The trees and plants one sees above 10,000 feet surprise you with their sturdiness. The trees look majestic and protective. The sturdy bushes and grass support your heels while climbing up. Pretty flowers smile at you lighting up unknown corners. Trekking on foot is the best way to appreciate the terrain and the flora.
Here is a Basant tree with Nanda Devi in the background. The tree is having flower buds in February. Normally at this time it will be covered with snow.
Blooming in times of global warming
The golden oak trees
The ‘Nahar Bush’ has lovely smelling leaves and is an insect repellent. Here is Rakesh, our guide with the Nahar Bush
We are fascinated by the pink white flowers of Basnt tree. Here is a pic of me holding a bunch in my hand.
We found beautiful flowering trees lining the roads on our way back to Joshimath. We wanted to know the name of the tree. Some Bank officials whom we met, who were posted in the area, could not help. Nor could the hotel owner at the hotel where we had lunch. The most common local tree had no name!
I had seen the same flowers in Mandal (on the way to Kedarnath) a few years back. Here is a photo of the tree in Mandal. The flowers resemble cherry blossoms.
But we saw ‘bottle brushes’ and ‘gulmohars’ being planted on the roadside by PWD (or Forest dept) to make up for trees cut down during widening of roads. The question which came to us was, why are we not propagating the local trees?
The most majestic of all the trees in Auli? The Golden Oak, no doubt. Two hundred of these more than hundred year old trees, are slated to be mowed down for the ski slope. More on that in the next blog!