Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Our World Tuesday- Garden Flowers in Winter

These are some of the flowers blooming in the gardens in my neighbourhood.
To see interesting features from the world over, please go here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


This is a wildflower called Velvet Bean. The creeper has now hundreds of these purple floral garlands. But beware! If you touch the creeper,  you will start scratching yourself for hours!
The velvetty, brown haired beans are even more dangerous. They are called Mad Beans in Kenya because of their scratchiness.
 The vine has completely covered a roadside tree.
The plant has many medicinal uses in Ayurveda and Siddha forms of medicine. Its leaves are used for treating cobra bite, as well as Parkinson's disease.
Our World Tuesdayhttp://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com has many beautiful pictures and intersting stories.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Our World- Munnar Flowers

Munnar in Kerala is a beautiful hill station nestling among tea plantations. The tea gardens were started by the British in the 18th century- now they have been sold to local firms. Munnar has a cool climate and people have pretty gardens. These were some of the flowers in the garden of the hotel where we stayed. I don't know the name of the flower on top.
 Bright nasturtiums are surrounded by bees.
 Bell shaped Abutilon.
 Azelias which do not flower in my garden were flowering profusely...
Thanks for visiting my blog. Please go to Our World Tuesday to see interesting blogs.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Magical Matheran

 Matheran is a village in the hills near Mumbai where no motor vehicles are allowed. You can go there by a mountain train, or walk up five kilometres . There are horses to ride and plenty of walking to do .
 Suddenly, in the middle of a forest, you might come across a colonial bungalow with a large garden like the one above.
Charming cottages offer bed and breakfast.
 And if your shoes wear out with all that walking, there are street vendors selling beautiful sandals.
Matheran is a place you are sure to breath pure, unpolluted air. It is also a place where you get delicious food!
Wild Forget-me-nots dot the jungle paths.
You can read about other parts of the world at http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What killed the dinosaurs?

 The mighty dinosaurs who roamed the earth majestically for thousands of years, were suddenly wiped out around 65 million years ago. Scientists and geologists now believe that an enormous lava emission in the Indian plate must have filled the atmosphere with noxious gases which killed the dinosaurs.  An asteroid hit the earth in the same period, accelerating the extinction of the dinosaurs. We saw the lava basalt which caused such havoc so many million years ago at Mahabaleshwar.
A basalt formation called 'Elephant's Head' at Mahabaleshwar.
 Deccan Traps- the lava basalt in the form of terraces. Traps means steps in Swedish.
A memorial to Colonel Lodwick, an English officer, who  was the first European to discover Mahabaleshwar.
We enjoyed eating fresh strawberries with cream at Mahabaleshwar, which is gamous for its strawberry gardens.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday where you can see many interesting things happening around the world.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Wildflowers of the Himalayan Higher Altitudes

 The Blue Poppy is seen at 14,000 feet in the Valley Of Flowers. We trekked such high altitude paths to see this glorious flower in its natural habitat.
 I could not find the name of these flowers .
 Pink Bistorta vaccinifolia had colonised rock crevices in the Valley.
 Saussurea obvallata is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists. It was carpetting the mountainsides at 14,500 feet, perfuming the area.
 Pedicularis is a ground hugging herb. The locals use its roots for flatulence in cattle and mules.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday where you can see interesting and beautiful pictures.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Trek in the Valley of Flowers

 It had always been my dream to visit the Valley of Flowers in the Himalayas. Unfortunately, I could never do it , as the flowering season in the valley is short, and coincides with the crucial First term of Schools in India. Now that I have retired, the first thing I did was to plan a trip to the valley in August- September, when the monsoon recedes and there are plenty of wild flowers to be seen and admired. The Valley of Flowers was a hidden pasture of the people of the district, until it was accidentally discovered by an Englishman John Smythe, who was so smitten by its beauty that he wrote a book about it. The Oxford University sent Ms.Legge, a researcher to photograph and scientifically catalogue the Valley's flora. Unforunately, Legge slipped and fell from a rock and died. There is a memorial gave erected in her memory by her sister in the Valley.
 The Valley was awash with flowers when we visited it for three days at the end of last August. The predominant colours were white and pink, although there were patches of yellow. I don't know many of the flowers' names.
 Bright yellow Inula grandiflora are visited by bees. Although there were plenty of bees and bumblebees, I did not see a beehive.
 Potentilla , called Vajradanti in Hindi, made blood red splashes.
 Pale pink Aster albescens colonised whole hillsides.
The newly laid path was full of sharp tones, making walking difficult. 
 Purple and blue geraniums were growing alongside other wildflowers.9(Geranium wallichianum)
 Cyanatus microphyllus captivated me with their sky blue flowers.
 These large purple flowers had colonised a remote part of the valley. I don't know the name.
 Nepeta erecta resembles the sage.
 The botanist who accompanied us didn't think much of this Balloon Flower  Silene vulgaris, but I found them beautiful.
A colony of  Polygonum plystachyum nodded in the breeze. From a distance they looked like a white cloud.
I saw many more wildflowers and went berserk with my camera, which, unfortunately, did not behave properly.
I shall post the flowers of the higher altitude (14,000feet) soon.
I hope you have enjoyed my post. You can read many more interesting stories at Our World Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Our World - The Canyon and the Cavern

 Last week I had been on a trip to the Canyon in Gandikota. The river Pennar has made a beautiful canyon in the red granite cliffs of the place. There is an ancient fort which was never conquered by anybody because of the canyon. People live in the fort and farm in te inhospitable around it.
 The Char Minar in the fort is the meeting place for the residents.
 The next day we went to the underground caves at Belum.
 Amazing to see fresh water flowing deep down in the cave. There is so much to see in our world.
My thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday where you can see so many facets of our wonderful world.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Our World Beautiful

 The bright pink of the Antigonon flowers attracts hundreds of bees every morning. The bees have their hive on the roof of the school building on a hill nearby. During the holidays, the school authorities destroy the hives  fearing that the bees might sting the children, but the bees build their homes again in the same place.
The cheerful rain lilies show up as soon as there is a shower.
 Butterflies sun themselves for short spells.

The Blue Tiger butterfly will soon start its migration to the forests of the Western Ghats.
You can see lovely pictures and interesting information in Our World Tuesday and Michelle's Nature Notes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Monsoon Wildflowers

 The Monsoon is my favourite season as wildflowers are blooming in every meadow now. Photos also come out good because of the cloud cover. It is nice to go for a long walk to the outskirts of the city just to enjoy the beauty of the wildflowers.
 Ipomia, a sort of Morning Glory closes itself as soon as it has been pollinated by bees. You don't get to see an open flower after 10 a.m, most of the time!

 The flowers of the Sarsaparilla vine are very attractive. The roots of this vine i used to make a energizing drink.
 The Abutilon indica opens only in the afternoon, so you don't see the flowers in the morning.
Thanks to the team of Our World Tuesday where you can see what is happening in different parts of our world. I also thank Michelle of Nature Notes.