Eventide- 22

Glory at the end!

Sunsets are romantic!
Whether you are a nature lover or a technocrat, the beauty of sunsets is undeniable. I’m sure there is no one who hasn’t said “wow” after watching the glorious sundown.
The magical view of the setting sun and changing colours of the sky never get old!
Here is a series of sunset pictures captured at Santa Cruz, California. Watched the sunset along with roosting pelicans and cormorants.
I was surprised to notice a peculiar feature- after the initial stages, there was no golden reflection on the water!! I have no explanation…

Friends in my garden- 63

Potter wasp

When we think of friends in our garden, Potter wasp is not likely to be on the list. However, potter wasps are beneficial insects that provide natural control of many types of caterpillars that are pests of our vegetable garden.
The name ‘potter wasp’ derives from the shape of the mud nests built by the female to lay eggs and these nests are known as brood nests. These are built in a variety of places, like on tree trunks and twigs as well as exterior surfaces of buildings.
The nest interestingly looks like a miniature pot or jug, complete with cover when it is sealed!
The female wasp hunts caterpillars, stores them in the nest after paralyzing them by her sting. The developing wasp larva feeds on these caterpillars and comes out as an adult.
I found this lovely potter wasp (Phimenes flavopictus) hovering in my garden, feeding on Leucas aspera (Thumba) flowers and then having a drink in the birdbath.
You can see the nest that is built on a plant twig. The seal of the nest has two tiny holes to let in air for the larva inside!

Landscape- 11

Thusharagiri

‘Thusharagiri’ literally means ‘misty mountain’, a name given due to the snowy spray of water droplets of the waterfalls that surround the mountains like a misty blanket.
Thusharagiri Falls is a scenic waterfall located in Kozhikode district, in my native state of Kerala, India. This is among the well-known tourist places of Wayanad and can be visited throughout the year, monsoon season being the best time.
Surrounding the waterfalls are the evergreen forests of Western Ghats. The gurgling streams add to the pristine beauty of the place and the place is known as the ‘trekker’s paradise’.
Thusharagiri falls is formed by the cascading Chalippuzha river.