Recently I’ve been mesmerized by the Bombax tree, which in Bangla is called শিমুল. Another name is the Silk Cotton tree. In the spring, the tree is completely leafless, but is full of large, hard, bright red flowers. The locals use the flowers to get cotton, which is useless for spinning but good for stuffing pillows. When I was asking locals the name of this tree, they said “তুলা” which means cotton. I thought for sure that my they must have not understood which tree I was pointing to. The pictures I’ve gotten of the whole trees in now way catch the brilliance of the colors. You’ll just have to come visit to see it.
Our landlord has moved in to the third floor of our apartment building. A week after he arrived, he cut down the HUGE mimosa tree in front of our house to make furniture with. Our landlord will be planting more trees — but we grieve the loss of this green elder. No more shade in the summer, no more relative privacy underneath the branches, no more beautiful golden-backed woodpeckers coming daily to climb up the huge tree in search of ants. We have a saying for that in Bangla, আপন পায়ে কুড়াল মারল — He axed his own foot.
Well, there are plenty of places to see birds in Bangladesh, like at Daniel’s project site. So what’s this bird in the below picture, anyone?
I started to teach Elias the names of the fruit trees that we saw on our walks. To my surprise, he learned them really fast and kept on saying, “What’s that tree, Momma?” So, we all are learning the names of many different plants now. The flower above is called রঙ্গন (rongon) in Bangla, I don’t know what it is in English. Anyone know? Where is my Daddy and my brother when I need them?