Friday, July 31, 2009

Festival of The Trees: Edition #38

It's here!! Another edition of the Festival of The Trees, this time almost 12 hours earlier than usual because it's coming to you all the way from the tropics of Asia!

So what have the trees and tree bloggers been up to this month?? Well, the trees for one have been up to some eerie stuff it seems - travel to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Florida to see a tree that has been hosting ghost orchids and with Huckleberry to British Columbia to see yet others don on witch's hair! Take a minute also to look at these beautiful (and at times ghostly) sycamore trees that Granny J so admires. Looks like the trees are already gearing up for Halloween!

In another part of north america, it's Christmas all year round. Karen from Trees, if you please, shares pictures of Christmas tree farms she chanced upon while driving through Ashe County, North Carolina.

But I stray from the theme of the month - summer fruit bearing trees! Fruit bearing trees, it seems, have been busy giving forth their bounty despite other duties. Did you know that hazelnut trees make for great bike racks? Hugh from Rock Paper Lizard certainly thinks so! This month he continues the fascinating journey of hazelnut formation as the flowers pollinated in February fertilize after almost five months. And if you thought that was unusual, prepare to be blown by Vicky's post on the reproduction of American Chestnuts using shotguns!

Dan explores the world of the Eastern Black Walnut on The World's Tree Species. Dave meanwhile captures the movements of a rat snake that uses a black walnut tree as a conduit to get into his house. Pica from Feathers of Hope writes about a nectarine tree laden with fruit that unfortunately has cracked in half. And in the community environmental blog The Clade, Biodiversivist shares the tale of Stella, a true Giving Tree (aren't they all?) that continues to feed people from near and far.

Trees in this part of the world have been no less busy. My neighbor's jackfruit tree has been busy as always at this time of the year, and the few extra kilos (which i prefer using to the x2.2 lbs) around my hips are testament to how irresistible her fruit has been! Readers from the temperate region, are you wondering what a jackfruit is? Fret not, Hen from Singapore shares pictures of ten very interesting fruit trees found in the tropics, including that of the tasty jackfruit. After a feast of the smelly Durian, which is banned in air conditioned places in Singapore because of its strong odor, she takes us on a walk through the island of Pulau Ubin (part of the island nation of Singapore) and leaves us wanting to visit for ourselves to take in all the fruit-diversity!

I should not blame the jackfruit alone for my extra lbs though -- the mango is just as guilty! Called the 'king of fruits' in India, the mango floods the market in the summer months. And it turns out that the association of the mango tree with Indian culture goes back a very long way -- read more about my encounter with a mango tree that is rumored to be 3500 years old and that bears fruit of a different taste in each branch here. Perhaps the authorities should use some dendrochronology (link courtesy Vicky of TGAW) to investigate the myth behind the age of this temple tree.

From Asia we travel back to the Americas; this time to Mexico, where Brandon explains the mystery of the transformation of a guava from the seedless fruit kind to the seeded. And all you non-Spanish speakers, if you travel to a Spanish speaking country and fancy a guava, do remember to ask not for a guava, but a guyaba, as the guava is known there. The 'guava/guaba' in Spanish refers to something else - "a weird legume with a pleasantly fruity gel around it's seeds". Thank you Brandon for pointing this out!

To know more about what tree bloggers have been up to this month, we zoom down to Sau Paulo, where Ricardo has been witness to the termite attack on a Jacaranda tree. Ricardo has been kind enough to translate the post into english for the benefit of those of you who can't understand the language. Ricardo certainly has a point -- it is important not just to plant trees around the city, take in their beauty and harvest their fruit, but also to care for them and monitor their health periodically. Roger from Quebec writes about the city policy around trees or 'protected weeds' as they are called!.. If you are conversant with French, read his original post here; if not, check out the English translation he has provided here.

So with that, we come to the end of yet another fruitful Festival of The Trees. I leave you with a poem from Ren Powell - The Parentage of the Dix Pear. Thank you tree lovers for your wonderful posts; I hope you had just as much fun reading as I did!

Next month's festival will be hosted at Arboreality. The theme for inspiration is Secrets:
“Forests, farms, gardens, urban trees, and ancient-rock-clinging-wind-whipped Bristlecone pine stands can be an escape, a place to hide, a space to rest, a home for buried treasure. This month, I invite you to reveal a small glimpse of a secret among the trees. Consider the quiet spots you go to sit, the trees which have stood in silent observation of the events of your life, the aromatic memory of the garden from a place you have visited. With word, image, sound, or otherwise inspired creation, give us a peek at what you see, or what you can imagine."

The email address to send links to is trees (at) brainripples (dot) com and the deadline is the 28th of August.

If you'd like to play host to future festivals, write to Dave: bontasaurus (at) yahoo (dot) com, and Pablo: editor (at) roundrockjournal (dot) com. Don't be shy -- it's a lot of fun!


Pablo said...

Wonderful edition!

Karen said...

Great post - I like the variety! Thanks so much for including me.

Granny J said...

The sycamores and I thank you! Very interesting reading...

A. said...

thank you all for your posts!

Jade Blackwater said...

Arati, thank you for a wonderful festival! I especially enjoyed the glimpse at the 3500+ year old mango - I just love wise, old trees (especially those with mysteries).


Beau said...

Next year, when we hopefully have fruit on our trees- I'll join your fruitful festival! Thanks for putting it together.

A. said...

@Jade: thank you, we should see more of that --trees with mysteries-- next month at your site!

@Beau: thank you, i'll look forward to that! :)

Georgia said...

I've never been able to enjoy eating a jackfruit because of the fruit's smell.

A. said...

@Georgia, yes it takes some getting used to .. helps if you've been made to eat it as a child!!