Sunday, April 24, 2011

Today's Flowers

In Guwahati, we stayed in Kanak's B&B , which was full of flowers. The Star Phlox in a bed near the gate had pretty pink flowers.
The Jamun tree was beginning to flower, with a promise of luscious purple fruit in summer. Kanak makes jams and wine with the fruit.
The delicate beauty of the guava flower ...
is set off by the rugged beauty of the Nasturtiums and Petunias .
She had anthuriums, ixora , lily and Foxtail orchids blooming too, making her yard a welcoming place of beauty.
I shall not be posting for some time now, as I shall be away for the rest of my holidays.
My thanks to Santilli, Denise, Pupo and Sandy Carlson of Today's Flowers at

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Magical Bridge of Mawlynnong

The most magical place we visited during our trip to the northeast, was Mawlynnong village in Meghalaya , and the living root bridge near it. The roots of banyan trees Ficus elastica were trained to grow across a stream and form a strong bridge, on which we all walked.

The villages in the Khasi hills are connected by ancient pathways like the one above. Wherever there are streams, which invariably become furious during the monsoon season, the Khasis have constructed living root bridges.

Villagers wash their clothes in the stream, and vsitors pose for photographs on the bridge.

A Khasi girl carrying a load of firewood .

The brige itself is paved with flat stones so that you do not feel uncomfortable walking over it. It can easily take the load of 50 people at a time.

This bridge at Wahthyllong near Mawlynnong is said to be 150 years old. Unlike the iron bridges, these living bridges grow stronger with age. Some of the root bridges of the area are said to be 500 years old. Although these living root bridges have been in existence since 5oo years, it is only after BBC featured them in Human Planet that people from other parts of the world are visiting them. You can see more about the living root bridges of Meghalaya there.
This is my contribution to Weekend Reflections.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Skywatch Friday

The Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians in Shillong was built about 50 years ago. The main chamber has beautiful stained glass windows.

The Khasi people of Meghalaya in the Northeast of India are mostly Christians. Theit beautiful state has many forests,waterfalls and cliffs. They were originally nature worshippers, who were converted to Christianity in the early 20th century.

The early German Catholic missionaries had built a church here, called the Church of the Devine Saviour. It was destroyed in a fire on Good Friday in April 1936. This new Cathedral has been built on the site of the earlier church.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My World- Adventure in the North-east.

In our eight day trip to the northeast of India, we saw some amazing sights, met some wonderful people and did some unusual things. I shall be writing in detail about some of them soon. The top picture shows one of the "living root bridges" of Meghalaya. The roots of the ficus trees are trained to span the stream, and eventually form a bridge across the stream. The bio engineering skills of the Khasi people is amazing.

Cherrapunjee, which has the record of having the highest rainfall in the world has many waterfalls too.

We crouched and crawled our way through this cave in the sacred forest of Mawsmai.

After going to Assam, who can resist visiting the Khaziranga National Park with its one horned rhinos and elephants and deer? In spite of the fact that I was slapped with elephant grass by the male elephant we were riding, or shouted at by the male rhino I tried to photograph, it was fun!

All this was made possible by my dear friend Kanak Hagjer of Terra farmer, who encouraged me to visit the northeast. She was the one who told me about the amazing living root bridges of Meghalaya. She suggested that we could make use of her B&B, which we accepted with alacrity.Her charming garden reflects the charm and friendliness of the hostess.

To view more sights from all over the world, please visit

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Today's Flowers - No Fuss Flowers

The Franjipani has a mantid waiting on it to catch the potential prey. The flowers don't have nectar, but attract the pollinators by their colour and fragrance.
I am always surprised by the Pyramid bromeliad, Billbergia pyramydalis. It blooms whenever it likes, in all seasons.
The blue plumbago is coming into bloom everywhere. It is a no- fuss plant which blooms in all seasons.
The round, large leaves of the Caldwell lily are more attractive than the flowers.
The orange Barbados Lily is blooming in surprising corners of the garden. The bulbs must have transported themselves with the compost.

These are my contribution to Flowers for Today. I hope to come back from my holiday with lots of photos. You can see flowers from all over the world at

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weekend Reflections

This is the kind of view that I would like to see every day during our hot summer months! This is a scene fom Mysore. I hope I will come across many places like this in the North East of India where I am headed on Monday! Happy weekend and happy holidays ! I thank James at for giving me an opportunity to share my pictures , as well as to see so many gorgeous photos from all over the world.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Blooming Friday - Eye Candy

Summer is making its presence felt here- water shortage, dry gardens, heat... The real eye candy for us in these parts of the earth is the sight of a sheet of water, or a shade tree! Flowers are blooming despite the heat. Hibiscus seems to love the heat.
The pink hibiscus seems cool.
The pink powder puff plant in the school garden was in full bloom, but for some unfathomable reason, it has been cut down.

My thanks to Katarina of Roses and Stuff for hosting the meme.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My World- Jackfruit

Jackfrut has started making an appearance on the roadside fruitstalls now. They attract the passerby with their strong fruity smell and their golden colour. Each jackfruit on this man's cart is at least 7 kilos. You can buy the whole fruit, or just some sections. You can dip a piece in honey and eat it. Although jackfruit grows everywhere in India, it is only in the south that you get the fruit variety. Everywhere else, it is used as a vegetable to make curries, pickles and pulavs. My thanks to Sylvia, Klaus, Wren, Sandy and the Fishing Guy for hosting My World. To see more pictures of others' worlds, click on

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Today's Flowers

This golden coloured Portulaca stays open only during the day.Red ginger flowers are blooming like mad in all the neighbouring gardens, but mine is acting very pricey!
The orange flowers of the Pereskia open in the evening. The plant is very prickly.
Blue angelonia has a fruity scent.
The mantid on the pentas is a friend of the garden. He waits patiently on the flower and captures quite a few insects. You can see him clearly if you click on the picture.
I am glad that my garden is a home for creatures like mantids, spiders , frogs and coucals, who dine on of most of the pests.

You can see flowers from all over the world at

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Weekend Reflections

The Karanji lake in Mysore is loved by birds. You can see some waterbirds if you click on the photo above.
There was a huge garden of Jasmine on one side of the lake. It is all gone now, giving place to the needs of the growing city. Fortunately, the lake , which was on the way to extinction, has been rejuvenated.

You can see some fantastic reflections on James' blog

Friday, April 1, 2011

Jasmine and Pseudo Jasmine

All gardens are fragrant with the heady scent of jasmine in summer. The flowers above are called Queen of the Night jasmine in India, although it is not a true jasmine. Cestrum nocturmum has a very strong scent to which some people like me, are allergic. These flowers shut off their scent at daybreak so I could take the picture from my neighbour's garden.
This is another of those pseudo jasmines which is flowering now. Pseuderanthemum reticulatum is called Gokarna jasmine here. It has so scent.
A special variety from Mysore, this five-layered jasmine has a delicious scent reminding one of sandalwood.
This is called the Snake Jasmine, but it is also an ersatz jasmine. Rhinacanthus nasutus will stop flowering soon, as it is really a winter bloomer. Its root is used in folk medicine to treat snake bites.
The Malabar Jasmine is called Needle Jsmine because the buds are shaped like needles. This has a mild perfume.

There are some more real jasmines in my garden which send out their heavenly scent during the night. All these plants are planted in the ground.

I thank Katarina of Roses and Stuff for her interesting meme.