Sunday, October 31, 2010

Today's Flowers - Hibiscus

These are hibiscus flowers from my school garden. Which do you like best?

To see more flower from all over the world, please click on
This is also my contribution to Noel's 'The Hot, the Loud and the Proud'.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekend Reflections

The pool in the forest of the Tiger Reserve is used by wild animals as a watering hole.
Thank you James for Weekend Reflections.
You can see more pictures at

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blooming Friday- Water Flowers

This pink waterlily did not bloom for the seven years I had it. Later, I followed my friend Helen's (Islandgal) advice and it is blooming profusely now. On some days there are even four or five blooms.

These white waterlilies were blooming in a village pond, which was green with algae and some other tiny water plants.

The leaves of the Lotus have a special property- they never become wet. Earlier it was thought that this was because of a wax coating, but now we know that it is because of the tiny hairs present on the leaves, which make the water drops slide away. You can see the drops on the leaves in spherical shapes, ready to slide away.

The leaf of the lotus has special significance to Hindus and Buddhists because of this property of not getting wet or dirty. The yogi is supposed to be like a lotus leaf, not attached to anything , and not affected by anything in life.
Katarina at Roses and Stuff hosts the Blooming Friday meme.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mother Earth

Mother, I thank thee for thy life-giving waters
the nurturing fruit

and the cool winds of thy mountains

Mother Earth, who art dark with verdant forests
I bow to thee!

This song was written in Sanskrit by Bankimchandra Chatterjee. It is sung by children in schools. Although it was originally written about Mother India, it applies to Mother Earth too.
To see more contributions to the subject of 'Earth', you can visit

Wildlife Wednesday

This white peacock was dancing in the rain when I clicked it.
The Grey Heron was waiting...

The cormorantswere also waiting. They wait patiently and suddenly dive and catch a big fish.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My World - Temple by the Ocean

The ancient temple at Tiruchendur is on the shores of the Indian Ocean. People who visit the temple usually have a bath in the ocean and then come to the temple.
To see more images from all over the world, click on

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Today,s Flowers: Orchids

This is the lone orchid which has flowered in my garden at last.
The flowers below are all from my friend Jenny's beautiful garden.

Jenny's husband John takes good care of their plants. The orchids are grown in a medium of coconut peat . He occasionally gives them a feed of neem cake solution. Their orchid garden is exuberantly flowering now.
To see more flowers from all over the world, please visit Today's Flowers at

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weekend Reflections- Transport

These coracles are used to cross the river Kali. The word 'coracle' has come from the Kannada word 'Harigolu' which means "God is my Staff"! The boatman uses a staff instead of oars to manouvre the vessel across the the river. The raft itself is a basket woven with bamboo canes and buttressed with buffalo hide. Passenger, 4 at the most, sit on the round stool in the centre, and the boatman sits on his special seat. It goes round and round noiseleesly in the river so that you could watch the water birds without disturbing them.
They have modernized the transport in Kariyar lake. Here , there are motor boats spewing fumes and making tremendous noise, to go across the lake. One cannot hope to view any water birds from a boat. Our boatman told us that even crocodiles give the boat a wide berth, which is a good thing.
My thanks to James for Weekend Reflections. You can see more pictures at
This is also my contribution to 'Transport' at

Friday, October 22, 2010

Flowers on a Skywatch Friday

The skies have finally turned blue here, and this Indian Blue Sage reflects the colour of the sky.
My Zinnias are flowering profusely now, the rains have benefitted them.

The huge trumpet of the Golden Chalice vine is a pale, cream colour when it opens, but turns a golden yellow the next day.

The sky over the Indian Ocean .
You can see more flowers at Tootsie Time.
To view more skies, visit

My thanks to Katarina at Roses and Stuff for hosting Blooming Friday.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Forest Flowers

I found some wild flowers during our hike through the forest of Agasthiamalai, last week. This is a Day Flower Commelina forskalii found near the Banateertham Falls. You can see the falls in the background. Usually Day flowers are intense ,electic blue, but this was a very pale blue, matching the colour of the constant spray.
This flower is called the Dhobi's Kerchief. It is found all over the forests of the Western Ghats. The garden Mussaenda has been hibridized from this plant. The flowers are a tiny orange, but each flower has a modified white leaf attached to it , which draws the attention of the pollinators in the lush green forest.Dhobi means Washerman in Hindi, and this flower , with its spotless white 'kerchief' is aptly named.

The pea-like, purple flowers of this tree were blooming all over the forest. The trees are short and full of flowers. Bees were swarming the flowers. I could not find the name of this attractive tree.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Versatile Palmyra

The Palmyra palms dot the landscape all along the Indian coast line. The leaves of this useful tree is used to thatch the cottages . You can see a thatched cottage under the tree.
The palmyra leaves were used as paper to write books in ancient India. The letters were written with an iron stylus. The picture above shows some 13th century palmyra manuscripts preserved in a museum. You can see the stylus too.
The plamyra fruit is black, and has sections where you find transparent, jelly like edible parts.

A man was selling these palmyra leaf bowls filled with sections of palmyra fruit which were dunked in palmyra toddy. The toddy is the sap of the palmyra collected in mud pots. It is sweet when it is fresh. They make a local beer from the sap by fermenting it for a few days.
After a eating the palmyra fruit and drinking the sweet toddy, we felt invigorated enough to stand under the raging cascades .

We were oblivious to the fact that our dry clothes were being stolen by monkeys, to the amusement of everyone around.
This is my contribution to My World. To see more and fascinating pictures, please click on

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Today's Flowers

The red of these flowers makes a striking contrastto the green , grass like leaves.
This orchid has a blotched face.

Zinnias are flowering in spite of the rain.

My nursery lady did not know the names of this hibiscus. It is a delicate peach colour.

This hibiscus is huge, and it has four colours blending with each other. The hibiscuses will stop their display next month when it becomes too cold for them at 13C.
My thanks to Today's Flowers. Please click on to view more flowers from all over the world.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekend Reflections

The ancient temples of Tamil Nadu were places where people congregated to worship the Almighty, as well as to enjoy dance, music and drama. All the temples have enormous pillared halls called mantapams for the purpose. Disputes were settled, marriages fixed, treaties were signed between different kingdoms, and festivals were celebrated in these stone mantapams.
This mantapam belongs to the Kartikeya temple at Tiruchendur, built by the Pallava kings 2000 years ago. The twin snakes on the granite pillar is the symbol of the presiding deity.
My thanks to James at Weekend Reflections for his wonderful meme. To see more images from all over the world, please click on

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Ocean and the Sky

The sky was a bright blue in Tiruchendur, which was a nice change from the gloomy grey skies we have here. The green of the Indian Ocean made a beautiful contrast to the brilliant sky.
The 2000 year old temple to Lord Kartikeya is on the shore. The temple has a tall 'gopuram' with beautiful carvings. The sea air has turned the stone carvings white.
This is my contribution to Skywatch Friday. To see more images of skies, please go to

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wild Wednesday

I had gone to a tiger reserve forest with my friends last week.We did not come across any animals in the tiger country, but there were hoardes of butterflies. The yellow -and-black Southern Birdwing is the largest butterfly in India with a wingspan of 8 inches. One of these butterflies followed our boat when we crossed the lake Kariyar.
Although we did not sight any tiger, the Blue Tiger butterflies seemed to like my friend Sudha.

A mushroom on the forest floor.

This banded insect turns itself into a ball when your foot touches it.

The first view of the beautiful Banateertham falls .