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Scotland of India

Coorg, officially called Kodagu, is one of the most sought-after hill stations of Karnataka. Coorg landscape is mountainous and stays misty throughout the year. It is nicknamed the ‘Scotland of India’.

Undulating hills covered in lush green forests, valleys and the streams cutting right through them offer stunning scenic beauty. Coffee plantations, tea gardens and orange groves add to the charm of Coorg.

It is the place to be for all nature lovers. It also stands as a popular destination because of its Kodava culture.

Smile of Earth- 16

Ornamental Purslane

Purslane is a summer plant with pretty, delicate flowers that show off with many colours. The plant is a succulent herb and mostly appears clustered. The stem is prostrate and trailing with flat, fleshy, spatulate leaves.
Ornamental purslane produces flowers all summer and in warmer climates even in winter.
Purslane blooms open around 10:00 in the morning and close for good at various times in the day, depending on the temperature conditions.
Portulaca umbraticola and Portulaca oleracea are two of the ornamental purslanes you see hanging in baskets and in flower beds, giving colour and bringing in cheer.
Purslane was grown in India originally and provided nutrition and reported health benefits. The common purslane is a ‘weed’ (purslane that is not ornamental) and is a leafy vegetable.
Some other common names of purslane include garden purslane, moss rose, little hogweed, and wild portulaca.

Eventide- 19

Sunset on a rainy day

It was raining through the afternoon.

By evening when clouds started thinning; hoped to get some sunset pictures at Kozikode (Calicut- Kerala) beach. That was not to happen…it rained intermittently again.

Ah…it is time and waited with the camera for the glorious moment. Raining reduced to a mild drizzle. The scenes started to unfold on a cloudy sky.

And lo, it rained heavily then! After about ten minutes or so, when the raining subsided, the orange ball appeared at the horizon, half immersed in the gloomy sea…

Friends in my garden- 58

Spotted Beauty

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My second post on Spotted Beauty- Asian Koel female.
Please check out the first post HERE.
Asian koels, members of the Cuckoo family, are frequent visitors. After quenching thirst on my terrace, they forage in the vegetable garden for ripe tomatoes also!

This beauty had a drink. Then she flew on to a tree nearby, which had Tinospora vine climbing on it. The ripe berries were a definite attraction. She might have had her fill and then flew away.
I could capture a few pictures of her in sequence.

Though very attractive, she has a not -so-desirable character of laying eggs in the nests of other birds especially crows, where the foster parent nurtures the young ones till they begin to fly.

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Landscape- 6

Berkeley Marina bay view
Berkeley is a city on the east coast of San Francisco Bay, California. It is named after the 18th-century Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley.
Berkeley Marina is the westernmost portion of the city. The beautiful area with walking and cycling path is a great attraction for residents as well as tourists. It offers great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and on a cloudless day an awesome view of the sunset!!

See it here.

These are evening scenes from Berkeley Marina. First picture is taken from the walkers’ path of the Marina and the next two, from the old pier (seen in the first image).

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Landscape- 5

Princess of Hill stations

Kodaikanal, the Princess of Hill stations, is located in the Palani Hills (Western Ghats) of Tamil Nadu in South India. The hill station was developed in the latter part of 18th century by American Christian missionaries and British bureaucrats.
Thickly wooded hills, mighty rocks, creeks and waterfalls, meadows and narrow forest paths delight visitors and nature lovers.
Gardens and wild flowers adorn the slopes of Kodaikanal.

The unique event of blossoming of Kurinji flowers that happens only once in 12 years makes the entire mountainous landscape purplish blue, undoubtedly a spellbinding sight in Kodaikanal!!

kodai Mannavanur cine location (39)

kodai Poombarai village view(27)

kodai Vatakanal falls (120)

 

Smile of Earth- 15

Bougainvillea

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Bougainvillea is an ornamental shrub that climbs up a support, if left unpruned. They produce showy bunches of ‘flowers’ that come in a variety of colours.
Flowering Bougainvillea plants are really a visual treat and adds colour to the place.

The actual flower of the plant is small and generally white. Flowers are seen in cluster of three and is surrounded by three or six bracts (modified leaves) with bright colours, including pink, magenta, purple, red, orange, white, or yellow.

Currently, there are over 300 varieties of bougainvillea around the world. Many are hybrids  developed by genetic as well as  vegetative methods like budding.

Bougainvillea is the official flower of some states in USA like, California and Guam. It is also the national flower in Grenada. Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea glabra) is also known as Paper flower.

Bougainvillea flowers are sources of natural dyes.

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Eventide- 18

Cloudy, yet beautiful!

Stinson beach, California, was cloudy on that day.
Still waited to witness the glorious phenomenon of sunset.

Couldn’t get the dipping orange ball and I had to be satisfied with the sunset glow on the clouds.

Sharing a few of those scenes here.

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Friends in my garden- 57

Black Kite

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Black kite? A friend in my garden…?
Yes…a kind of!
They hover  above my house, make nests and brood on tall trees in the neighbouring property and then many times rest on my parapet or in the garden.

Black kite (Milvus migrans) is a fairly large bird, larger than a crow. They have a majestic stance and shrill call with whinnying. The brown plumage is beautiful, which is similar in male and female birds.
Black kites are widely distributed around the globe. They are seen in large numbers near human dwellings in India and avoid wilderness.

Here you can see the bird resting on my parapet, with keen observant eyes. Suddenly it is alert and flies down to the ground to snatch a dead rat from the crows. Though I have the pictures of the scenes, I am restricting to the kite alone.
Once the meal is done, it is ready to fly away!

These pictures are of the same bird, taken sequentially.

 

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Landscape- 4

Costal Landscape of Santa Cruz

Are these landscape pictures or seascape? Let us say, ‘Costal landscape’.

These shots were captured near Natural Bridges State Beach and Park, Santa Cruz, California. Natural Bridges State Beach is named for the Natural arch in the huge rock located in the shore break here. This is one of the most photographed beach icons in the state of California.

The coastline is characterized by Ice plant-blanketed (a succulent) cliffs, sandy coves, and rocky marine terraces.
Birds congregate on these rocks for rest and hunting for prey.

The rock in the picture shows a sideview of the Natural arch.

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