Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A sense of Spring

Breathe in the fragrance of a new season,
drink in the vibrant colours of a new year (you really don't think January marks a new year, do you? ),
gorge on the flavours of the new fruits weighing down the trees,
smile at the crescendo of joyous bird-calls overhead and faraway and round-about  ... Spring is here and makes sure you know it by a mad, merry, exuberant sensory overload!

When else would you find such a serendipitous juxtaposition of a Blue butterfly sunning itself next to a Rosy Periwinkle?

Or gangs of ants quilting a heliconia bloom? Or could they be the heliconia artists, gently nipping a blush into every bloom? 

Nothing gentle about this exuberant bougainvillea screaming its presence! Rambunctious climber, irrepressible bloom-smith, unfussy tenant .. who doesn't appreciate the bountiful blooms of the bougainvillea when sunny, roasting hot days drag by? 

Sprays of Petrea wrap my garden in a soothing cloud of lavenders and purples fading into silvery grey. Twirling ballerinas of the botanical realm, each bloom matures into a role rarely essayed. How many flowers, after all, can spin and dance on the Spring breeze?  
And sometimes the heavens come down to earth! And high-flying Pariah Kites grant their royal stamp of approval to my humble bird-bath. Spring today, Summer tomorrow; a bird's got to sip and dip. In the meantime, they have an awestruck pair of eyes (and camera lens) following their every regal move!   

High up on the denuded teak trees, the very voluble parakeets screech and gossip about every passerby and every new tree in fruit. They love hanging around my garden now. No one will disturb their babies here and there are plenty of tender cashewnuts on the trees to gnaw on.

Tender cashewnuts, did I say? Oh so young to imagine the trial by fire awaiting it, to prove itself and be crowned king of the palate! Hundreds of bunches of these very quirky fruits are growing now, kissed by the Spring sunshine, dreaming of the day when the cashew-apples will be full-grown and all filled out. No celebrations for a Size Zero here!

Until then these Star Gooseberries are rocking the show in my garden. Clusters and clusters of them crowding the trees until the branches bend down, almost begging to be picked. 
The child in me loves the slight sourness in every pop of these. Have you found the child in you drooling over this too? 

Or, over this? The Carambolas are growing too. These star-shaped fruit are such an attractive sight, on the tree or the table. Or on the hawkers' carts. Did they use to sell the Carambola, dipped in salt and red-hot chilli powder, outside your school too? Does your mouth begin to water when you see this photo, as mine is beginning to?

Spring. And the Winter vegetables are still yielding.
Fresh crisp green cabbages growing among a forest of iron-rich red amaranths. Just as colourful as it looks and a hundred times more flavour-packed.
Did you know that ever since I grew the cabbages among the red amaranths, I've had less trouble with the foliage vandals? All the grasshoppers seem to be drawn to the red amaranths, leaving the cabbage alone.

On the roads, the Rain Trees are dotted with flowers. 

In my home, a few brave (and fool-hardy) centipedes try to barge in and are summarily tossed out on their ear!
But I do sneak an admiring glance at those mango-yellow boots. This gal has style!

And why am I repeating a pic of this Blue? Just because. 
Because it's so pretty and has a cute up-turned nose and big, big eyes.
Because it has a model's poise; look at the bend of that knee.
Because it knows where to hang out ... in my garden.
Because I like this photo.
And because it's Spring!

And because Spring means that all kinds of pretty fragrant flowers like this Vallaris are making the air heady with their scent. 
sigh .... did I mention that I absolutely love Spring?