Delhi’s late blooms

Amaltas

Though the summer heat is in full melt in Delhi — and the monsoons are fast approaching — there are still beautiful blooms to be found if you know where to look.

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My favorite weed

Invasive pest

Lantana, a plant I remember my father carefully cultivating when I was a child, is actually considered a weed and pest in many parts of India. There are entire fields claimed by the voracious, scrubby plant.

It seems able to sprout anywhere on the in the tropical regions of the subcontinent. As it did here in this gully in Pune, all but overlooked.

It’s surely some part nostalgia, but I find it beautiful. And I will grow it in our terrace garden one day.

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Himalayan Botany 101

Strange and beautiful

Where’s my botanist? Mountain flowers from Dharamshala.

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An eco-friendly mine?

Mining giant Rio Tinto has an ambitious conservation agenda in connection with its titanium mine near Tolagnaro, Madagascar. It has created conservation zones that it won’t mine and pledged to regrow the forests that it destroys.

Critics say it won’t succeed, in part because too little will be conserved. NGOs also say the mine has been detrimental to local people, but the government approves because it represents significant foreign investment.

The above photos were taken at the Mandena nursery, where plants are grown to one day repopulate the forest. A few shots are also from around Tolagnaro, also known as Ft. Dauphin. Rio Tinto does not allow photography of the mine itself.

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Ring, brown and sifaka, oh my! (photos)

Lemurs and other wildlife from the Reserve de Nahampoana in southern Madagascar.

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