Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Special Weekend

Bird bath and profusely blooming Bleeding Heart vine/Clerodendrum thomsoniae
This post does not have any recipes. I'm sharing some pictures taken during the recent trip we took. We returned on Monday after spending a blessed weekend at a tea garden called Bormajan. On Saturday we left Guwahati in the evening after my husband's office hours and headed to Tezpur where we spent the night. Tezpur is also known as the cultural capital of Assam and is situated on the northern bank of the river Brahmaputra. The next morning we left early for the tea garden where our friends stay. Ashok and Rupa are a lovely couple and the friendship several years ago when my husband was posted in Tezpur. This was my first visit to the garden.
Beautiful orchids on the Powder Puff/Calliandra tree
Bungalows in the tea gardens are spacious, particularly the Manager's, like Ashok is. To be surrounded by greenery, flowers, fruit trees, birds and butterflies...it's heaven indeed! We gorged on the fruits of the season, the last of the juiciest litchees, passion fruits, cape gooseberries, all from their backyard. Food on the table was delicious and served on beautiful tableware. In the afternoon, I chased butterflies:) and also managed to photograph two that I hadn't managed before. In the evening there was more. Sitting in the spacious verandah with a cool wind blowing, more eats, and the men with the guitars joined by Billy, Ashok and Rupa's son followed by a sumptuous dinner...
The Jia-Bharali river in spate
All the rivers that we crossed on our journey were in spate. Because of the rains, the weather was pleasant but during this season the grass grows fast and furious and most of the flowering annuals were gone. But whatever remained attracted a lot of pollinators. It was as if every bloom had a bee or a butterfly feeding/resting on them.
The Glassy Tiger butterfly
We also made a quick trip to a village market where we bought more vegetables and fruits. After lunch, I spent a lot of time outside photographing butterflies. One butterfly that isn't commonly seen in my area is the one pictured above.

Lunch was heavy and delicious! There were many lovely dishes but the stars were pork vindaloo and lemon rice. Dessert was fresh litchis from their backyard, seeds removed, and served with cream with a dash of strawberry crush. Ah, bliss!
The red mussaendas looked so attractive with their bright red bracts. Although the flowers are tiny (like bougainvilleas) they attract a lot of pollinators. The Great Mormon butterfly (on the right) is my first capture of this kind of swallowtail butterfly.


Looking at the zinnias, I felt that it makes sense to grow these single-petalled zinnias as the pollinators never stopped visiting...

This side of the property had gerbera daisies, liliums (the flowering was over) and impatiens. The area beyond the grassy patch has pear and orange trees.

Yellow allamanda blooms profusely. They are good as cut flowers too. Rupa uses a lot of flowers and every room of the house had pretty floral arrangements.
Glory lily/Gloriosa superba



This is an early morning view of one of the tea gardens that I photographed on the way while returning. It had been raining the whole night and the weather still hadn't cleared. We were worried about the flooding on the road but luckily the roads were not blocked.

We came back with fruits from their garden. Litchis from another tree that were smaller but sweet. The larger ones were over but I'm glad we got to taste them. The first pineapple of the season that they so kindly picked for us...I'm waiting for it to ripen. We also got raw jackfruits. There's a recipe coming soon.
Pani jaam/Water apple/Rose apple/Syzygium samarangense
Along with these, we had also bought some vegetables at the local village market. More gourds, squash, chillies, and pumpkins came back with us. This is one memory we'll cherish for a long time...
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