In February we planted 10 bare root Gary Oak trees in the Greenbelt. I think only three of them are going to live, but those three are doing well. This afternoon, I took two photos of one of them. The white areas on the leaves are cotton-like fibers from nearby cottonwood trees.
It is hard to imagine that this little tree may someday become a mighty oak. But it is also hard to imagine that only two months ago there was only one tiny bud on the top of this tree; and that bud didn’t appear to have any life in it.. I wonder how tall the tree will be by the end of the summer.
I was concerned that we planted the oaks too close together, but in writing this post I looked for a photo of a mature Garry Oak and found this! Maybe they were planted just where they were “supposed” to be planted, close to their friends.
I love photographing decaying trees. This tree hasn’t fallen yet, but I suspect that will happen sometime this year.
Many years ago, I snapped a picture of a crow in this tree. I still remember how delighted I was when I saw how it turned out. I was even more fascinated, when I realized that I could see it as a photo of a crow, or as a photo of a person reaching for the sky, a person who has a crow perched on one hand.
The tree will continue to serve nature after it falls. My friend Jayanand once told me:
Downed trees play an important role in maintaining the health and regeneration of forests. Not only do they provide nutrient pools for other plants during stand regeneration, they often even serve as “nurse logs” which support the germination and growth of other trees by providing substrate, moisture and nutrients to the seedlings and young saplings. They also can act as carbon sinks by locking up carbon in the forest floor – instead of being released into the atmosphere by burning. Decaying wood provides habitat for a variety of plants and animals, adding to the diversity of life found in forested areas. Finally, downed woody material can also help prevent runoff and soil erosion.
I look forward to having this tree in my life for years to come.
On Sunday, when I was waiting in line to be admitted to a wedding feast, a nearby tree caught my eye. The flowers were fascinating. I soon realized a young man standing near me was talking about the tree. He said it was called Naga Linga and was a very sacred tree. He mentioned that the tree had that name because the flowers look like the hood of a cobra (naga is the Sanskrit word for snake). Later, I learned that another name for the tree is Shiva Linga and that they are often planted near Shiva temples. The tree is also sacred to Buddhists. (Click on the gallery below to enlarge the pictures.)
There were only a few flowers on the tree in Amritapuri. I hope someday I will be here when all the buds are open. It must be a stunning sight.
The English name for the tree is Cannonball. The reason for that becomes obvious when you see the fruit. I found these photos on Wikimedia.
The fruit can reach a diameter of 10 inches. When one falls to the ground it may cause a loud explosive sound. The fruit usually cracks open at that time. The pulp inside is edible but humans often don’t like the smell so it is usually eaten by animals.
Wikipedia says this about the tree’s medicinal value:
The tree that first grabbed my attention in Saraswati Gardens was one of the palm trees. It is VERY tall, although not as tall as the Kapok tree and has such an interesting base. I wonder how old it is.
Someone told me that some of the holes in the trunk might have been created by coconut pickers (for foot and hand holds) who were climbing the tree to harvest the coconuts.
I’m going to share the coconut palm tree photographs from top to bottom.
To look at previous posts in this Amritapuri series, click here.