Friday, December 31, 2010

The Hot, the Loud and the Proud

In the last of the Hot, the Loud and the Proud hosted by Noel, I'd like to show some of the best flowers of the year 2010. These Strelizia blooms are from January 2010, and they are flowering equally profusely now.
The blue Himalayan Sage started flowering in September, and will continue to bloom till March.

The hibiscus bloomed profusely through the year. It went into its slumber in December. Hopefully, it will wake up for the Pongal festival on January 14.

My friend Jenny's orchids were at their best in October.

Happy New Year to all my blogger friends! Wish you a very happy, healthy and fulfilling 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Butterfly Visits 2010

Throughout the year, I was blessed with butterflies in my garden. The Indian Monarch loves the milkweeds.

Can you spot how many butterflies are feasting on this fallen mango ? This was in last summer.
The Common Crow is a frequent visitor.

The Huge Blue Mormon visited my garden at least once every month.

This yellow butterfly was snapped in the Lalbaug garden. Besides these, there were the Jays, the Eggflies, the Blue Tigers, the Common Leopards and other innumerable and unknown (to me) butterflies which visitedmy garden and thrived there. I am grateful for the opportunity of seeing them and enjoying their beauty through the year.
I am looking forward to more butterfly visits in the coming year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My World - The Disused Boat

This retired rowboat is abandoned on the bank of Kukkanhalli lake in Mysore. Now people seem to prefer the noisybut fast motorboats. These silent row boats were ideal for watching the waterfowl and other birds.
This is my entry for My World at

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Today's Flowers- Last of 2010

Hibiscus is coming out of its sleep.
The Amazon lilies have started blooming now. The white blooms have a freenish fringed cup inside. They perfume the garden with an elusive perfume in the night.

Thunbergia Mysorensis vine is starting to bloom with its usual vigour. The strands of flowers are going to cover the entire Amla tree in the new year.

Matchstick plants are in full flower now.

The maroon Shrimp plant Pachystachis lutea is putting out plenty of bracts to compete with its floriferous yellow sister.
To view more flowers, click on

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Festivals are celebrated with floral Rangoli in my part of India. Wishing all the visitors to this blog a merry Christmas and a happy holiday season!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Skywatch Friday

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!
To see the skies from all over the world, visit

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wildlife Wednesday- Gardener's Friends and Foes

This is one of the frogs that inhabits my frog pond with his family and friends. He has a loud croaking voice, which he uses in the rainy season. He eats most of the leaf and plant eating insects and is an invaluable friend of the garden. The only drawback is that snakes love to eat frogs. So at least one snake visits my garden during the day, and I don't know about nights. These African snails are now found in all sorts of moist corners in the garden. Although snails are supposed toeat decaying leaves, these are huge gorgers, and eat any plant that they find. I consider them Enemy number 1. Frogs don't eat them, but Coucals love them for breakfast.

These cranes in the village pond eat both the frogs and snails, thereby keeping the balance of Nature.
Peace for all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My World- Heritage Buildings of Mysore

Mysore is a city of culture. Many of its buildings and streets are named after Englishmen who served in the princely state befor Independence. The Gordon House is one of the heritage buildings of Mysore. It houses the offices of the District Administration.
The statue of Sir James Gordon, an Englishman, who was the guardian of the young Maharaja in 1767, stands in front of the building, looking on a rose garden. The rose plants were all pruned and fertilized last week, so that they would be in full flower in January.

The Crawford Hall, another heritage building, houses the offices of the University of Mysore. There is a freize of Saraswati, the goddess of Learning, on top of the building. The beds surrounding the lawn wer planted with seedlings of annuals now.
My thanks to the team of My World. To see more images from all over the world, go to

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Today's Flowers

The yellow begnonia vine has started putting out its golden flowers. The vine will be dripping with golden trumpet flowers in January.
The Matchstick Plant Achmea has also started flowering, heralding the new year.

The pink flowers of the Begonis 'Dancing Girl' have started appearing.

The pink- and -green Anthuriums never stopped blooming the whole year.

The Russelia 'Queen's Tears' is blooming sporadically now. These are some of the flowers that are blooming in my garden now.
Please visit to see flowers from all over the world.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weekend Reflections in Mysore

The Kukkanahalli lake in Mysore attracts hundreds of migratory birds in this season. I could see pelicans, cormorants, moorhens and open-billed storks. The abundance of fish and other aquatic creatures attract the birds.

You can view more pictures at James' blog

Friday, December 17, 2010

Skywatch Friday

After two sunny days, the skies have again turned grey because of the depression in the Bay of Bengal.

This Kite seemss to be contemplating on the weather. I am off to Mysore for the long weekend.

My thanks to the team of Skywatch Friday. You can view lots of interesting pictures at

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

GBBD December 2010

The Himalayan Sage has profuse blue flowerss which bloom in winter.
The Bishop's Cloak is starting to put out its rose red flower bracts.

This is one of the roses which bloom in all seasons. It is a favourite of temple goers.

The white chrysanthemum is another favouriteoffering at the temple.

This Pentas has a delicate colour which attracts butterflies.
These are some of the flowers blooming now in my garden. Thanks to Carol for hosting the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day on the 15th of every month.

Bangalore Fort

The Bangalore Fort is a historic structure built by the 16th century chieftain Kempegowda. Legend has it that when he was building it, the main door could not stand , and collapsed many times. The astrologers he consulted said that the only way to make it stand was to sacrifice a pregnant woman. Horrified, Kempegowda rejected the suggestion. His pregnant young daughter-in -law, who heard the astrologers' words, went to the place and committed suicide as a sacrifice to make the door strong.
Hundred years later, the fort was strengthened and fortified by Tipu Sultan , who was the terror of theBritish East India Company, which was gaining power in India. The fort has beautiful archways, and carvings in the Islamic style.

The East India Company sacked the fort in 1791 under General Cornwallis, and thus captured Bangalore.
Now, only a small portion of the fort is remaining, and Bangalore city has grown all around it. The Fort area still has an old world charm , with the busy Krishnarajendra Market nearby, where everything can be bargained.
To see interesting places from around the world, click on My World Tuesday at

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Today's Flowers- Big Flowers

Large hibiscus flowers are blooming in my school garden. They gardener keeps his recipe for making them bloom in winter a close secret.
I love this butter coloured beauty.

Large Thunbergia grandiflora are blooming in the parks.

Big trumpets of the Golden Chalice vine are blooming in my garden.

There is an air of anticipation everywhere. For the children , it is the Christmas holidays, and for the plants and birds, it is the Spring which will be here quite soon.
Many thanks to the team of Today's Flowers. You can see flowers which are bloomin in other parts of the world at

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekend Reflections- Bamboo Curtain

The lotus pond no langer has any lotus. Bamboos still curtain the imaginary lotus in Lalbaug.
My thanks to James for Weekend Reflections. See more at

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Skywatch Friday :Warm Skies of the Tropics

But howling Winter fled afar
To hills that prop up the polar star
My thanks to the team of Skywatch Friday.
To view more Skywatch pictures from around the world, please click on

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Red Devil

The Crow Pheasant Centropus sinensis is a regular visitor to my garden. A couple lives in the Forest Department's nursery nearby and start their calls early in the morning. Yesterday was an unusually cold day with the mercury at 17C, and the bird seemed to be feeling the cold too.
Crow Pheasant which belongs to the Cuckoo family, is also known as Coucal. It is called Kembootha in Kannada, which means 'Red Devil'. The name must be because of its red eyes and the brick red wings.It is a clumsy bird and a weak flier, so there are many jokes about it. Clumsy people are often compared to the Kembootha, But it is far from clumsy in catching snakes. I have seen it catch a snake from a spot in my garden where I was working minutes earlier.
The couple which visit my garden synchronise their calls so that the garden seems to be resonating with their calls. They also make hissing sounds and harsh croaks when they come across crows or cats.
The nest of the Coucal is an untidy construction of twigs. There is a story that it uses the fabled Sanjeevini herb to constuct its nest. Sanjeevini herb is supposed to bring back people at death's doors to life.The Red Devil is always in danger of being robbed of his home.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My World- Public Gardens

This red wall in the Lalbagh Gardens in Bangalore is more than a century old. Beyond is a shrubbery with rare plants.
The tree stump is a favourite place of pigeons. Children clap to make the pigeons fly .
You can see many interesting pictures at