Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Hot, the Loud and the Proud #13

On the last day of every month, Noel of A Plant Fanatic in Hawaii hosts the meme 'the Hot, the Loud and the Proud. You can view many tropicals from all over the world here. In my garden in the tropics, orange seems to be the predominant colout now, besides the white of the jasmines.
THis heliconia is upright. Its shape reminds me of some kind of ancient weapon.
The lobster claw heliconias are flowering profusely now. Each plant is vying with its neighbour to send out a longer bract.
Squirrels like to eat these flowers . I wonder if there is anything that deters the squirrels.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Watery Wednesday

The Powai Lake in Mumbai. This photo was taken last summer. My thanks to 2sweetnsaxy for hosting the interesting meme. To see more watery images, please go to

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My World - Historical Banavasi

Sixteen hundred years ago, Mayura Sharma, the man who founded the Kadamba dynasty of Banavasi , had no idea that he would be the founder of a great dynasty. He was just a young Brahmin scholar who was studying in the university of Kanchi.
Everything changed when Mayura was insulted by a cavalry soldier of the Pallavas of Kaanchi. The enraged young man gave up his studies, changed his name to Mayura Varma, befitting a warrior, and built a strong army , which eventually defeated the Pallavas.
This temple complex , which has the inscription that tells us this historic fact is in Banavasi, a small town on the fringes of the forests of the Western Ghats.
He named his dynasty after the Kadamba tree, which grows in these parts. This temple to Shiva was built by Mayura Varma in the 4th century A.D.

The Kingdom of the Kadambas extended from Orissa to Goa in the west. The state transport buses of Goa are called Kadamba.

My thanks to Sylvia, Klaus, Wren, Sandy and the Fishing Guy.

To view more pictures from all over the world, please click on

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today's Flowers #137

The geraniums and pelargoniums do well in the bright sunlight we have now.
These petunias also like the sun.
The old fashioned petunias had a delicate fragrance, which is lacking in these brightly coloured flowers.
I coulcn't find the name of this shocking pink flower, which grows in a bush.
The Brunfelsia bush in the neighbor's garden competes with my jasmine bushes in making our gardens scented!

You can see flowers from all over the world at

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Weekend Reflections

The lily pond has red and pink water lilies. I have never been able to photograph a lotus in a pond because all lotuses are harvested in the bud stage itself for offering in the various temples.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Skywatch Friday - In the Air

Both these pictures were taken some time ago. At present, our skies are hazy with heat.
This is my contribution to Skywatch Friday , and Katarina's meme.
You can see skies from around the world at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Watery Wednesday

The heat of summer is becoming oppressive, and my mind goes to the cool Himalayas. This is a picture of the river Beas taken in Manali las t summer. The swift flowing water was ice cold.
I thank 2sweetnsaxy for her meme- Watery Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My World - Reaching to the Sky

Tower in Banavasi. Built: 345A.D. Purpose: spiritual.
Tower in Bangalore. Built: 2010 A.D. Purpose: commercial.
For pictures from all over the world, click on

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Today's Flowers - Tree of Gold

The Caribbean Trumpet Tree Tabebuia aurea are filled with golden yellow trumpet shaped blossoms now. The trees are planted in parks and in roadsides, giving the city a festive look.
The tree flowers sporadically all through the year, but in spring, it bursts into its full splendour.

The tree itself is rather small, and gnarled. Its bark is deeply furrowed, giving it an ancient appearance.
Today is Holi, the Festival of Colours, in India. Happy Holi to all my friends and visitors!
My thanks to the team of Today's Flowers.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekend Reflections- Forest Pool

This is a man made pool at the edge of the forest in Coorg. There are areca and coffee gardens on the slopes bordering the pool. One side leads to a thick forest which is a favourite'hunting ground' of wild life photographers.
My thanks to James at for hosting this interesting meme.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Blooming Friday - False Start

The Yesterday-Today-and Tomorrow plant Brunfelsia hopeana is full of purple, mauve and white flowers wafting perfume into the garden in the evenings. I always think it makes a false start with its white flowers.

But soon, the flowers turn mauve....

and the next day, they turn purple.

Here, they are all together- grandmother, mother and daughter, three generations of flowers.
My thanks to Katarina of Roses and Stuff for hosting this meme.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Skywatch Friday- Tea Gardens

Tea gardens are rather monotonous with vast stretches of clipped tea bushes intersprsed with some shade trees. Unlike the Coffee plantation which looks wild and verdant, with many different kinds of trees and vines growing alongside the coffee bushes, the tea garden looks tame and contrived. It is not friendly to other species of plants.
But the sky was the same blazing blue on both the gardens in Coorg.
To see more pictures of skies from all over the world, click on
My thanks to the team of Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Watery Wednesday

The Falls at Courtallam is believed to have medicinal properties, as the river flows through a dense forest containing medicinal herbs .
This is my contribution to Watery Wednesday hosted by 2sweetnsaxy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My World- Summer Thirst Quenchers

Afternoons are very hot and one welcomes a drink of tender coconut water. These tender coconuts are being carted to the city where there is a huge demand for them. The coconut vendor makes a hole at the top of the coconut and hands it to you with a straw. The mildly sweet coconut water refreshes you and prevents sunstroke. Tender coconuts are preferred to refrigerated cola which costs double.
Another thirst quencher is the pinapple. Slices of pineapple are sold by vendors at some points. You can eat it with a pinch of salt . I found the shape of these pineapple unusual. They presumably get this shape when they are over fertilized.
As I write this, my thoughts are with the people of Japan. I pray that they will recover from the terrible calamity soon.
To see more pictures from all over the world, click on

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Today's Flowers

This Clerodendrum vine is a rampant climber and is very invasive in this climate, but the fire-engine red flowers are very attractive.
This bougainvillea never fails to fascinate me, with two different coloured flowers in the same branch.

The red amaryllis (or is it Hippeastrum?) is flowering in most of the gardens, heralding spring.

The white amaryllis used to be perfectly white, but now the blooms have distinct red lines in them. Effect of cross pollination? The bulbs are never removed from their place in the ground.
My thanks to Santilli, Pupo, Denise and Sandy Carlson. To view more pictures of flowers from all over the world, please click on

Friday, March 11, 2011

Skywatch Friday

The sky in Coorg was bright blue and the weather was balmy.
You can see skies from all over the world at

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wild Flower Wednesday

I love wild flowers. In India , wild flowers are not cultivated- they grow in the wilderness. So, it is becoming increasingly difficult to come across wild flowers . I could take shots of some wild flowers blooming in the edge of the forest in Coorg. I don't know their names.
This yellow Ipomia had entwined itself round a hibiscus plant .

There were more wild flowers at the edges of the coffee plantations, but my camera was acting up.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My World

This settlement in the middle of the forest in Coorg is famous for training elephants. In the days of the Maharajas, wild elephants were caught in an operation called Khedda, and trained by tame elephants. These days, the elephants bred in the camp are trained. Elephants are a part of Indian culture. They go in stately procession on special occasions. Some temples maintain a fleet of elephants, which are decorated during festivals. The forest department uses them to carry logs and to do other heavy work in the forests.
The habitat of wild elephants is dwindling at an alarming rate now. There are reports of herds of elephants going on a rampage in the villages bordering the forest every year.
Although the elephant is greatly loved in India, its population is decreasing.
Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Every Tuesday, 'My World' is hosted by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia. You can see pictures from all over the world at

Monday, March 7, 2011

Today's Flowers - Blooming Coffee

I am just back from a weekend trip to Coorg, the home of coffee. As we were driving along, the scent of the coffee flowers wafted across , wherever we went. The fresly opened flowers of coffee have a mild, pleasing scent , somewhat like jasmine.
Coorg is a hilly place, full of coffee plantations and spice gardens. It is unbelievably beautiful, with its balmy climate and gentle people.

Wherever the flowers had turned brown, the scent was different, slightly fruity.
This is my contribution to Today's Flowers.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekend Reflections

Early morning in a village.
More pictures can be viewed at James'

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blooming Friday- Big and Small

The big flower of the bromeliad and the smaller white flower of Alocasia macrorhiza variegata. My thanks to Katarina of Roses and Stuff for hosting this fun meme.

Skywatch Friday- Beehive in the sky

I had not noticed the beehive on the roadside Copperpod tree just outside my gate until my neighbour drew my attention to it yesterday . The tree with its thick canopy and its formidable height gives the perfect place for the wild Apis indica bees to build their hive. Nectar supply is also assured for the bees in the neighbourhood gardens and the flowering trees planted on the roadsides.
Although I am very happy to see the beehive so close to my home, the neighbours are anxious. The sting of these large wild bees is very painful.
I hope the villagers will not destroy the beehive when I am away at work.
I thank the team of Skywatch Friday. For more pictures of the skies from all over the world see