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.
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.
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…
I don’t get out and about very much these days. In this I would guess I am much like many of you: facing unusual challenges and trying to find things to focus on, or in my case take my mind away from work challenges and still keep me engaged with my many friends and family who read this blog, even if you’re continents, oceans and time zones away from where I find myself now. Anyhoo, I’m still trying to post something each day despite the fact I’m honesty not walking many new paths or going to many new places in any given week, since mid-March. However, I have dug out a new treasure trove of photos taken in the “old” days of January at the pleasant and busy waterfront along the Buriganga river, near one of our clinical sites in Kamrangirchar. It’s a quite different part of the city from the area where my own office and home are, and where my urban mangoes are (still!) growing and the city signs have been so overwhelmingly documented. In any case, I herewith introduce you to the next little series that I’ll be calling “Urban Riverfront,” for as long as these photos last, which looks like eight more posts after this…unless I find more tucked into a folder somewhere. I shall likely alternate with more Signs of the City and glimpses of Urban Gardens any place I can find them :-). I do hope you find them, or the posted evidence that I’m still getting out of bed each day and trying to do something or other with my life in these weird times, worth coming back for. Peace & health.
Ok, so my experiment in finding photographic ways to explore how mangoes grow is perhaps a complete flop. I’m open to this possibility. I did feel my first post at least managed to show the growth of mangoes from flower to small fruit, despite the self-evident patheticness (patheticity?) of an overworked-from-home Paul finding things to focus on each day. Now I have learned that teeneaged mangoes grow the way a pot of water boils: not very much, if you’re watching them each day. Those mangoes in the photo immediately below are 24 days younger than mangoes in first photo in the rows below…but I can’t really see much difference…can you?? So I’m offering this deadly-dull series of semi-daily photos from the same angle to show you that, indeed, they’re still on the tree, still not ripe, getting rain and so hopefully growing towards ripeness. I think if there is a next Urban Mango entry, it will come once there is visible change to show you: color, size, something a bit less like watching the rain fall, the paint dry, or the pot (not) boil. 🙂 Trust me, if the time ever comes when one of these ends up in juicy orange slices against white yogurt in my breakfast bowl, you’ll see that. Then, at least for me, the patience will find some small reward. Peace, health, compassion.