This monsoon, many parts of the country are receiving heavy rainfall. Rains are usually a time of abundance. But excessive rains can also bring hardships. Kerala witnessed severe floods in the past month in which many people lost their lives including one of our dear friends, Mrs Sumitha Jenson. We are sorry to be the bearer of this sad news but by doing so we hope to share the valuable personal contributions that she made towards our collective learning.
Despite the heavy rains and floods, our friends in Kerala have continued to look after and monitor their trees in the past month. Words fail to describe our appreciation towards their commitment. In days to come, we hope to learn much about what motivates people to have such deep compassion towards a common goal. We sincerely thank all our friends who are supporting the project and bring you news and updates from the program.
Remembering Mrs Sumitha Jenson
We are sorry to share with you all that a dear SeasonWatch friend, Mrs Sumitha Jenson, lost her life in the Kerala floods last month. We extend our deepest condolences to her family and sincerely hope that they find strength to bear their loss. In her memory, we share something special about her life that touched all of us. Some years ago, a couple of young students from CMGHSS Kuttur lined up on a road-side to observe an Erythrina tree in Thrissur. They had taken a bus to visit this tree, 8 km away from their school, and they did this once every week. Mrs Jenson, who lived close to the tree, felt moved upon learning that the students traveled so far every week to look at a tree. She volunteered to help the students. She started observing the mullumurikk tree and sending the data to Mrs Sumangala, a teacher at the school. Later Mrs Jenson joined SeasonWatch herself and adopted the tree. She had been observing this tree since. We, including the students and teachers at CMGHSS Kuttur, will deeply miss Mrs Jenson, and her story will keep inspiring us all.
SeasonWatch App update: Coming soon
Our SeasonWatch app update is going to be released soon on Google Play. This update will include many new features, including new ways of seasonwatching, designed to make the your experience, as a user, better and by supporting different levels of engagement.
The app will allow you to register and add a tree on the go, without the need to visit the website, making the entire process smoother and faster. The app contains built-in help which details all functionalities and also a place to provide feedback in the main menu options.
The different ways of seasonwatching include:
Regular observation, where you add a tree and observe it once every week. This option allows for long-time monitoring of the same tree. The registered tree is observed for flowering, fruiting, and leaf-flush through a whole year, and over multiple years. Most of you are using this protocol already as this is also the original way of seasonwatching.
Casual observation allows you to make one-time observation on any tree, provided it is from the existing list of seasonwatch species. This is especially useful to observe trees when traveling to a new place or taking a walk in the neighbourhood. With this option you can observe trees that you do not intend to revisit. You also have to the freedom to report any number of phenophases that you wish to observe.
With these new changes, we hope that your seasonwatch experience will be easier, faster, and more fun.
Watch out for the new app update on Google Play this month. We will announce the release on our social media pages. You can give us your feedback by writing to us on firstname.lastname@example.org or directly through the app.
We now have a whatsapp number: +91 7349567602.
You can get in touch with us regarding any queries or updates related to the project, using website or app, or simply for help with tree identification.
Sandalwood tree or chandan (Santalum album) is a native to mountain ranges in southern India, including Western Ghats. The tree is short-statured but long-lived. The tree start flowering at an early age of two to three years, producing reddish to purplish, star-shaped flowers. The central part of the tree, the heartwood is fragrant and is used to extract oil which is highly valuable for religious and medicinal purposes. For this reason, the trees of this species have been overexploited throughout their range in wild, making them endangered. A lesser known fact about this species is that it parasitizes the roots of other nearby plants, drawing up their nutrients but without causing much harm to them.
Do you know this tree?
These tall trees grow along river banks. Their spreading roots buttress the trunk at base. Fruits are woody with 5-7 broad wings. One of the local name of this species rhymes with Mahua, a species they occur with in the central India landscape.
Still don't know? Try solving this anagram for the scientific name of the tree species shown in the above image:
Tell us your answer by writing to us on email@example.com or through whatsapp on +91 7349567602. When writing, please tell us your name and your answer. Thanks!
The answer to our last quiz is Sandalwood tree (Santalum album).
Congrats to the following people who answered correctly:
Schools: SDV Govt UPS, Neerkunnam, Rishi Valley School, St Thomas School, Mayannur, Rev. T J Jones Presbyterian School, St. Michael & All Angels' Sec School, GHSS, Mathil, Church of God Secondary School, Indira Gandhi Government High School, Katterikuppam, Government Junior High School, Lingyong, GGHSS Parayenchery, GVHSS Veeranakavi, GUPS Kozhinjampara, NSPHS Puttady, St.George UPS Kallanickal, GHS Kalichanadukkam, THS Puthenchira
Top tree species observed: Rain Tree (Samanea saman), Mango (Mangifera indica), Mast Tree (Polyalthia longifolia), Teak (Tectona grandis), Caribbean Trumpet Tree (Tabebuia aurea)