Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Trek in the Valley of Flowers

 It had always been my dream to visit the Valley of Flowers in the Himalayas. Unfortunately, I could never do it , as the flowering season in the valley is short, and coincides with the crucial First term of Schools in India. Now that I have retired, the first thing I did was to plan a trip to the valley in August- September, when the monsoon recedes and there are plenty of wild flowers to be seen and admired. The Valley of Flowers was a hidden pasture of the people of the district, until it was accidentally discovered by an Englishman John Smythe, who was so smitten by its beauty that he wrote a book about it. The Oxford University sent Ms.Legge, a researcher to photograph and scientifically catalogue the Valley's flora. Unforunately, Legge slipped and fell from a rock and died. There is a memorial gave erected in her memory by her sister in the Valley.
 The Valley was awash with flowers when we visited it for three days at the end of last August. The predominant colours were white and pink, although there were patches of yellow. I don't know many of the flowers' names.
 Bright yellow Inula grandiflora are visited by bees. Although there were plenty of bees and bumblebees, I did not see a beehive.
 Potentilla , called Vajradanti in Hindi, made blood red splashes.
 Pale pink Aster albescens colonised whole hillsides.
The newly laid path was full of sharp tones, making walking difficult. 
 Purple and blue geraniums were growing alongside other wildflowers.9(Geranium wallichianum)
 Cyanatus microphyllus captivated me with their sky blue flowers.
 These large purple flowers had colonised a remote part of the valley. I don't know the name.
 Nepeta erecta resembles the sage.
 The botanist who accompanied us didn't think much of this Balloon Flower  Silene vulgaris, but I found them beautiful.
A colony of  Polygonum plystachyum nodded in the breeze. From a distance they looked like a white cloud.
I saw many more wildflowers and went berserk with my camera, which, unfortunately, did not behave properly.
I shall post the flowers of the higher altitude (14,000feet) soon.
I hope you have enjoyed my post. You can read many more interesting stories at Our World Tuesday.