Of trees, shrubs and people

I went out this morning with my camera with the intention of taking pictures of the trees around us. Rosanne Freed, a blogging friend, often posts pictures of beautiful trees in her blog, and months back, her pictures reminded me of how I enjoyed trying to capture their grandeur in my pictures, too. But this interest lay forgotten somewhere for years. Today had to be the day to revitalise that interest a bit.

In the days of the past, I could sit for hours, watching the trees, taking pictures from various angles. Today, I was in a kind of hurry that can only come with years of neglecting The Good. The pictures have still come out well. It must be a mixture of their being good subjects, the camera being excellent, and my love for the both being forgiving of my acquired hurried-ness.

The colony we live in was a tea estate until it was converted into a residential society for retired defence personnel. The remnants of the past show everywhere — the soil is rich, the old, very old trees still stand. Take a look.

One of the many thickets of trees in and around the colony.
Teak tree with an auto rickshaw parked underneath. The girl on the left was much interested in my photography jaunt.
Mango trees. You see them everywhere here in Doon. But not as much as you could a decade or so back. They've all given way to ugly houses and decrepit roads for the Animal that Walks on Two Legs. Doon was famous for its basmati rice, mangoes and litchis. While it still has some small number of mango and litchi orchards, basmati rice is gone. Yes, they don't grow it here anymore. Farmers have sold off their lands for more money.
Silver oak canopy
Creepers like these survive the furnace-heat of the summer. All under a tree.
I don't know how this creeper reached the tree's branch. What do you think?
The white building almost covered with the trees is the former house of the tea estate's manager, now the colony's main office. It has its own mango copse. Fun.
This is how budding mangoes look like.
And now that they are formed, they're on their way to grow into, and yellow, oh-so yellow pieces of heaven.
The picture didn't come out as well as I'd have liked. Bottle brush. The tree that reminds me of Japan. Don't ask me why.
I like the attitude of this one, don't you?
Barbed wire to keep cows and monkeys off this hibiscus and more. The monkeys just crawl in, though.
Gulmohar! Soon, the roads will be full of the orange-red blossoms; the sky seemingly abashed with its beautiful vermillion.
Have you ever taken a nap under a tree's shade? Do it, before it is too late.
I tweaked this picture because the cow wasn't clearly visible in the original colour.
Ficus benjamina in bloom. I simply love these. The day I keep a cat, I am going to plant one 'inside' the house, so that it can climb up and hide in the lush greens.
Ashoka trees. They grow really, really tall, and then bend and sway in the stormy season.
Teaks and Ashokas
This unmaintained plot of land has an unruly brush of many different shrubs. And amidst them, stands this tree with bright yellow flowers like beacons of beauty in mismanagement.
A kind of ficus.
Jacaranda. The world looks royal when the flowers overtake the leaves in their numbers
Jerul or Jhadul tree. It's lilac blooms look quite similar to myrtle. Only, they are bigger in size.
Jhadul seed pods
Oleander -- one of the few things Babur, the first of the Mughals in India, liked about this region.
Saptaparni. Used for medicinal purposes. And now landscaping purposes, too -- it has a pleasant canopy, and grows really fast.
We call these Christmas trees (Auraucaria excelsa aka Norfolk Island pine). But they don't look quite like the ones I see on television.
Rubber tree and masks for this world
Silver oaks after pruning and a week's heavy rainfall.
Trust me when I tell you to try lying down under a tree. It is magical.
All the leaves fall down, and then this plant/tree receives these flame red blossoms.
Jamun trees. The luscious purple fruit from this tree is a delight to eat on hot summer afternoons. But be careful while climbing them, their wood isn't strong.
Frangipani in full bloom. It is called Champa in Hindi. It was my paternal grandmother's name. And not surprisingly, the tree reminds me of her.
Amla, Indian gooseberry. Again an important ayurvedic herb -- almost all the parts of this tree come for human use. Including the relaxing aesthetics.
Silver oaks were the pride and joy of Dehradun once. Now, the things are changing rapidly. Silver oaks are vanishing fast.
The colony's main artery, lined with silver oaks
Sheesham, with brand new leaves
Jacaranda and silver oaks.
The purple jacarandas are preparing to colour the world royal!
A cluster of litchi trees.
Litchis should be ready in another month's time. If you haven't tried the fruit, do! The juicy white fruit is divine.
Mango tree overwhelming the house. I love it when people plant huge trees in their yards. Surely there is a way to ensure that the roots don't damage the construction's foundation?
Ah, the blissful shade..
Amaltas trees lose their leaves by now. And the flowers are all gone, too
Only these two bright yellow soldiers left..
The people here worship this tree. Peepul trees are worshipped as a general tendency. This isn't exactly the 'sacred' peepul, but its very close cousin.
With an expanse like this, no matter the variety, the tree deserves worship, no?
Some idols placed by the believing Hindus
One of the by-lanes in the colony, flanked by Saptaparnis
Palms are the preferred trees for sculptural show in many homes.
Acacia blooms and a clinging vine
A squirrel on a silver oak next to our house. Bulu, one of our dogs watches the tree unblinkingly for hours together, waiting; his mouth watering.