In Nova Friburgo there is not much in the way of seasonal temperature changes. Mostly you follow the seasons by what color is in the forest in that moment. In the height of summer it is green, green green. The rains, rains, rains bring only greens to the forest. It is too heavy and too persistent to allow the sun to shine and flowers to bloom. Every year about this time, in the month before Easter there are days and often weeks of sun and the forest comes alive with color. In our garden, we have 4 or five caqui (persimmons) trees. They are all different varieties, but they begin to turn red, orange and yellow and the leaves begin to turn red in April through June. They are the only real fall looking tree that we have. This year all the caqui trees, all the varieties are laden with fruit. If you leave them on the tree too long the birds really enjoy themselves or the fruit begins to mildew. So this year I picked plenty and have been waiting for them to ripen in the kitchen. I have been putting them in the refrigerator as they are ready and today I made my first batch of Caqui jelly. Later we will have oranges that are too bitter to eat, but make great citrus marmalade – they are just beginning to turn orange (really they are yellow – but an orange is orange right?) The oranges ripen and can be used in my kitchen around June - July.
I don’t know the name of this tree, but it is common up here. They grow like weeds, the root system is everywhere – last year we had to cut down the one in these photos because it had gotten into our pipes and septic tank. The color is really beautiful – reddish orange at the tips to bright yellow at the base. It eats flies and other small insects.
The morning glories grow wild along the roads. Last year Manuel (the jardimeiro) planted starters he dug up in the forest all along our road front – we have been having a great show of deep blue flowers. The forests close to home are now full of Ipe da Montanha or 'flor-de-Maio' and the QUARESMEIRA. There are several trees that have the dark yellow blossoms and it is hard to tell which is which while driving and taking photos from the road. The quaresmeira is also in deep rich purple or in a soft pink varieties, the purple is most common. The very best is when the purple tree and the yellow are side by side.