures and Kathal Trees have disappeared from Delhi bearing the brunt of the change.
Kathal ( Hindi): Jack Fruit (English) : Artocarpus heterophyllus (Scientific or botanical name)
The Jack Fruit packs a punch of Potassium, antioxidants and Beta Carotene. You can check more details on Google/ Wikipedia etc. I am simply fueling your interest in FOOD.
The featured image is that of the seeds of Kathal which i have seen for the first time in a vegetable market.( not that i go to vegetable markets daily) My hopes for a fright future were rekindled.
The “seeds of the Kathal” are particularly dear to the Jain community as it replaces Taro and potatoes ( do read EXOTIC ANCIENT ROOTS ) in their diet.
Labelled as the Miracle Fruit it can replace many staple diets in a world where Land for agricultural use is rapidly shrinking .