Caladiums are known for their big, heart-shaped leaves. They display beautiful colour combinations of white, pink, red and green. These are plants that thrive in hot and humid weather of the tropics. Caladiums usually grow best in partial shade. Their beautiful foliage compensates for the lack of any colourful flowers. The species belongs to Taro (Colocasia) family and has a large variety of cultivated plants. The pictures show a tender leaf, older leaf and a leaf about to wilt in that sequence.
The name Athirappally immediately brings the vision of the mighty falls of Kerala to the mind. It is formed by the Chalakudy River that originates in Anamalai ranges of Western Ghats. The beautiful river plunges here as Athirappally Falls. Nature is at its best here! The waterfalls is a favourite destination and it continues to attract many tourists year-round. The place is famous as cine location also. These scenes were captured during the lean season of the falls. When Chalakudy River swells during the monsoon season, Athirappally falls is a sight to behold!!
The glorious hour before the sunset, when the entire skyline seems to glow is Golden hour. I was lucky to witness this awesome phenomenon at the Golden Gate, San Francisco, when the burning golden ball of sun was dipping in the Pacific Ocean. The evening was clear without fog, giving a fascinating view of sunset. The sun lingered on the horizon for a minute or so….and then dripped over and was gone….!
Zinnia is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the aster family (Asteraceae). There are 20 species and more than 100 cultivated varieties of Zinnia. Zinnias are annual plants that can bring an explosion of colours in a garden. They come in eye-catching hues. Flowers are solitary. They can be singles with petals arranged in a single row or semi-doubles or doubles with layers of petals. These plants require only basic requirements like well-drained soil and sunlight to grow. Zinnia is named after Johann Gottfried Zinn, famous German botanist who described this plant. Zinnia symbolizes friendship in the language of flowers. Did you know? Zinnia is one of the flowers grown in space. In January 2016, NASA released images of a Zinnia flower blooming aboard the International Space Station.
First, some leaf architectural terms to describe this shape 🙂 This is a simple lobed leaf. Lobed leaves are those that have distinct projections of veins from the midrib. In palmately lobed leaves major primary veins that originate at or near the base of the leaf enter the lobes. The leaf margin is continuous and leaf is not divided into leaflets. These leaves have the lobes spreading radially like fingers on a hand.
Indian palm squirrel (Funambulus palmarum) is known for the distinctive three stripes across its back, much similar to that in Chipmunks, a smaller variety of squirrels seen in N. America. There is a legend related to the stripes seen on this squirrel. Though it is a well-known legend in India, here it is in brief. According to this Mythological legend, the squirrel helped Lord Rama to collect sand and build bridge to reach Lanka, the Kingdom of Ravana, where Sita was in captivity. Lord Rama stroked squirrel’s back to show his appreciation and three stripes, marks of his fingers, appeared on its back. I have two more posts on Indian palm squirrel. Please check out here- Post1Post2. This adorable critter decided to have lunch on my backyard wall. Looked like the rice I had placed was tasty. Observe the expressions!
A small, landlocked country nestled deep in the Himalayas between India and China, Bhutan is characterized by steep mountains and deep valleys.
The pristine nature is so mesmerizing and awe-inspiring. Bhutan is a country for nature lovers… not forgetting the traditional art and architecture!
Druk Yul — the local name for Bhutan — means “Land of the Thunder Dragon”. Haa Valley is one of the most beautiful, and isolated areas in the kingdom, adorned with pristine alpine forests and tranquil mountain peaks. Three views of Haa valley are presented here.
Solanaceae, also known as the potato family or nightshade family, is one of the most utilized and important plant families. The members of the family are found throughout the world but are abundant in the tropical regions. It includes some of the most important food plants. Solanaceae has many ornamental plants also. Here, I am presenting flowers of food crops or vegetables of the family. The common vegetables of the family are potato (Solanum tuberosum), eggplant or brinjal (Solanum melongena), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and chili peppers (Capsicumspecies).
Potatoes are carbohydrate-rich food and are important in the diet of many people around the world. Tomato is prized for its red, fleshy, vitamin-rich fruits. Less commonly eaten is the eggplant and it’s large, purplish, edible fruits are used in Indian dishes. The numerous varieties of chili are used to give a hot, spicy flavor to many foods. All photographs are from my garden.
Wallpaper or wall hanging, palm leaves provide us with natural designs. These pictures give a close look on the leaf of a Table palm (Livistona rotundifolia). I am sure this will make you observe a palm frond more closely! 😊
I have two butterflies here. They look similar due to the wing designs, but are different. Maybe, we can say they are related as both belong to the same family, Nymphalidae. The one with white markings on brown is Common sailor butterfly (Neptis hylas). This is a common species seen in Indian subcontinent. Here you can see the butterfly feeding on sandalwood flowers, on a tree behind my house.
Butterfly with orange markings is Common lascar butterfly (Pantoporia hordonia). It’s distribution in India is from the Himalayas to the Western Ghats. The adults would typically open their wings fully when perching. This is captured from my backyard.