Friday, February 11, 2011

Trinidadian flower power

It's shameful how long it's been since I wrote an entry - please accept my deepest apologies. I hope it never happens again unless I'm once again put on diaper, lactation consultant, scrubbing toilets and tub duties, and flying back home to tend to a husband and son whom I neglected in order to fulfill the aforementioned duties as a new auntie. 
*Just for the record, I've never been as happy to scrub toilets and tubs as I was for my sister and brother-in-law last week.

So I'm back full force - batteries charged with Trinidadian flower power. Not a food-related entry, I know, but the purpose is for you to feast your eyes on these images of the tropical flowers that I found this morning at the Trinidad & Tobago Horticultural Society, which sells flowers daily from 6 to 11am. 

In Colombia, we call these "baston del emperador", or "emperor's baton".
Local flower and fruit vendors bring their goodies bright and early in morning. Around the corner from my house, this is one of my favorite spots in T&T. Usually available are anthurium, heliconias, ginger flowers, orchids, different kinds of ferns, and other tropical beauties. 

What is the national flower of T&T, you ask? It is called the chaconia, also known as "the pride of Trinidad & Tobago" and "wild poinsettia". It grows wild in Trinidadian forests, blooms around T&T's Independence Day (August 31), and is absolutely gorgeous. My friend has a chaconia tree, which looks more like a bush, in her yard - lucky girl.
Chaconia, T&T's national flower.
Some of my fondest memories of life in Trinidad involve the long walks I take with my boys along the trails of Chaguaramas. You can walk undisturbed for miles and hear only the tapping of bamboo reeds against each other and the wind shuffling life among the bush. We walk surrounded by bamboo so large, that I can't wrap both my hands around a single bamboo reed. These green steel bars curve inward towards the trails, making tunnels and creating the illusion that you're in a sacred place meant only for monkeys and birds, but somehow you're welcome. It's a spiritual experience. Actually, one of these trails is very appropriately called "The Bamboo Cathedral". Embedded among the bamboo, palms, and other tropical flora, is a lonesome heliconia, draping red and yellow happiness, golden against the green backdrop of the jungle. If all you see is snow outside your window right now, I hope this image fills you with a little warmth.

1 comment:

  1. a thousand thanks for being on auntie duty!
    love the flowers entry... que bellezas :)