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Dragonflies

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Common picture wing – Rhyothemis variegata

This is my third post of Dragonflies. I have two types of dragonflies here,  from my garden!
Friends? Oh yes…they are predators of other flies that are pests.

The common picture wing (Rhyothemis variegata) or variegated flutterer, is a species of dragonfly with colorful wings tinted with pale yellow. There are a few black spots and patches, which are more pronounced in females than in males. These are called as “Onathumpi”, in my native language.

Orange-winged dropwing, alias Scarlet rock glider (Trithemis kirbyi) is a scarlet dragonfly with a broad reddish amber patch on the base of transparent wings. The females differ being duller.

Most probably these dragonflies are visitors to my garden, knowing their natural habitats which are wetlands.

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Onathumpi – Common Picture wing
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Scarlet Rock Glider – Trithemis kirbyi
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Scarlet Rock Glider – Another angle
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Bagworm

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What’s that…feathers sticking to a flower?!!
Do not get fooled, that is a bug from my garden…the bagworm.

Bagworms are a type of small moths belonging to Psychidae. Larvae form characteristic silken cases covered with bits of leaves, twigs, and other debris.
Here she is more concerned about the beauty of her case, hence decoration with soft feathers! 🙂

These moths pupate in the larval case after it is attached to a substratum. In most species, the female does not leave the case, as it lacks wings and has only rudimentary parts. The male bagworm emerges as a freely flying moth.

The adult’s life span is too short. Males live for only 2-3 days. Females lay eggs in the larval case itself and die. Once the eggs hatch, larvae crawl out to form their own cases.

I am not sure about the identity of this bagworm.

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The bug comes out of the case
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Crawling over 
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It took 3-4 hrs for the bug to crawl around the flower!

Smile of Earth- 7

Ginger family flowers

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White Ginger Lily- Hedychium coronarium (Saugandhikapoo)

Ginger family (Zingiberaceae) is a family of flowering plants with aromatic perennial herbs.

Flowers may be showy or inconspicuous, as seen in these pictures. When inconspicuous, they are seen in showy cymose inflorescences, formed by conspicuous, spirally arranged bracts (leaflike structures). These flower clusters are cone-like in appearance. The Zingiberaceae flowers resemble orchid flowers.

Many species are economically important as ornamental plants, spices, or are used in traditional medicine. A few examples of this family are Ginger, Turmeric, Cardamom, Arrowroot etc.

The Insulin plant is a relative of this family.

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Wild ginger- Zingiber zerumbet  (Mala inji)
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Insulin plant- Costus igneus
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Red ginger- Alpinia purpurata

Smile of Earth- 6

Spadix Inflorescence 

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Anthurium 

A Spadix is a type of inflorescence found in the Araceae family.

It consists of a spathe, which is simply a large leaf-like bract, colourful or showy, to attract pollinators. Spadix is the cylindrical inflorescence, basically a spike, with small flowers on a thickened, fleshy axis and it is protected by the spathe in bud stage.

Many Aroids are ornamental plants due to the Spadix and Spathe.

The sap of Aroids contains needle-like calcium oxalate crystals, which can be mildly toxic and can irritate hands and sensitive tissues. However, not all aroids are toxic and used as vegetable, including their leaves.

Some members of this family reproduce by seeds, whereas many have vegetative propagation.

The inflorescence of species such as Titan arum gives off a very pungent smell, often resembling rotten flesh.

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Peace Lily
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Wild Taro
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Calla Lilly

Eventide- 13

Sri Lankan sunset

These fiery sunset moments were captured from the backyard beach of Hotel Palm Village in Colombo.

The scene was an enticing one with rich golden tones, a serene beach and soothing breeze.

The place reminded of any beach of Kerala!

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Rose-ringed parakeet

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Rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri) are regular visitors to my garden. They land on my Caesalpinia plant (Peacock flower plant) in small groups or in pairs to feast on the seeds. They are definitely a noisy lot!

We can easily identify the male and female birds. Males have a black-red neck band and females don’t. They have long tail feathers and very pleasing green plumage. In fact, it has given rise to the phrase ‘parrot-green’ to refer to that particular shade of green.

Rose-ringed parakeets are least threatened and have adapted well to changing habitats. I believe they can be trained to talk when caged and kept as a pet!

Here is a pair of lovely rose-ringed parakeets captured in my garden; the pictures were captured in a continuous series.

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Love you…
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Seal With A Kiss… 😊

Smile of Earth- 5

Heliconia

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Parakeet flower- Heliconia psittacorum

Heliconia, derived from the Greek word Helikṓnios, is a genus of flowering plants that are native to the tropical forests. All have bold leaves and showy flowers. Several species are widely cultivated as ornamentals and are known by common names like lobster-claws, wild plantains or parrot flowers.

Large, brightly hued bracts that cluster up a stem have inconsequential tiny flowers in their axils. Flower bracts are arranged in terminal racemes, which may be held erect or pendulant.

The plants grow and propagate from underground rhizomes, which can be broken apart and used to start a new plant.
The heliconia family, Heliconiaceae, is most closely related to the gingers and bananas.

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Heliconia bihai ‘Claw I’
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Pendant heliconia- Heliconia rostrata 
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Pendant heliconia- Habit

Smile of Earth- 4

Grass inflorescence

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Lemon grass- Cymbopogon citratus

It may not seem like grasses are flowering plants to a layman as the grass flowers don’t look quite like the showy colorful parts most people recognize as flowers. Grasses are definitely flowering plants.

The flowers or inflorescence is called a “spike” or sometimes a “panicle.” Though individual flowers are not attractive, the inflorescence is very much noticeable and some of the ornamental grasses have pretty spikes.

Grasses belong to a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as Poaceae or Gramineae. This includes the cereal grasses, bamboos and the grasses of natural grassland and cultivated lawns and pastures.

Some grass flowers are presented in this post.

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Fountain grass – Pennisetum setaceum
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Indian lovegrass- Eragrostis pilosa
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Umbrella grass- Cyperus alternifolius

 

Eventide- 12

Sunset from hilltop

Sundown as viewed from Diablo Mountain (California) viewpoint was enchanting.

Though the evening was a bit hazy with mist, I could get lovely view of the magnificent moment!!

These pictures were captured with P & S cam sometime back.

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Flies…flies…!

Flies are insects with a single pair of wings.                                                                      Anybody with a lush garden and keen observation can spot these flies around your garden, as I could!

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Crane fly- Pselliophora laeta

Crane fly mimics a paper wasp but it is harmless. This type of crane flies are generally seen in Asian countries. The larvae feed on decaying matter.

Robber fly or Assassin fly is a predator, feeding on other small insects and pests in the garden.

Long-legged flies are very small flies with large, prominent eyes and a metallic cast to their appearance. Adults are predators, feeding on aphids, larvae of mosquitos etc.

Black soldier flies are of great economic importance as the larvae decompose organic matter to form manure. They are very common in gardens.

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Robber fly- Philodicus sp
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Asian long-legged fly- Condylostylus spp
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Black Soldier fly-  Hermetia illucens