The additional season that we often talk about is here. It’s not quite a spring but a drying out and start of the build-up to the monsoon. This is an extension of the four seasons by two. One additional before and one after the wet.
As the ground dries like crispy Cornflakes, the trees of the region are starting to flower as October and November are their season. Supposedly after a good drenching earlier in the year, they give up their beauty and start reproducing pods and seeds, and just about anything to recycle themselves. After all that’s exactly what it’s all about.
It is a most promiscuous time among trees, it would seem. This is why a tree is festooned with flowers. It knows all its pollinated seeds (or selfpollination) won’t work.
Like the biblical parable where some seeds will fall onto stone and rock and die, and others will find fertilsed soil and survive.
Whatever made us think they flower for our benefit? In this mix there are bats, birds, bees, grasshoppers and just about any trawling insect that will scuttle over the reproductive parts of the flowers and then onto another to distribute pollen and fertility.
Bats as we know them get bad press. We are to be afraid of them for sure as they carry a few nasty viruses, but they too have a job with cashews, mangoes, eucalypts, durian and guava to mention a few. Their work is done in the dark spreading pollen and contributing to the sex life of a tree, in exchange for its sweet fruit or honey flora.
Symbiosis is something we could understand a little better because in the end there really are not many things that don’t have a connection. A tree can’t really grow and mature to produce flowers if the soil is rubbish, full of fungus and simply the wrong place for the tree ... doomed to a life without sexual activity.
The stingless social native bee is also busy assisting in tree procreation, especially with macadamias, mangoes and litchis.
So tree flowering time is not only a spectacle, but an essential circular pattern necessary for the sexual life of a tree. What turns its buds or plucks its pollen is also an essential part of the spectacle.