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PHOTOS: Poui Season in Trinidad & Tobago

It has been a harsh dry season in Trinidad and Tobago, with a high occurrence of bush fires that have left hillsides throughout the country shriveled and scarred.

Still, the jewels of the dry season, the pink and yellow Poui trees, continue to shine, offering a last burst of splendour as the entire country looks forward to the rains – and with it, the rebirth of green mountains – hopefully without denudation contributing to the kind of flooding that has paralyzed the country in the past.

Poui Tree: Image by Humberto GE, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic CC  license.

Poui Tree: Image by Flickr user Humberto GE, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic CC license.

Yellow Poui: Image by Flickr user Georgia Popplewell, who notes: "The flowering of the yellow poui normally signals the end of the dry season, but who knows what the weather's really up to these days?"  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Yellow Poui: Image by Flickr user Georgia Popplewell, who notes: “The flowering of the yellow poui normally signals the end of the dry season, but who knows what the weather's really up to these days?” CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In Trinidad and Tobago, the blooming of the Pouis is as culturally significant as the cherry blossoms in Japan. People often head to the Queen's Park Savannah in Port of Spain to picnic under the trees, spreading their blankets on the carpet of fallen flowers.

Poui Carpet: Image by Flickr user janinephoto, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic CC license.

Poui Carpet: Image by Flickr user janinephoto, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic CC license.

Pink Poui Blossoms: Image by Flickr user janinephoto, used under an an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic CC license.

Pink Poui Blossoms: Image by Flickr user janinephoto, used under an an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic CC license.

Cherry Poui; Image by Flickr user janinephoto, used under an an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic CC license.

Cherry Poui; Image by Flickr user janinephoto, used under an an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic CC license.

At Easter, it is traditional to go kite-flying: the sight of scores of colourful kites dancing against a backdrop of Poui trees is as Trinidadian as cricket teams playing friendly weekend matches, seemingly being cheered on by the swaying of the Pouis’ branches.

Kites and Poui Trees: Image by Flickr user Nicholas Laughlin, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic CC license.

Kites and Poui Trees: Image by Nicholas Laughlin, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic CC license.

Poui Flare: Image by Flickr user janinephoto, used under an an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic CC license.

Poui Flare: Image by Flickr user janinephoto, used under an an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic CC license.

Pouis bloom on hillsides across the country, in both urban and rural areas. The photo below, of a yellow Poui tree that is host to a family of bromeliads, was taken in the Village of Matelot, along Trinidad's north-east coast.

Matelot Poui: Image by Flickr user Nicholas Laughlin, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic CC license.

Matelot Poui: Image by Flickr user Nicholas Laughlin, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic CC license.

The stunning flowering of the Pouis is an annual reminder of hope and renewal, the closest thing to springtime in the Caribbean.

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