Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ABC Wednesday- The Train to Tuticorin

The train to Tuticorin travers through Thunbergias...
and tangy yellow Tabebuias.
It tarries not in tiger territory, but rests near the travellers palm..
for a tad of toddy in a tidy leaf cup.
It terminates at high tide at the trading town of Tuticorin.
My thanks to the team of ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our World Tuesday- Wandering Minstrels

This man with the decorated bull stood at my gate a few days ago and went on playing lovely morning ragas on his pipe. He is a Kole Basava, a wandering minstrel. Music is his life. He ekes out his living by taking the bull from house to house and playing music. The bull sometimes answers questions in your mind by nodding or shaking his head. That is another income for the bull's owner.
Wandering minstrels were a common sight all over India 10 years ago. I saw this Baul with his stringed instrument at a temple in Assam last summer. He has become too old to wander. So he sits on the temple steps and sings .
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday for their wonderful meme.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blue Mormon

The Blue Mormon Papilio polymnestor, is the second largest butterfly in India, next to the Southern Birdwing. They seem to be proliferating this year- I see the huge sky- blue shapes flitting about everywhere. This fellow was taking rest in my garden. His wingspan was around 6 inches from tip to tip.
This is my contribution to Lisa's Macro Monday.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Today's Flowers #171

The red mussaenda has very bright bracts, but does not flower profusely.
The Lobster claw heliconia has bright bracts concealing small flowers.
Ixora is a native of the rain forests of the Western Ghats. It never stints on flowers.
Ruttya has unusual black lips.
My Thunbergia mysorensis has started putting out long ropes of flowers.
We are having gloomy weather now due to a depression in the eastern sea. These flowers cheer me up with their bright and cheerful faces. Hope they bring cheer to you too.
My thanks to Santilli, Denise, Pupo and Sandy Carlson for their wonderful meme, Today's Flowers. I am also contributing to Floral Friday.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weekend Reflections- The Lonely Cormorant

Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.
- Henry Rollins
My thanks to James at Weekend Reflections for his very special meme.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Skywatch Friday

The rain bearing clouds have retreated now, and the wispy white clouds in the blue sky gives some shade occasionally, to the hard working farmer.
My thanks to the team of Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ABC Wednesday- S

Welcome to ABC Wednesday, to the world of S. Today, I am going to speak about the significance of some names. Strelitzia reginae was found suitable for the suzerain.....
who sustained herself by sampling syrops from a Golden Chalice, Solandra grandiflora.
Sanchezia , certainly is named for a scientist.
Sanseveria honours the Sans,the mother-in-law in Hindi.
The Sage is from the Himalayas, like the great sage Sakyamuni Buddha, who gave us the sutras for surmounting suffering.
To see and enjoy more S words, please click here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our World Today- Rice

Rice, Oryza sativa, is the grass which supports more than half of the human population on this planet. It was domesticated more than 5000 years ago, in South Asia. Now it is the staple food of China, Thailand, Myenmar and most of India. Besides being the main food, rice is also associated with prosperity and fertility, and so is used by the Hindus at festivals. Rice is showered on the newly weds during the wedding ceremony.
Rice is also used in funerals to make the passage to heaven easy for the departed.
There are many varieties of rice, the most famous is the fragrant, long grained Basumati rice grown in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Sadly, the rice fields near cities are being gobbled up by the builders. Since rice is a labour intensive crop, farmers find it increasingly difficult to get farm labour.
This woman is a small cultivator of a special type of red rice grown only in the Western Ghats, in India. She and her husband do most of the work in their farm, and grow enough to sustain their family. They sell the surplus.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday, where you can see interesting aspects of our wonderful world.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today's Flowers

The Blue Sage from the Himalayas adds a welcome blue tinge to my garden now.
The dwarf Canna indica is very popular in many gardens here.
The sky blue Plumbago blooms reflect the clear blue skies.
The red Powder Puff is blooming in many gardens here.
This Cassia is a short tree with double coloured blooms.
I feel so lucky that we have flowers to cheer us up all the year round!
My thanks to the team of Today's Flowers, where you can see what is blooming in other parts of the world.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Skywatch Friday- Blue

The sea at Murdeshwar is a rather greenish blue, which contrasts with the bright blue of the tropical sky. My thanks to the team of Skywatch Friday. You can see fantastic skywatch pictures here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reinwardtia- Narrative of a Rare Flower

She was the child of the rainforest, a dryad, and a ravishing beauty.
Reared by the raven and the rhinao, she refused to read the 3R's nd grew up to be a radiant beauty.
A rambling rajah fell in love with her and re-located her to his royal residence in Rangoon. Refusing all nourishment, she relinquished her mortal coils.
The regretful royal buried her by the rapids of the river Ramganga.
Came the rainy season, and a rare flower reared up from her resting place. The reincarnation was renamed Reinwardtia.
Reinwardtia indica , or Pyoli, as it is known locally, has many ballads and folk songs in her honour. The innocence and beauty of the maiden of the rainforest of the Himalayan foothills , who refused to live in a king's palace, has inspired many a folk songster.
This is my contribution to ABC Wednesday.You can see many interesting posts , and take part yourself, by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Our World- Murdeshwar Beach

The fishing village of Murdeshwar on the Arabian Sea, has now become a favoureded tourist spot. You can see the fishermen's boats docked here.
The white sands on the beach , and the warm sea water are great attractions to visitors.
For the fishermen in their tiny boats, the sea is their 'father', who provides sustenance.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday, where you can see snippets of our beautiful world.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wild Flowers of the Western Ghats

I could capture some of the lovely wild flowers when I visited some places in the mountainous regions of the Western Ghats last weekend. The Gloriosa superba lily is the queen of the tropical wild flowers. It is called Agnishikha, fire flower- locally. Its tuber is used in Ayurveda medicine.
The intense blue of the Snake weed makes the flowers stand out in the undergrowth of the jungle clearing. The plant is used to treat snake bites. It resembles the Porterweed which is a familiar sight in the plains.
Beautiful white flowers of the Wild Tobacco Lobelia nicoteanefolia were dotting the jungle landscape . This is also a poisonous plant. The leaves are used for the treatment of asthma and bronchitis.
I could not find the names of these two wild flowers.
This is my contribution to Flowers for Today. You can see beautiful flowers from the far corners of the world here.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekend Reflections- Stairs

Stairs are climbed step by step.
- Turkish proverb.
This picture was taken in Mandu at the small palace built by the Moghul emperor Babur in the 16th century. These stairs are typical of early Mughal architecture.
You can see wonderful reflections from all over the world at Weekend Reflections.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Skywatch Friday

Early morning at Horanad in the Western Ghats. The clouds cover the dense tropical forests, which are dwindling at an alarming rate.
My thanks to the team of Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

ABC Wednesday- Q

"What is a quisqualis?" asked the quiz master.
"Queer question!" quipped the quack. "It isn't a quail or a quotation,
nor a quadrangle or a quadratic equation.......
Can it be a quadruped carrying a quintal?"
"Not quite correct!" was the answer.
Quisqualis is the flower in the first picture. It is called Madhumalati meaning honey jasmine in its native India. When it was to be given an official name in England, the bored botanist saw it and exclaimed"What on earth is this?" , which translates to Quis qualis in Latin.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A temple of Knowledge

Sringeri , in the Western Ghats is famous for the temple to Sharada, the goddess of Knowledge. There is an ancient monastery here, established by Adi Shankaracharya 1800 years ago. It is a prominent seat of Hindu philosophy.
The monastery is on the banks of the river Tunga, which is full of fish. People do not fish here out of respect for the monks.
My thanks to the team of Our World, where you can see photos from all parts of the world.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Skywatch Friday

The skies of Malwa were the same clear blue as the water last month. Our skies here are perpetually grey. I am looking forward to the trip to the Western Ghats this weekend organised by the Ladies Club. I hope the skies there are colourful.
Head over to Skywatch Friday to see fabulous skies from around the world.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

ABC Wednesday- P

The Peacock peeked into TiPu's Palace.
The pretty palace did not pander to his vanity. Off he went to Peking....
perchance, he saw a pretty picture in Hong Kong.
The pastel coloured palace in in Mysore piqued him.
The poor man's palm- thatched palace won the prize!
My thanks to the team of ABC Wednesday.