Poui season in Trinidad & Tobago is a timely reminder of beauty and hope

A carpet of yellow poui blossoms in the Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Photo by Bobbi Gail Xavier, used with permission.

As the annual dry season in Trinidad and Tobago draws closer to its end — it typically runs from January to May — the country's poui trees, ornamentals that can reach about 12 metres (40 feet) in height and produce trumpet-shaped flowers that are either pink or bright yellow, have been in vibrant bloom in public parks, private gardens and most spectacularly, dotting the arid hillsides.

It has been a particularly harsh dry season, with many bushfires threatening the well-being of forests and wildlife, and polluting the air. It has been a severe period in other ways, too — newspaper headlines of late have been filled with stories of murder, loss, and abuse.

One citizen, writing in to the Daily Express newspaper, suggested that the “absolutely stunning magnificence of the yellow and pink poui tree flowers this year […] is almost as if they are telling us that there is beauty in the midst of darkness. Do not give up hope.”

On Facebook, Tillah Willah called the yellow pouis in particular, “a much needed light shining through the rage and ugliness of the news of the last few days.”

On the same thread, Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné added, “Poui is always a reminder that everything in life has a season. It always makes me emotional when they bloom. How to not love Trinidad?”

Social media users, many of whom shared photos and reels of the pouis on their timelines, obviously agreed. Facebook user Merryl See Tai observed, “There is so much excitement about the explosion of colour we are experiencing. Everyone is walking around with cameras and phones out, recording the insane hues.”

Avid runner Bobbi Gail Xavier continued to post pics of the magnificent trees from her daily jaunts:

Images by Bobbi Gail Xavier, used with permission.

Images by Bobbi Gail Xavier, used with permission.

Xavier was also deeply attuned to the juxtaposition of the pouis’ beauty with the ugliness of the world:

Photo by Bobbi Gail Xavier, used with permission, against a backdrop of yellow poui blossoms via Canva Pro.

“[T]hese two yellow objects and what they represent … the lighter, more beautiful side of life, though temporary, against the stark, depressing issues in the world,” she wrote. “I’ve been eyeing this scene for a few days. The beauty of the yellow Poui and the calls to ‘Free Gaza’ […] just like the Poui that will fade away in a matter of days/weeks, so too will our concern for the innocent.”

Fellow Facebook user Christiana Lee posted a range of photos that filled her with wonder. “Caught in a moment of awe under the yellow poui tree’s radiant bloom 🌼,” she mused, “right above the vibrant bougainvillea at my parents’ place. Every year, the poui trees astonish with their brief but breathtaking display of color”:

Photo by Christiana Lee, used with permission.

Lee also acknowledged the transience of it all as she shared two contrasting photos of one particular tree, noting, “Just last week, the pink poui at my tennis club was a burst of beauty, and today, the blooms are all gone”:

Photos by Christiana Lee, used with permission.

Photographer Jason C. Audain was particularly taken with the yellow strain of pouis, posting a series of striking images on Facebook:

Photos by Jason C. Audain, used with permission.

Photo by Jason C. Audain, used with permission.

Meanwhile, Droneshot TT posted a stunning reel of yellow pouis ablaze along Trinidad's Northern Range:

In the words of Tillah Willah, “Everything blooms again, Trinidad. Please believe and know that.”

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