Bangladesh

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So these potted plants sit on the balcony off the room where I meditate and do my workouts / yoga. The way these flowers suddenly appear on them is really a bit different from what I’m used to from the climate zones where I grew up, in which one has buds for a long time and eagerly waits for them to open – particularly, say, in the case of the spring bulbs like tulips or daffodils, eh? Here, one day I suddenly notice a new spike, and the next day voila, there’s a flower. The more unfolded flower-stalk here was featured previously in https://somuchworldsolittletime.wordpress.com/2020/05/27/urban-garden-6/ , and this week I noticed the second stalk, so thought I’d share with you its evolution.

By the way, online research tells me this is a variety of heliconia, which is not the flower commonly known as Bird of Paradise — for that one, do a quick search for Strelitzia. I once inherited a potted bird-of-paradise plant and, with careful application of the right fertilizers, encouraged it to bloom on a balcony in Brooklyn, long ago and far away :-). (Unlike my British friends, I cannot refer to plants in containers as pot plants. We in the US understand pot plants to be something quite entirely different from these lovely but not … pharmacopially useful? … heliconia.)


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Urban Aviary – Animated Edition

You may recall my first photos, better focused and more brightly colored because the lighting conditions were good. I’ve watched them eat quite a bit, but every time the light is good and I get my phone out, they fly away. This time I caught the action but it was dusk without great light…so to see the beautiful colors, go here: https://somuchworldsolittletime.com/2020/04/27/urban-aviary/

I’ve wished often that I had a faster reflex to record some of the beautiful birdsong I’ve heard, or to take more photos or videos of these birds eating or the other lovely birds flitting about the branches of the mangoes or these trees (whatever they are) and other locations. But they don’t tend to stay in one place often, and if light is good enough for me to see them, then they also see me moving and fly away. Oh well – enjoy this and imagine them literally right off my home-office space off and on throughout the day chomping through the seeds and letting the husk drop, then picking up another seed pod to chomp through.


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I feel the need to explain some things, again. With this post, my blog tells me I’ve now posted something new every day for the past 104 days. I’ve fallen into this, as something to anchor myself in this strange and unsettling time we find ourselves in. I never intended to become an utterly regular blogger. Yet somehow, now that my trips out the door are far less frequent than they’ve ever been before in my entire life, I find myself seeing new things, or old things in new ways. I’m also now in Bangladesh at a very different time of year than ever before — I’d been in Cox from late October to early February in 18-19, then here in Dhaka from early November…but I’d never really experienced the monsoon season, or noticed how seasonal the flowers seem to be.

At home in California, it seems there’s always something blooming. Not long after being relocated by work from NYC to southern California, my (then-new) friend Gary (another midwest-boy transplanted to the west coast) once commented than January is the season of the flowering trees in Los Angeles, when our friends “back east” are typically moaning about slush, snow, sleet, rain and cold. Late last year my friend Jean asked me when I’d start posting flower photos from Dhaka, as I did for a period (mostly via WhatsApp at the time) in Port-au-Prince. At that point I’d only seen the rare bougainvillea or garden-store flowers during my walks out and about, here.

But now the monsoon rains have arrived, the mangoes are ripening — and much is abloom. So I think I’ll keep trying to take photos, including both the interesting flowers appearing on my previously drab house plants (a few days ago) and whatever loveliness beguiles my eye on those still-rare occasions when I walk out my door and brave that covid-affected world out there. At least some of my family and friends at home seem to take slight comfort from these daily posts as an indicator that I’m still managing to get out of bed and do at least something each day :-). I do hope the photos keep bringing you back, because seeing all the views, and comments, and likes helps me stay motivated. I don’t know about you, but I myself find motivation a bit more challenging these days than often before in my life.

Peace, health, compassion.


Urban Mango-Bye-Bye

They don’t look ripe to me yet, but I guess people were eager to try them out. Or people were worried the cyclone which brought plenty of rain to Dhaka, and some coastal flooding and loss of life to southwestern BD (and more, I believe, to coastal India), would affect the mangoes, so there were some busy days in the tree recently.

Starting with rains from the leading edge of the cyclone, before the eye made landfall even:

Note there’s still a mango in the new set of leaves. Below was the first mango-harvesting event I was able to record; after denuding the tree of this fellow, whom you’ve seen before in photos, the unidentified harvester moved on to this lovely, smaller mango which was literally within arm’s length of my kitchen window. Sob. Oh well – they’re in the markets to and I can afford them :-).

And then, just before Eid, someone climbed the tree and gave it a good shake while friends and/or family hung out below to pick up any that fell. I’m surprised if many did fall, since they truly don’t look very ripe to me, and the net-wielding harvester seemed to have to pull with conviction to get the mangoes off the tree…


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