Summers brings with itself all the colors of mother nature. Leaves cover the trees, fruits start to form. The flowers start to blossom everywhere. Every nook and corner has different types of flowers peeking out.
(Flowers growing wild)
The road near the cottages is rarely traveled and the flowers do not get trampled upon. The natural borders of the road formed by groups of white daisies and chamomiles are beautiful to look at. At about a foot of height sometimes these groups of white flowers are dotted by contrasting yellow dandelions.
(White and yellow flowers growing on the roadside)
Did you know that these white flowers (chamomiles) can be boiled with tea for a great healthy drink?
Another striking flower in the region is the Rhododendron (Buransh). The wild variety grows on tall trees and is bright red to pink in color. These are some of the earliest flowers to blossom in the spring time and by the time the daisies and chamomiles start to bloom, most of these flowers would have dried out and withered. Quite frequently, these bright flowers are collected by villages to prepare a syrup. The Rhodendron syrup is believed to be quite useful for heart and for maintaining blood pressure. Rhododendrons also have a second blossom time which happens just before the rains.
Roses are cultivated all over the world. The wild roses in general are red in color. However on the Kumaon hills, a variety of wild roses is found that is white in color. They are climbers and quite frequently cover up other woody trees. From distance, the white flowers can be easily mistaken for Jasmine.
(Wild Rose in white color, that grows tall and covers up other trees as well)
On the road sides, among the rocks, sometimes a patch of dense grass like flowers are found. These range from pale pink to deep reds. Are these the Sainfoin, the disappearing forage plant?
(Sainfoin is a good crop for rotation and for feeding cattle, but the locals are scared of it. Maybe the one growing around the cottages is not Sainfoin after all. Is it Sorrel flowering in a bunch?)
Take a walk down the road and you just might see it growing on the edge of the road. It’s beautiful to look at and adds a touch of pastel colors. We consider these as nature’s way of decorating a bouquet.
(Sainfoin Patch – looks like a bouquet on top of a bare rock, dotted with some mini white flowers)
Kilmora or the Indian Barberry is also a common shrub in the region. Though famous for the medicinal properties of its bark, leaves, roots and berries, the flowers are very pretty. The small yellow flowers arranged in neat small bunches are difficult to miss.
(Indian Barberry in full bloom. Also called the tree turmeric, the name becomes self-evident if you happen to look at the shrub blossoming or even just the cut portions of the thin woody branches.)
There are hundreds of varieties of wild flowers that grow in the region. Tiny flowers from white dutch clovers, dog flowers, mimosa are common. Sometimes you might spot orchids, irises and lilies too. Many a times, these flowers look very beautiful to use but we don’t know their names.
(Wild flowers that grow in small bunches, similar to the ubiquitous lantana, but bigger and more dense)
Go for a long walk around the cottages, on the winding road. Try spotting the various wild flowers. If it is early spring, you might see the fruit trees also blossoming. Cultivated flowers in neat flowerbeds are attractive but these wild flowers somehow never fail to impress.
(Daisies, Chamomiles, Dandelions on the top and White Dutch Clover on the ground)