P K DATTA
Dare to Dream …. Make Dwarka Green
Nature has a very unique way of teaching the mankind about itself and reflects its different colours in various ways through flowers, shrubs and trees, the last one (trees) being the longest living organisms on the planet and one of the earth’s greatest natural resources. They keep our air supply clean, reduce noise pollution, improve water quality, help prevent erosion, provide food and building materials, create shade, and help make our landscapes look beautiful. We must continue to pay our gratitude to these oldest citizens and living treasures by properly caring for them by just giving them a glance, a friendly look, be sure to receive back the gesture from the tree by way of movement of its leafs, small branches and showering flower petals in different colours.
Some of the colours are prominently seen in Nature like Yellow and Green. However in the absence of a second colour that being when flowers are not in bloom, the Green is seen most of the year in almost all the trees. Yellow is the color of sunshine symbolizing joy, happiness, intellect, energy, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, gold and philosophy, produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, generates muscle energy and evokes pleasant and cheerful feelings. Green is the color of nature symbolizing growth, harmony, freshness, fertility. stability , endurance and hope. Green, means safety; it is the colour of free passage in road traffic. It has great healing powers, is most soothing colour for the human eye and can improve vision. A combination of both of these gets us the best of things that we crave for in life.
This bounty of Mother Nature in both these colours is available to Dwarkaites in abundance and is easily visible while moving in-out and around Dwarka in the form of Copper pod tree (Peltrophorum pterocarpum) also known as rusty shield bearer, yellow gulmohur, Poinciana/flamboyant in English and as Peeli gulmohur, arjunjyoti in Hindi, specially, on your way back home from Dwarka flyover landing on your left, in the second row of trees interspersed between Alstonia in the first row and Siris in the third row and visible more easily immediately leading the road thereafter from after the traffic signal towards Sector 3-4 crossing and on other roads. Observe the yellow flowers on the canopies of the middle sized Copper pod because of its copper colored pods trees with silvery gray bark, lined as avenue trees on both sides of the road, almost up to the end of the Sector 4 – 3 crossing bidding you bye-bye in the morning with their smiling faces offering the best of both Yellow and Green colours waving in the fresh morning air and refreshing you back home after a long day’s work and a tiresome drive as if seeking your permission to proceed on long leave after their second flowering from September onwards and come by next year after a long vacation till May/June.
Sheds leafs by end February (deciduous) and dresses up again with new leafs in late March, with 12-15 pairs of side-stalks, 10-30 pairs of leaflets on each side stalk, apex of leafless notched having bright yellow flowers, dense, fragrant, upright clustered petals with fruit pods in visible clusters, coppery or rusty.
The tree is largely umbrella shaped with a dark, dense canopy and sheds leaves by mid February. Wears new leaves towards end March flushing faintly scented flowers during May/ June and again after rains from Sept/October. After a long spell of flowering for two months in each year, fruit appears which can be seen on both sides of the road leading to Dwarka Sector 3 and 4 crossing from Dwarka fly-over and on other roads.
All these treasures of Mother Nature are available to us through different times of the year. All you need to appreciate them is to look around yourself and some colour or other will always be there for you to enjoy and not mistake the trees as mundane lamp posts.
Know more about P.K. Datta, Naturalist & photographer