Sunday, June 29, 2008

Breathin' Berries!

How long is ephemeral? For the mayfly it's just a day but
for my ripening berries, it's a month! But what an active
month! The birds and i have been breathing berries, in
totally different ways. I've been taking photos, eating,
sending little packets of the fruit to different house-
holds in the neighbourhood (Greetings of the season!),
making fresh purple juice, and watching the birds!

They've been gorging, on the ripest, the juiciest fruit!
I cannot imagine how still and how dead my yard would
be without the twittering and chirping of my feathered
visitors! Now that the berries are almost finished,
i'll have to keep track of bird visits. Does it dwindle
or remain constant? I'll find out--- later.

I spoke to my mother who lives 365 kms away. Through the
crackle of static her voice trailed off, then it came again.

My mother: I'm sorry i couldn't send you red ants for your
berry tree. It was raining so hard that i couldn't
go down to the garden. ( It's on a hill).

Me: That's ok. I think my tree is fine without red ants.
The fruit is sweet enough.

Mm: But even then, the red ants will devour all the small
pests and keep your tree worm-free. It'll be good for
the tree!

M: All right.

When i was a child i clearly remember my mother talking
about the berry tree that had no red ants on them. She'd
gone right downhill, at the bottom of the garden to get
the ants so she could let them loose on the berry tree,
thus ensuring a pest-free tree whose fruit would remain
unspoilt and worm-free.

I'm glad i've documented the cycle of my tree for the blog. Since i
started the process-- weeds, buds, blooms, leaves, mulch, fungi and
moss have become larger than life! The tree being there has more
significance than ever before. For the past 30 days or so, the colour
purple dominated my western skyline as well as my life! But in its
rite of passage it feeds not only people and birds, but also pays tri-
bute to garden soil---the leaves have already started to fall. All the
leaves are gathered in a bin aand will be used in strengthening the
roots of this tree that has given so much in a short span of time!


Titania said...

Kanak it is a wonderful gift to have such a lovely tree in your garden. The great thing is it gives you pleasure with its flowers, the fruit to eat, they in turn bring the birds in to watch, the leaves fall down and nourish the earth again. It is very interesting to read about the red ants to protect the fruit. I wish I had red ants! Perhaps I have other willing helper ants and don't know about them! What is the name of this tree? Here the the weather is not here nor there, the sun doesn't know to come out or stay hidden. I have to go over to my daughters place to look after the grand daughters and the house, their parents have two free days. So, I better get ready. Enjoy your day!

Kanak Hagjer said...

The scientific name of this tree is Syzygium cumini or Eugenia Jambolana. It is also called jamun, black plum, jambolan and Indian blackberry. It is native to India, Pakistan and Indonesia. The tree is one of the fastest growing fruit trees in the world and can survive for more than a hundred years. The fruit is made into juices and jams.
In alternative medicine, the seeds are used to control diabetes. My father is diabetic and has been having the ground seeds for several years as part of the treatment and it works!
I hope you have a lovely time with your granddaughters!