Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Red Cotton

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Red cotton trees line the road in front of our house. Come March/April and the trees are in bloom and the road lined with fallen red flowers. "You can make a vegetable with the petals" " Take out the red color by boiling the red flowers; best organic red color for Holi!" But one normally finds that no one picks up the flowers, they are just swept away.

Come May and the tress are full of cotton pods which open and pour out the cotton fluff all over the neighborhood. Some murmur "These cotton fluffs cause Asthma" But before the murmurs die away, the fluffs disappear and the short flowery season of the "Semul"tree is over. The trees are back to providing shade to passersby with their large branches.

Come June, and new bugs in bright red color spring from nowhere in my garden. I search their pictures on the web and realize they are "red cotton bugs".

Red cotton bugs? Is it because of their color? It seems they survive on cotton seeds. We have had a few drizzles in June and the cotton seeds on the ground must have got soggy and soft. That is the stage at which I noticed these young bugs devouring the seed. See the short clip below. So, now the web of life of Silk cotton was falling in place. Observing nature around you can be really stimulating.

1 comment:


How interesting. I don't think we have any of this plant over here, never seen or heard of it before your blog post! The bugs however look very similar to the bugs that crawl all over the yellow cactus blooms and white yucca blooms. Thanks for the post and video clip!