Photo of the Day: Weeping Cherries at Aga Khan Park

By MALIK MERCHANT
(Publisher-Editor, BarakahSimerg and Simergphotos)

The Flag of the Ismailis at Aga Khan Park
Flags at Aga Khan Park, by Wynford Drive. From nearest — The Maple Leaf of Canada, the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto and the Ismaili Flag. May 7, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

I again begin my piece with flags because I love my Ismaili Muslim community into which I was born. The Ismailis are what they are because of their benevolent leader, Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th Imam whose leadership has kept the community strong and united for 63 years. He addresses his followers as “My Beloved Spiritual Children” because he is the spiritual parent of the community, and as every parent knows nothing can separate them from their children. The link of the Imam with his followers is permanent through the Light (Noor) of Imamat, and each Ismaili Imam bears the same light of Imamat that was with Hazrat Ali (a.s.), the first Imam. Mawlana Hazar Imam has said that no ocean, no mountains, no rivers, no land can ever separate him from his murids (followers).

Mawlana Hazar Imam’s vision led to the creation of the Aga Khan Museum, the Ismaili Centre and the Aga Khan Park — and indeed other incredible projects and programs around the world such as the Al-Azhar Park, the Aga Khan University and the University of Central Asia, to name a few.

I am back in Toronto after an important trip to Vancouver to pay my respects to my mother, and I am now pleased to share with you this post about the “Weeping Cherries” at the Aga Khan Park.

Aga Khan Museum, Aga Khan Park, Weeping Cherry
Weeping cherry trees at Aga Khan Park on the east side of the Aga Khan Museum building, which is seen above under blue skies. May 8, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.
Weeping Cherry Aga Khan Park Simerg Photos
Pink petals on a weeping cherry tree at Aga Khan Park. May 8, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

Maples, tulips, magnolias, all sorts of cherry trees as well as weeping cherries thrive around the Aga Khan Park, and create beautiful spectacles of colour for short periods of time during spring and autumn. The magnolia trees #049 and #050 that we featured recently as our Photo of the Day have almost lost their flowers; the tulips are, unfortunately, a no-show this year at the Park — they don’t really reflect the excellent tulip write-ups that are posted on the educational Navroz and New Year panels around the park. I think for beautiful tulip photos you have to see Nurin Merchant’s photo essay on the tulip festival in Ottawa, the largest of its kind in Canada.

weeping cherry pink pastels aga khan park, simerg photos photo of the day
Visitors to Aga Khan Park take photos of the weeping cherry trees filled with masses of pink pastels as shown in the preceding photo. May 8, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.
weeping cherry at aga khan park simerg photos photo of the day
A young boy feels the soft petals of a weeping cherry tree at the Aga Khan Park. May 8, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

When I visited the Aga Khan Park on Friday evening (May 7, 2021) and early Saturday morning (May 8) shortly after 8 am, I was thrilled to see visitors taking photos of the weeping cherries with masses of pink flowers. A young child took delight in touching the petals that were closer to the ground; a dog owner thrilled me by sending me a picture of her recently acquired beautiful dog standing in front of a weeping cherry; and I snapped a bird that went around in circles near the “weeping trees” pecking on the grass. There are about 8 weeping cherry trees immediately behind the Aga Khan Museum on the east side of the building, and three more behind the Ismaili Centre.

The pink pastels are short lived, and some weeping cherries may produce cherries during summer but they are too sour for human taste. However, birds like them.

Visit the park soon before the pink pastels are gone. Otherwise admire the weeping cherries through these photos, and let them bring smile and joy on your face.

Aga Khan Museum Aga Khan Park simerg photos photo of the day malik merchant
Like a ship sailing on the ocean under blue skies, the beautiful Aga Khan Museum building seen from the east side of the Aga Khan Park. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.
On the opposite side of the Aga Khan Museum, the beautiful glass dome of the Ismaili Jamatkhana, with a centre niche which faces the Kaaba where all Muslims face for prayers. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.
weeping cherry a dog named Circe
Circe, owned by Dana McIvor, pictured in front of a weeping cherry at the Aga Khan Park. May 8, 2021. Photo: © Dana McIvor (Special to Simergphotos).
Dog treat Aga Khan Park weeping cherry
Circe receives a treat from her owner Dana McIvor for her excellent behavior at the Aga Khan Park. May 8, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.
weeping cherry bird aga khan park
Not to be left out of the camera lens, this beautiful Robin made its rounds in the area surrounding the weeping cherry trees at the Aga Khan Park. May 8, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.
bird on weeping cherry ismaili Jamatkhana dome
Perched on top of a weeping cherry tree, this bird gets an excellent perspective of everything around her on a beautiful morning at the Aga Khan Park. May 8, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.
Aga Khan Museum, Aga Khan Park, Ismaili Centre, Jamatkhana Dome, Weeping Cherry Trees, Simerg photos Malik Merchant
Three lovely weeping cherry trees, and two magnificent buildings, the Aga Khan Museum and the Ismaili Centre, surrounded by the beautiful Aga Khan Park, all due to Mawlana Hazar Imam, His Highness the Aga Khan. May 8, 2021. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

Date posted: May 8, 2021.

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