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When we moved into our apartment, I was thrilled to see all the flamboyant trees on our road. At least I hoped my tree identification skills had not failed me and that they were indeed flamboyants. Then spring came along and all over Cairo, trees started flowering: Jacarandas; pink and red cotton trees; acacias; red bottlebrushes; purple, white, and pink orchid trees.... But not ours. They barely put on any leaves. Still, the good ol' Web said that flamboyants flower in May and June, and I told myself to be patient. But that didn't stop the worry that they wouldn't bloom.

A month ago, I even wrote an entry in a journal about it: Studying the flamboyants for signs that they are going to flower. Strange, but I carry around a knot of stress, of fear, that they won't bloom. I so very much want to see a sea of red from our balcony.

Chiding myself for being silly, I got the binoculars and checked out the treetops. And lo and behold, buds!


Whew. I finally relaxed, and a couple of days later, my impatience was vanquished by the sight of the first flowers:


Then we left for a week to vacation on the Red Sea, and when we got back we had our very own wished-for sea of red awaiting us, just as I had hoped. Another name for flamboyants are flame trees, with good reason:

flamboyant flowers

The fuzzy sparrow gives a rough idea of how big the flowers are:


Just visible on the left is a minaret of one of the nearby mosques we have the joy (just a wee bit of sarcasm) of hearing several times a day:

Billowing waves on a scarlet sea, or carnelian clouds...

I don't think you can tell from this (dark) photo, but the tree on the left is deep red while the one on the right has an orange cast.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 28th, 2013 09:15 pm (UTC)
Oh M, gorgeous. Thank you.
May. 28th, 2013 09:18 pm (UTC)
The only thing better would be if they smelled like something lovely like frangipani or jasmine. :D

But! I bought J a frangipani for Christmas and it is in bloom now, so we do have it. :P
May. 28th, 2013 09:20 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm ♥

The black locusts are in bloom here--they have a sweet, sweet honey smell and dangling flowers, and it's almost enough to make one imagine one's in some tropical place ....
May. 28th, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC)
There were scads of black locusts growing along the Loire River, and on a canoe trip with J was the first time I ever smelled them. The smell reminded me of Jolly Ranchers. :P It was as if I had tumbled into a giant sack of candy.

And Wikipedia tells me this: Black locust is a major honey plant in the eastern US, and, having been taken and planted in France, is the source of the renowned acacia monofloral honey from France.

That is the kind of honey I always bought in France. :D
May. 28th, 2013 09:17 pm (UTC)
Very striking. :)
May. 28th, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
Yes, riotous!
May. 28th, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
How beautiful!
May. 28th, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC)
It gives me great joy to look upon them while breakfasting of a morn. :)
May. 29th, 2013 07:45 am (UTC)
Great colours! I love that one with the minaret...
May. 29th, 2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
I wish that the minaret was visible from our other balcony; then I'd be a bit closer for a clearer/more nicely framed picture. :P
May. 29th, 2013 11:40 am (UTC)
I took the liberty of reblogging two of the photos here on Tumblr, linking back here and crediting you as mnfaure.
May. 29th, 2013 12:40 pm (UTC)
Re: P.S.
Happy to know others will (hopefully) find joy in having a little red in their lives. :D
May. 29th, 2013 12:47 pm (UTC)
Re: P.S.
Last I looked, one had already been reblogged :-)
May. 29th, 2013 12:55 pm (UTC)
Re: P.S.
G'morning, early bird!

At least it seems to me that you must be up early. :P
Jun. 4th, 2013 07:38 pm (UTC)
What lovely masses of red-a joy to behold!

I miss that tree-I don't remember having seen it here. I did see a lot in bloom in Florida around May a few years ago. I think I even posted some photos.

Edited at 2013-06-04 07:39 pm (UTC)
Jun. 9th, 2013 06:10 pm (UTC)
I keep thinking I'll take a couple of seeds back to France with me when we move back, but I fear that even if I could get a tree to grow, it would never flower...
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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