Tags: cannonball

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Cannonballs and Curiosities....

Had a great weekend (as I hope you did, I am such a polite person) between barcamp, a grihapravEsham, and a very good play....but on Friday, I went to visit ATREE , and on the way, got this great snap of...A TREE.... which explains why the Cannonball Tree is so called....



cannonball tree and curious items blr 130908


You can see one flower near the top left-hand-side of the snap, but the wiki entry that you get when you click on the tree name gives good photographs of the lovely flowers of this tree, which we call the nAgalinga tree. The flowers have such a lovely, faint, delicate scent....


But I couldn't help also ..er...noticing the notice behind the tree.... the word "curio" in English means, objets d'art, small artefacts that are not of particular use, but beautiful in and of themselves. So of course, we keep confusing the word, and this particular shop-owner has become quite honest and decided to call them "curious items", not "curios"!

Or does he mean that those wares in his shop will be very curious about finding things about us when we enter and ask us a lot of nosy,prying questions...? (Imagine a ghastly "glass Taj Mahal" asking me, the minute I enter, "Why have you come in if you don't like me? Do you think you can get anything cheap here, apart from the quality of the items here? And why do you want to buy a cheap gift? Why can't you be generous?")

Though I must say, the curious thing about some of the items I see in shops is, why on earth anyone would want to pay good money for them....
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Two unusual flowers

The usual place for a bud to form, and a flower to bloom, is at the tip of the twig, at the end of a branch....

But here are two trees which are very different.

Here's an Acacia Tree in Lalbagh (brought from Africa by the emissaries of Hyder and Tipu)...the flowers come straight out of the woody bark:


Acacia Flower, Lalbagh 11 Apr 07


And here's a tree which was very common in my childhood, but isn't any more, alas; it requires a large amount of space to grow, and takes a long time to grow, too. Very few people have the patience to plant it now.

Nagalinga Flowers Lalbagh 11 Apr 07


It is called the Cannonball Tree, because the fruits do look like cannonballs; but the flowers, which, again, come straight out of the trunk, and not from the tips of the twigs, are very fascinating to see. Hindus love this flower because it looks as if, inside the encircling five thick petals, there is a thousand-headed snake (Adisesha) protecting the Lingam, or the phallic representation of the god Shiva. Hence it is called the Nagalinga, and some Hindus use it to venerate Shiva, and others don't, becaue they say the flower is a temple in itself! The flower has a very delicate, evocative scent, and the gnarly trunk of the majestic large tree is a real beauty, and it is a great shade-giver. This particular tree had a lot of golden orioles in it.

Been very busy running about constantly, but was dying to post about these two trees, both of which I photographed in Lalbagh....!