Yellow Ashoka (Saraca thaipingensis)

I’m ashamed to say that I never noticed this yellow saraca, or yellow ashoka (Saraca thaipingensis), till it bloomed recently. You’d think photographing plants for so long would have made me immune to strange looks, but no. Two hurried snaps were all I got (to the sir staring at me the whole time, no you…

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

Snacking habits are supposed to mature as you age, but we’re all allowed the occasional transgression, right? I never did manage to outgrow ice gem biscuits, and I’m not proud to admit that I even have a plush cushion in the shape of one. Yes, you have permission to judge me. Obviously, I grew immediately…

Jamaican Cherry (Muntingia calabura)

It was raining, and my usual route through the buildings would keep me dry. So, naturally, up the open slope I went, managing to nearly poke someone in the eye when I stopped suddenly at a buah cheri tree (Muntingia calabura) I’d never noticed before. Known more commonly elsewhere as the Jamaican cherry or Panama…

Rhododendrons and Azaleas (Rhododendron sp.)

With their colourful papery flowers, blooming profusely in the spring against a background of dark green leaves, rhododendrons and azaleas worked well against the reds and greys of New Haven. Technically, both rhododendrons and azaleas fall under the Rhododendron genus, except that the former, or so called ‘true rhododendrons’ have ten stamens per flower, and…

Yellowstone National Park

No attention was paid to the throng of hushed tourists, necks craned, peering through long telescopic camera lenses that lent them a somewhat comical air. We must have looked utterly ridiculous to the elk (Cervus canadensis), with our bright jackets clearly defying the basic principles of camouflage. Also called wapiti, elk roam forests and forest…

Crocuses (Crocus sp.)

As winter comes to an end, and the Northern hemisphere begins to shake off its cold till the next year, crocuses are one of the earliest to emerge from under the snow. A genus comprising about 90 species, it prefers cold climates and is native to central and southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East,…