Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Weird and the Wonderful

This post is for all the weirdly wonderful ... and the wonderfully different. The ones who choose to walk a different path, a more unusual, interesting path which no one thought of before.
The ones who think different and ask all the "why not?" questions that make the Custodians of the Ordinary turn purple with frustration. Especially when they find their Madness is actually Genius.
The ones who make Life so much more interesting just by being themselves!  

The Canonball tree is in bloom in Mumbai now with its quirky, weirdly wonderful flowers. So very different from just about everything else we see here. Have you ever seen a flower like this? I'm so intrigued by the candy-hued wriggly-looking staminoides on the hooded extension. And the ring of whitish stamens are equally fascinating. One set of fertile stamens and another set of sterile staminoides on the 'hood' , both working together . One attracts the pollinators (usually the carpenter bee), the other deposits the pollen on them to be carried away to the next bloom and carry on with its work of ... well, pollinating, of course. But what an ingeniously effective and, yes, different way of doing it!

For a more detailed explanation, see here . And weird becomes doubly wonderful when it is disguised as commonplace ... as in the common everyday Pineapple. Or rather, the blooms of the pineapple!  
Have you ever seen it? And don't you just love those colours?

And curiouser and curiouser, the fruits of each individual flower merge together to create one single fruit.  Now who would've thought of that? Not me. And I've been growing pineapples for years! I never even noticed their blooms till now. Quite possibly because they're growing in a far corner of my garden and the April sun is too fierce for me to wish to linger out for long.
Now I wonder what else I might've missed...

Definitely not the Passionflower! No one could ever miss the rather bizarre beauty of this bloom. It looks like a layer of petals topped by a twirly tutu topped by a faucet designed by an artist on hallucinogens. 
And yet, seen together, it all works ... beautifully. Like a true masterpiece.
And even better, it smells divine!
What??? You don't think the banana flower (or what should actually be called the 'banana inflorescence' ) deserves to be here? Come on... look again.  Doesn't it  it look like some alien creature in flight?
Layers upon layers of thick fleshy liver-red bracts tightly sheathing the actual flowers into a compact cone hanging like a pendant. Till they unfurl one by one, revealing their 'hands', so to speak.  
And that's not even taking into consideration that the whole banana plant is as different as you can get. That thick 'trunk' is just layer upon layer (yet again, I know!) of leaf stalks. And that each new leaf has to start its journey from the bottom up. As does the 'flower'.
And if you looked at your garden and saw a whole bevy of Dancing Girls? Anything non-weird about that?
Not about the dancing girls (we've got to be a bit blasé about such things in this day and age, right?). But the fact that they're dancing at the tip of the Oncidium orchid plants?
Hmmm... definitely worth comment!
And such beautiful dancing girls... oh yes!

And the 'weirdities' don't stop with the plants in my garden. Oh no! The creatures ... my beautifully diversely wonderfully weird garden creatures are never far behind. As you'll see in the posts in my Garden Creature Fest (pssst! look in the side-bar).
As for this Jewel Bug ... it's just plain beautiful! Even if it's differently so.

(Actually it's not laziness which is holding me back from posting more photos on this theme ... my blog has just switched over to the new interface at Blogger and I'm wrestling with it  and tying myself up in knots at the moment! Aaaargh!!! )