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Landscape- 18

Pykara Landscape

Nestled amidst the beautiful Nilgiri hills, Ooty, also known as Udagamandalam, is a hill station in Tamil Nadu, India, which is a top-rated tourist destination.
Pykara is a river in Ooty with a village by the same name nearby. This is a beautiful village located amidst lush greenery and breath-taking sceneries accentuated by the gushing river, which attracts people from different corners of the world.
The Pykara River is considered very sacred by the Todas, the tribals of the locality. It originates in Mukurthi peak, one of the highest peak of Western Ghats that border Ooty.
Pykara is a favorite picnic location and is very popular with the movie makers.

Patterns and Shapes in Nature- 13

Caladium ‘Freckles’

Caladiums are tropical plants with colourful patterns on their leaves.
Caladium leaves have combinations of red, pink, green or white on them with coloured midribs and contrasting backgrounds. With lush multi-coloured leaves, many larger than the palm of our hand, Caladiums have become one of the most popular ornamental plants. Do you know that Caladiums grow wild in tropical forests?
Due to white, magenta or red freckled patterns this species has the common name Caladium Freckles.
Caladium freckles is the third variety of Caladium that I have presented in my posts. These plants grow in my garden.
To see the other two species, pls check out these posts- Patterns…4, Patterns…6

Feathered Friends from Far and Near- 2

House Finch- female

House finches (Haemorhous mexicanus) are familiar backyard birds of California. These vegetarian birds forage on the ground or in the vegetation normally eating grains, seeds, berries, and fruits.
Female house finches are not colourful like their male counterparts. Hope you remember them. Otherwise, just visit the link here (MALE).
Females are plain greyish brown with thick, blurry streaks on the belly and breast. Juveniles look like females in their plumage colour.

Eventide- 28

Sun sets at La Jolla

La Jolla (pronounced ‘La Hoya’) is a beautiful seaside town of San Diego. Don’t know whether ‘town’ is the right word to describe the place; it is as quiet and serene as a village!
I witnessed the sunset from the Coast Walk Trail of the Shell beach in La Jolla.
Being a cloudy evening, the finale of the spectacle was not visible. Even then it was so enjoyable with the sunset glow lighting up the sky.
Cloudy or clear skies, sunsets are always enjoyable. These pictures are in the sequence of the unfolding event.

Smile of Earth- 27

Hibiscus flowers

The genus Hibiscus is a popular ornamental plant of the tropics. With showy flowers in myriad colours these are ubiquitous shrubby plants. The common species is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. In tropical climate the species requires least care compared to other ornamental plants.
Though the flowers are not scented their colour attracts nature lovers and others alike.
I read that Hibiscus is generally considered quite a feminine flower and in certain cultures these flowers are usually given to or worn by women.
In Victorian times, hibiscus bloom was gifted to acknowledge the receiver’s delicate beauty by the giver.
The colour of the flower is also considered to indicate certain emotions- like, yellow hibiscus is often associated with happiness and good luck. Red hibiscus is a symbol of love and passion. Pink hibiscus stands for friendship and love of friends.
Hibiscus tea from dried petals or flowers and their extracts in raw state were traditionally thought to help everything from heart disease to the common cold to luxurious hair growth!

Friends in my garden- 69

Black Drongo

Juvenile Black drongo, on a favourite perch on my terrace

A songbird of open areas such as farmland, fields, and urban gardens, black drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) is a common sight perched on wires, cables or small bare branches that pop out.
This species is identifiable by a white spot at the base of the beak on either side.
It is famous for its aggressive behaviour towards much larger birds such as crows and chase away any birds that invade its territory. Smaller birds often find it safe to nest in the vicinity of well-guarded Black drongo neighbourhood.
Another interesting fact is its ability to mimic, producing a variety of avian calls.
This insectivorous bird is glossy black with long and deeply forked outer tail feathers. Male and female birds are similar in appearance.
Though aggressive to other birds, it was very friendly with me, relaxing on my terrace and even posing for photoshoot 🙂

Adult bird- having a drink
On a clothesline on the terrace, after quenching thirst
A couple in the twlight

Landscape- 17

Backwater landscape

The land of Kerala is located between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats. One of the distinctive features of Kerala is its backwaters.
The mesmerising beauty of the backwater landscape must be seen to believe! The palm-fringed network of lagoons, lakes, rivers, and canals that run inland from the coast of Kerala forms the famed backwater landscape of God’s own country.
These pictures give a glimpse of the backwaters of Alapuzha. The lush green landscape, diverse wildlife, and houses and villages that line the backwaters make a journey along these waterways seem like a journey through another world!

Patterns and Shapes in Nature- 12

Star fruit

True to its name, star fruit appears like a star in its cross section. Carambola or star fruits are produced by a medium sized tree, Averrhoa carambola. The tree flourishes in the tropical regions.
The fruit has tart ‘n’ sweet taste and is used in many dishes. Though the fruits have many health benefits, they have mild toxic effects also due to the presence of neurotoxins.
Star fruit is best eaten when it is fully ripe.

Eventide- 27

Sunset in the Village

A few sunset images from my recent trip to my native village…
The countryside is so peaceful during sunset. People relax by the riverside and cattle graze leisurely. The ambience is so unhurried and easy-going that one would wish to spend the whole life there!

The first picture was captured after a brief spell of rain. As the clouds thinned, the evening sky became less colourful, contrary to what we expect. Nonetheless, it was so charming as the sun went down behind the trees. Thoroughly enjoyed the scenes standing on the banks of river Periyar.

Smile of Earth- 26

Water Lilies

Water lilies are freshwater flowering plants. They grow very well in tropical climate and in temperate regions too.
These herbaceous plants are rooted in the muddy bottom of freshwater bodies with floating leaves. Flowers emerge above the water surface. The elegant and starry flowers can instantly enhance the beauty of home gardens!
When we think of water lily, probably we may think of the classic white or pink blooms bursting from a deep green lily pad. But they grow in many colours, including orange, yellow, purple, and blue.
This delicate flower has been associated with several symbolic meanings which include eternity, beauty, purity and divinity. A Native American legend surrounding water lily says that it was once a star that fell in the water from the sky, which then turned into a flower.
Water lilies belong to the family Nymphaeaceae and are closely related to Lotus.