Friday, January 23, 2015

Colors of Foliage

In the Western countries they have a season called the ' Fall' or the autumn when the trees are ready to shed their leaves. The air i believe becomes crisp and turns chilly but the foliage dons a new hue which is a feast to the eyes. i guess we can see it too in the hills...probably in Srinagar where we have Chinar trees. Chinar aka Booune in Kashmiri language resembles the Maple to a certain extent and though it's incredible beauty is all through the year, the majestic tree is at it's most elegant and exuberant self during this season which precedes winter. Which the West calls as Autumn.

"Formerly green leaves turn to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red. These color changes are the result of transformations in leaf pigments. The green pigment in leaves is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll absorbs red and blue light from the sunlight that falls on leaves."

This much about the green pigment was all that my ageing brain cells have retained. Of all those chemicals and pigments and reactions that happen when plants make food by absorbing sunlight through the leaves. i guess to all those who have had schooling and read biological sciences to a certain level and then left it to that have never forgotten the word CHLOROPHYLL. 
But why am i taking about chlorophyll is because watching my beautiful red leaved plants don a new DRESS i had just these two precise thoughts:
1. Colors of the Fall and,
2. Chlorophyll. because i didn't retain much of my earlier learning to go any further than that...

i have a better idea...let me show you the pictures... stage wise...meaning from the changes that took place over a period of time within a month before the winter chill took over. It was sheer delight watching these changes. As if one watches oneself try out the favorite clothes one has bought i was seeing this happen...on a favorite one on the terrace. The one which helped me break the monotony created by just greens. Commonly known as Tropical smoke bush i am talking about none other than of Euphorbia cotinifolia.

i am so taken up by the brilliant foliage of this bush especially the way it glows. See it in the morning when it is just catching the light of the sun, or else at noon and each time the bush will appear magically different. Just a few days back i had done a post on the bush but then my feelings were totally different then.

Now i watch, stare and peer into those veins of the same resplendent bush seeing it shorn of  it's glory  yet taking me to another world and thus granting me a feel of the ' Colors of the Fall' even when i am not in Kashmir or in one of those picturesque locations of the West that one sees in a calendar or on travel sites online. 
i am sitting here on this foggy terrace of mine partially in wonder and partially curious to know the science behind these colors that i see my bush wearing today.
Also as the bush has a new wardrobe and it seems to be wearing less and less of foliage and i have been able to figure out the culprit. Seducing my Smoke go all the way...NUDE. The Delhi Fog not only making visibility poor but also responsible for all my babies who earstwhile looked full, healthy and bright seem like homeless destitute. They look the type whom you'll happily, selflessly donate your favorite cardigan to. 

My penchant towards plants and trees is quite familiar but my fussing over this particular bush makes some wonder if i am obsessed but do i care. 

''The most familiar things, objects which I had gazed at all my life, now became an unending source of wonder, and with the wonder, of course, affection. A tea pot, an old hammer, or chipped cup, whatever came to hand I looked upon as if I had never seen it before. I hadn’t, of course. Do not most of us go through life blind, deaf, insensitive? Now as I studied the object’s physiognomy, its texture, its way of speaking, I entered into its life, its history, its purpose, its association with other objects, all of which only endeared it the more… Have you ever noticed that the stones one gathers at the beach are grateful when we hold them in our hands and caress them? Do they not take on a new expression? An old pot loves to be rubbed with tenderness and appreciation. So with an axe: kept in good condition, it always serves its master lovingly.''  Henry Miller from his book ' To Paint is to Love Again'

And before i quit i think it's better to share that which nourished me once again...and restored the glowing color and good health to my dull graying cells.

Have a fantastic colorful weekend folks :) and to all who love the colors of spring especially that of mustard flowers and shall be celebrating Basant Panchami...Wish you a very Happy and joyous Basant Panchami.


  1. Happy Vasant Panchami, Shivani :)
    Nice pics. Rich colours of Fall... in fact, all year round...
    God is really great that He has so many colours for us all.
    Agree with the lines of Henry Miller. I too feel very grateful.
    Now that it's Saraswati Puja, colours are important esp- White & Yellow. Then, next comes Holi with a riot of colours :)
    May we all have colours in our lives :)

  2. Very well said Anita...Amen. Also thank you for being here and making me feel all the more Basanti :) after all what is Basant but a sense of warmth a harbinger of hope and wellness. In Punjabi they say, " Aayee basant paalaa udd ant " meaning I suppose here comes the spring and drives the foggy gloomy winter away. :)

  3. hopw you had a good basant panchami mam.. Oh yes i remember the day back home , we would spend days before making sure our kite is the best , full of colors and so much time was spent on making sure the thread was properly done..

    shredded broken glass,glue, colour boiled with thread and then dry the thread ..

    poor hands suffered so much as so many cuts and bruises ...