The big tree which shades the rear of our cottage has been losing its leaves and old dry seed pods for the last two months. [The first time this happened I panicked and thought it was dying!]. Each time we swept the drive and pathways another gust of wind came and dumped a new load of leaf litter plus small but very sharp stems which cause us not a little agony since we go barefoot. Other trees are doing the same – many of the frangipani trees are now totally bare of leaves; and our teak trees are looking very decrepit indeed.
But up in the tea plantations the jacaranda are in full bloom. I remember them from southern Africa blooming just in advance of the rainy season – the central square in Harare outside Meikles Hotel was a lilac carpet of fallen blossoms. And this morning I was having my tea on the roof as usual when I noticed a feathery pale yellow blossom on the floor beside my chair. Yes – the big tree had not only put out new green shoots but is also flowering. This is a very brief but lovely time – it’s all over in a week – since the blossoms have a sort of jasminey scent which drifts over the cottage in the light morning airs.
I asked Thirupathi this morning the name of the tree – in Tamil it is Vaahai Maram – maram means tree. An internet search tells me we are the proud possessors of a very healthy East Indian Walnut, Albizia Lebbeck. Any Seychelles friends reading this blog will know it as Bois Noir.