In the past week we have travelled through the arid region of western Rajasthan. At a wayside stop I had a chance to photograph this large-leaved shrub that I later discovered was called Giant milk-weed Calotropis procera.

It has attractive but rather inconspicuous flowers.

Only after taking this photo did I notice the caterpillar at the bottom of the photo.

Much more noticeable in the desert was this small tree, Desert or Mawar Teak, tecomella undulata.

From the distance of our bus I thought these bright orange globes were fruit. However, at our next hotel, I found the tree growing in the courtyard where I could clearly see the clusters of orange trumpet-shaped flowers.

Above is the outer court of Castle Bijaipur. As we passed through this second gate we were showered from above with very fragrant red rose petals. A first experience for me. 

Here is the evidence after they were swept up, a little later.

I have had little time to make any ikebana, because our travel program is very full and all the gardens are exceptionally neat with very limited opportunities to scrounge fallen leaves or flowers. 

However I was inspired by the beautifully carved sandstone ramp at Castle Bijaipur, to which I added a single fallen yellow leaf. 

On a later occasion, at Jaisalmer, I found some yellowing frangipani leaves that I arranged on a sandstone balustrade with a single green leaf. 

At Nagaur our hotel is within the 16th century walls of the Khimsar Fort. 

Here I arranged Bougainvillea in a niche, using dried leaves and fresh flowers.

Greetings from Christopher
in Bikaner
16th January 2016

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