Blog

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 on 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

K1

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.

K2

K3

K4

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).

DSC00834

DSC00841

DSC00842

 

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

IMG_8728

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.

IMG_8718

IMG_8719

IMG_8730

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.

IMG_4556

IMG_4554

IMG_4559

IMG_4560

Friends in my garden- 57

Black Kite

BK1

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.

 

BK2

BK3

BK4

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.

Santa cruz1

santa cruz2

santa cruz3

 

Landscape- 3

A Glimpse of Sri Lanka

Nuwara Eliya is the tea-producing highlands of Sri Lanka.
The British officials of the erstwhile Ceylon settled in this picturesque land and developed townships as the climate suited them with cold and misty temperate ambience.

The landscape is so beautiful with lush green tea gardens, many waterfalls and thick forests.

Nuwara Eliya means “City on the plain (table land)” or “City of light”.

Tea gardens
Tea gardens

Puna Ella falls
Puna Ella Falls

Ramboda falls
Ramboda Falls

Smile of Earth- 14

Some Exotic Flowers

IMG_3450
Aloe flowers

Anyone would love these exotic flowers!!

Aloe flowers vary in size, shape and color. They are held in a racemose inflorescence. The common species is Aloe vera and its flowers show  variations depending on the climatic conditions where it grows.

The Portuguese squill (Scilla peruviana) is a perennial that produces large striking blue conical-shaped inflorescence. The star-shaped flowers last for several weeks. These plants propagate from bulbs.

Ornamental garlic plants can be grown to get pretty blooms in globose inflorescence. Garlic flowers have a green stem that bear lime green, pink, or white spherical capsule of miniature flowers. No marks for guessing their smell!! 🙂

And now, the Crucifix orchids (Epidendrum radicans). These have thick leaves and long, thin stems with long lasting clusters of flowers. The common name refers to the modified petal that resembles a small cross.

IMG_4261
Portuguese squill

IMG_4592
Garlic flowers

IMG_5551
Crucifix orchid