Monday, November 14, 2016

Flowers of the Rainforest

 This Clerodendrum flowers in the most unexpected placess in the rainforests of the Western Ghats. It is also called the Pagoda flower because of its shape.
 This highly scented white flower is known as Suragi in Kannada. Girls like to wear them in their hair.
The greenish inflorescence of the creeper look like paper flowers.
I was away from home for a long time and so could not post anything earlier.
I will try to post regularly now!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Janak Palta McGilligan and the Success Story of Sustainable Development

 When I first heard of Dr. Janak Palta McGilligan in Indore, I was keen to visit her organic farm where she grows wheat, corn, six types of dal, and many different vegetables and fruit. I had heard that she needed to buy nothing but tea and sugar from the market! I finally got a chance to visit her , and I was overwhelmed by her friendliness and enthusiasm for the work she has been doing for the poor rural women of the region.
Janak's mantra has been 'Sustainable Development', where conservation and development of natural resources plays a crucial point. Janak practices what she preaches- her household is run by solar power and wind energy. Her solar cookers built by her husband Jimmy McGilligan, can cook a feast for a hundred people. The windmill erected in her yard powers eighteen street lights in the village.
Janak's husband, Jimmy McGilligan was a genius who used ordinary things to make extraordinary machines. By using old bicycle parts, he made a contraption which could turn the huge solar cooker towards the sun throughout the day. He invented a machine which turns old newspapers into brickets to be used as cooking fuel on rainy days. In fact, the delicious Aloo Paratha  which she served, was cooked in a stove using these brickets. Jimmy had been awarded the Order of the British Empire for his pioneering work with the rural women while Janak was honoured with a Padmashree by the President of India.
A cancer survivor, and a heart attack survivor, Janak was devastated by the death of her husband in a car accident a few years ago. She has not let her grief overcome her enthusiasm. Their home which Jimmy had built with his own hands is now Jimmy McGilligan Centre for sustainable Development which trains people , and is open to the public throughout the year.
In Janak's own words, "We don't have a choice of how we die, but we can choose how we live".

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Shankha pushpa- Clitoria ternata

These wildflowers are now on all the hedges and fences. The white variety of Shankha pushpa is rarer than the dark blue one. Both have medicinal value. The roots and flowers are used to make a tonic to improve memory.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Butterflies in the Rainy Season

 Butterflies hide themselves when it is raining, but as soon as te sun comes out, they flit around madly.
 The Blue Tiger is a common butterfly in this season
 This wild flower lookks like a butterfly, and it attracts butterflies.
There are swarms of dragonflies which are  good because they eat up the mosquito larva in the lake near my home!
My thanks to the hosts of Our World Tuesday who are doing a splendid job.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Lilies in my garden

 The Monsoon season is in full swing and there are lilies everywhere in my garden. The spider lilies make an attractive clump with their brilliant white flowers.
 I don't know the name of this lily with large, sword shaped leaves. Every barber's shop has this lily in front !!
 This sweet smelling lily is called Sudarshan in India. It has pink stripes on the underside. It is also known as Milk-and-Honey lily.
The Amazon lily has a heady perfume. Every part of the plant is poisonous.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Himalaya calling!

 Our camp at Deoriatal. It rained every day, and sometimes with hailstones!
 Wild roses on our way...
 A village home in the Himalayas
 Clouds cover the snow peaks of the Kedar range.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday for which we wait all week!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Trekking in the Himalayas

Tha Choukhambaa Peak and the Kedar range seen from our camp at Deoriatal.
My thanks to the hosts ofthe meme Our World Tuesday.