Sunday, 9 March 2008

My Very Old Orchid

This was my mother's favorite orchid. The actual plant was passed down from my great grandmother's second husband, a man called Pedro Centeno. While we don't have an exact date, it must be close to 70 years old. Mother (my great grandmother), as we knew her, had lost her first husband to typhoid in 1910. She was under 30 with six children, my grandmother Dora, the youngest just 10 months old.When I'm having a bad day, I think of her.
I come from a family of women. They gardened, they cooked and they talked. This is the first year that I won't be ringing Mummy to boast that the Shower of Gold as we know it, has outdone itself and offered up some five to six sprays. I hope she can see her favorite flower in bloom from heaven. All these women still live in me. And the orchid is still here blooming every year.
For all the orchid afficianados, I've included an excerpt from the site that I've linked to below.

Dendrobium lindleyi Steud.Synonym: Dendrobium aggregatum
Often known as Dendrobium aggregatum, which is now considered to be a synonym of Dendrobium lindleyi, this species is a native of Indochina, the Himalayas, Burma, and the Malaysian peninsula. Capable of producing relatively large sprays of up to one dozen flowers, the small pseudobulbs measure approximately 5cm (2 inches) long. Typically, Dendrobium lindleyi blooms in the spring producing orange-yellow flowers measuring approximately 3.5cm (1.5 inches) in width. The flowers produce a very light scent and are suspended from an inflorescence that hangs like a pendent to the side of the orchid. Some growers choose to grow the epiphytic species on slabs of cork but they can also be potted or grown in wooden baskets. If placed in a pot the potting media is best if it consists of a fibrous material such as sphagnum moss. Dendrobium lindleyi prefers large amounts of water in summer along with warm temperatures (70 to 90 degrees F) and moderately bright light. Water frequently with a dilute fertilizer added to the water. The species prefers cool nights with temperatures down to the low 50 degree F range during the winter along with just enough water to keep the pseudobulbs plump. Some growers do not recommend fertilizer during the winter.

This Easter lily has just popped up as well. That is how I know that we are well into the dry season. They are always a lovely surprise when they pop up like this.

Another sign that dry season is in full form is the blooming of the pink poui. All the tree around the Savannah are in full flower and the roads, pavements and savannah grass is all covered in a carpet of pink. I believe the pink poui is the National Flower of Venezuela which would make sense as Venezuela is only seven miles away from us.
I think the sheer beauty of this flower does more for the psyche of the average Trinidadian than any marketing or peace summit meeting. If everyone had a poui tree in their yard, that amount of beauty could not fail to have a soul soothing effect. And responding to some primal clock, all trees thoughout the island begin their show at the same time. The things nature could teach us.
Thank you poui for gracing our landscape. Below is some information on the geneology of the plant: Thank you

Zone 10
Pink Tabebuia is native from Mexico to Venezuela. It may be seen called Pink Poui-Rosea or just Pink Trumpet Tree
Larger than the Yellow Tabebuia, it is rated widely from 20-50 feeTabebuia Most mature trees we see locally are about 30-35 feet. Tabebuia Young Pinks grow like the Yellow but then fill out taller and wider
This Tabebuia is one over 100 species with blooms starting near the first day of spring in South Florida. Its clusters of pink trumpet flowers are very attractive

The Landmarks that Caught my Eye

It took us a day or two to realize that this lovely building that was outside of our 12th floor room was the famous Carnegie Hall. I caught the sun glinting off the windows in an unusual pattern.

Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street.
Built by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1890, it is one of the most famous venues in the United States for classical music and popular music, renowned for its beauty, history and acoustics. Carnegie Hall has its own artistic programming, development, and marketing departments and presents about 100 performances each season; it is also rented out to performing groups. It has no resident company, although the New York Philharmonic was officially resident there until 1962. To continue article click on text.

There is something incredibly peaceful about snow covered cemeteries. This pretty church did not suffer as much as a broken pane of glass on the dreadful day in September 2001. What did take the brunt was the ancient Sycamore tree that was felled by the debris. The sense of peace in this church will provide comfort to anyone visiting this site. It is literally across the road.

This was about as close as I could face getting to Ground Zero. Instead of looking closer, I spent more time in the chruch opposite to this fateful site. I quote from the sign in the churchyard.....

Built in 1766, St. Paul's, an Episcopal Chapel has witnessed the unfolding history of New York City and the nation. In the wake of September 11th, an extraordinary volunteer ministry emerged at the Chapel. It brought together thousands of people of every nationality, race and religion to provide care and solace to the recovery workers at Ground Zero. This new ministry became a symbol of the power of faith and the resilience of the human spirit. Today, St. Paul's continues to provide a sanctuary for people from all faiths and backgrounds who seek hope and healing.