Here on Kauai, we have more than a few plants which grow in an invasive abundance. There's guinea grass, which grows tall, strong and is covered in little spines. Then there is the lovely African tulip, which towers above, littering the ground with its beautiful orange-red flowers as it marches through the jungles unchallenged. But by far, the winner here is the Albizia tree, or as some call it the "widow-maker." These trees are a picture right out of the African savanna. They grow fast and tall, taking little time to build thick, strong limbs. This means it can be dangerous standing under one for too long (hence their nickname). But while many people despise this tree, we've learned to see the beauty in it. Like many fast-growing, fast-dying plants, it helps to slowly improve Kauai's clay-infused, sugarcane-damaged soil. And when it blooms, it's a sight like nothing else. As far as the eye can see, albizia canopies flood with white flowers, resembling soft snow and reflecting the sun's golden rays.
The online version of the July/August/September issue of Hinduism Today will go live in a day or so. Here is a sneak preview of the feature on Rishikesh. You may have heard about this fabled city on the banks of Mother Ganga but always wondered what went on there. Learn all about it in the July issue of Hinduism Today. You can also view the longer slideshow with captions by clicking here