May 31, 2016

Cool shade of the "fire tree"

Needle-shedding cypress trees signal the beginning of the winter dry season,

But is there a similar conspicuous botanical clue that the wet season has begun?

Royal Poincianas bloom in May

Turns out that there is, only in this case to see it you have to venture closer into town to find it.  The Royal Poinciana tree unleashes a fiery display of flowers each year about mid May. Streets literally light up in their presence. But it’s a strange red luminescence in that it does not bring warmth, rather shade … a very deep and luxurious shade ...

All thanks to its copious canopy of outstretching branches and fern-like leaves.


And they shed in June with the start
of the summer rains

Rain drops and wind from the start of the rainy season soon to follow send these flame-like flowers to the ground one by one, or in clusters, on the blacktop and inevitably in puddles where when you see them you half expect to hear them sizzle:

Red hot flowers on rain cooled asphalt.

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