Friends in my garden- 71

Two lovely butterflies

Little orange tip

See these beautiful friends in my garden.
Colotis etrida, the Little orange tip, is a species of butterfly native to Indian subcontinent. From the pattern of the patches on the upper part of the wings, I presume the first picture shows a female butterfly. She is a real beauty, isn’t it?
The second picture is taken against the backlight.
The Lime blue butterfly, Chilades lajus, is a small butterfly found in India and Southeast Asia.
It is fairly common and can be seen both in forested areas as well as in gardens near human habitation.
The males have a more bluish colour on the upper side of the wings, as seen here. Females have more brownish wings. Both males and females have similar colour and patterns on the ventral side.

Against backlight
Lime blue butterfly
Lime blue-Ventral side

Landscape- 19

Sausalito Seascape

Sausalito is a beautiful city located to the north of San Francisco and connected to the mainland through Golden Gate bridge. Sausalito encompasses both steep, wooded hillside and rugged shorelines and has a long history associated with the place.
Visited a historic lighthouse, the Point Bonita Lighthouse, which is located at Point Bonita at the San Francisco Bay entrance near Sausalito. On reaching the parking place, one has to walk quite a distance along the wild and rugged coastline to reach the lighthouse.
These seascape pictures were captured during the exciting trek to the lighthouse.

View of Golden Gate Bridge from the trail
The lighthouse and suspension bridge
Natural arch in close-up

Patterns and Shapes in Nature- 14

Prickly beauty

This is a prickly beauty…look at the pattern formed by the spines!
Barrel cacti (Echinocactus) are cute, round specimens with different-coloured spines; this golden barrel cactus shows bright yellow spines.
Cacti are succulents with woody or herbaceous stems that contain chlorophyll. The fleshy stems store water and perform photosynthesis to feed the plant. Unlike other succulents, cactus plants have cushion-like areoles on the surface of the stems, carrying stiff hairs or thorns.
Most cacti have spines. Cactus spines are actually modified leaves that protect the cactus plants from munching by wildlife and also help to prevent water loss. Many of the cacti are grown as ornamental plants.

Feathered Friends from Far and Near- 3

Brewer’s Blackbird

This is Brewer’s blackbird, male species.
The Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) is sexually dimorphic; that is, distinct differences in appearance is shown by male and female of the species. The sexual dimorphism of the species is quite visible, in both plumage and eye colour, though they have similar body shape. Males are all black with a purplish sheen on the head and greenish sheen on the wings and upperparts. They have pale yellow eyes.
I will present the female bird in a later post.
These blackbirds inhabit fields and areas near human habitation. Many can be seen feeding on insects, grains or on food crumbs near parks and eateries.
These birds were photographed in California.

Eventide- 29

Golden Evening

Antioch is located on the banks of the San Joaquin River in Northern California. Visited this delta town of the river on July 4th to witness the celebratory fireworks of the Independence Day.
The timing was scheduled in such a way that I could catch the beautiful sunset scenes. Here I am sharing a few of those scenes in sequence…the golden evening at Antioch. Hope you all will enjoy these scenes.

Smile of Earth- 28

Trumpet flowers

Golden trumpet flower (Allamanda cathartica)

Flowers with a trumpet-shaped corolla (fused petals) are named trumpet flowers. There are many flowers that show this feature, but some of them are thus named and we will look at four of these.
Golden trumpet (Allamanda cathartica) is commonly seen as a landscape ornamental in tropical regions. These plants have beautiful, large, deep golden yellow flowers that are mildly fragrant.
Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia suaveolens) produces pendulous bunches of flowers that are short-lived, yet so beautiful. They are seen in shades of pink, yellow and white.
The Trumpet vine plant (Campsis radicans) is a bushy creeper notable for its showy trumpet-shaped flowers. They bloom all summer long and hummingbirds are frequent visitors of these showy bunches of flowers.
Blue trumpet vine (Thunbergia grandiflora), a climber, requires support such as trellises and makes a decorative cover for fences and walls. The trumpet-shaped flowers are borne on long, pendent branches.

Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia suaveolens)

Trumpet vine plant (Campsis radicans)

Blue trumpet vine (Thunbergia grandiflora)

Friends in my garden- 70

Adorable Squirrel

On my terrace

The Indian palm squirrel (Funambulus palmarum) is native to the warm, humid areas of the southern Indian subcontinent. The species is known for the distinctive three stripes across its back and is also called the Three-striped palm squirrel.
Highly adapted to urban life, these adorable critters are always seen around my house. They even venture to build their nests in the corners of the windows, gnawing at the wooden frame, much to our chagrin.
Indian palm squirrels prefer to feed on nuts and fruits. They are also believed to eat certain insects and caterpillars etc, making them omnivorous.
These critters are always busy, vocal and unlike other squirrels they do not hibernate.
I have captured different actions of their busy schedule 🙂

Enjoying the seeds of tamarind

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.