Leaves are the best and often the easiest way to identify a plant. We can see two types of leaves around us; that is, Simple and Compound leaves. No…no!! No botany lesson 😊 Just for info! When the leaf blade is all in one piece, though it may be lobed, toothed etc, it is a simple leaf. Look at these two leaves that are basically simple but highly lobed. These palmately lobed leaves have the lobes spreading radially from a point, like fingers on a hand. Nature is so beautiful, isn’t it? Beyond our words!!
Morning glory is the common name for over 1,000 species of flowering plants in the family Convolvulaceae. To make it clear, these twining herbaceous plants belong to the family of Sweet potato. With slender stems and simple leaves their trumpet-shaped flowers come in colours of pink, purple, blue, magenta, white and streaks of colours. Morning glory flowers start to bloom in the early morning hours and wilt mostly by noon or early afternoon. Because of their fast growth, attractive flowers and tolerance to soil conditions, morning glories make excellent hedge plants covering fences and walls. Seeds of morning glory are used as laxative in traditional Chinese medicine. Seeds of some species of morning glory contain toxic compounds that can induce hallucination, when consumed in large quantities. Leaves, flowers and roots are also found to have many health advantages. In the Language of flowers, morning glory signifies unrequited love and affection.
Well, not sunset actually. These are the dramatic scenes just before the sunset in the city. The pictures were captured on the move. Once the vehicle took a ninety degree turn in the opposite direction, I lost sight of the finale of the drama in the sky! I thought these are still worth sharing. Loved the rich golden hues…hope you will like these 😊
My yellow friends from the garden- lovely yellow butterflies! Let me introduce them in the order of the pictures presented here. Common Emigrant or Lemon Emigrant (Catopsilia pomona) gets the name from their migratory nature. Females of these pretty, medium sized butterflies can be distinguished by their brown blotches and silvery spots on the underside of the lemon-yellow wings. Common Grass Yellow (Eurema hecabe) are small butterflies with freckled brown spots on the underside of their wings. They fly closer to the ground. Small Grass Yellow (Eurema brigitta) resembles the previous species. The distinguishing feature is the dusting of the underside of the wings with scattered black scales and small black spots. Many myths and beliefs surround yellow butterflies. A yellow butterfly represents joy and creativity. A yellow butterfly flying around you brings happiness and prosperity. Seeing one also means that some fun and excitement is on its way. Yellow butterflies represent new life in many cultures. For the Chinese, a yellow butterfly denotes love. It represents the passion inside the hearts of two lovers.
When we think of Kerala, the first image that comes to our mind is the beautiful greenery of the State! This place is located around the west-flowing Chalakudy River of Kerala in the verdant Vazhachal Forest of Western Ghats. It is just 5 km from entrance of Athirappilly Falls. Although this spot is called Vazhachal Falls, it is not a waterfall in the true sense. The falls at Vazhachal are more of a continuous series of massive rapids present throughout the entire stretch of the river at Vazhachal. The river tumbles over huge boulders and rocks down a slope at this spot thus creating a profusion of foam and a waterfall-like impact. The unspoilt forest region provides a tranquil getaway from a busy city life!!
I was mentioning about patterns in nature earlier. Patterns in nature are visible regularities of form found in the natural world. Have you ever thought about why nature likes to arrange itself in patterns? Nothing in nature happens without a reason. All these patterns have an important reason to exist. The pattern arrangements increase efficiency- efficient utilization space available and efficient functioning. They are beautiful to watch also! Check out examples of some of these patterns the next time you go for a walk and you may be able to spot a few. Could you make out the patterns given here?
When we see a flower, what is the first thing we notice? Its size… its shape… its fragrance, or perhaps… its colour! A flower’s colour is one of the many factors that makes nature so beautiful. Here are the pictures of a few pink flowers that I captured at various times. Various folk cultures and traditions had given symbolic meanings to flowers and their colours. According to flower symbolism pink flowers combine innocence, playfulness and sensitivity. For some, pink flowers are the most romantic colour. Pink flowers have been traditionally associated with femininity and hence represent grace and gentility.
We have heard about the ‘afterglow’ very often. The afterglow is an intense red or golden glow of the western atmosphere long after sunset, when most twilight colors might have disappeared. I was curious to know about the glow seen in the eastern sky after sunset and got this information that I am sharing here, along with my photographs. This glow is ‘Alpenglow’! During sunset on clear evenings, the atmosphere around the horizon opposite of the Sun appears as shades of orange and pink. The pink color is due to the sunlight that is shining through denser atmosphere near Earth’s western horizon, and reflecting off the atmosphere on eastern side. This reflection back towards the observer is called backscattering. It creates a pink and orangish stretch near the eastern horizon. The same light is often seen on mountain tops at sunset and hence the term ‘Alpenglow’.
Spotted doves (Spilopelia chinensis) are elegant visitors to my terrace. They are friendly, still very watchful of my movements. They visit in pairs to have a drink or two in the birdbath provided.
It is very comforting to watch these birds. They wait on the trellis in my terrace garden, watch the other birds that make a racket at the birdbath and fly down when the din subsides and other birds fly away. They are well mannered, adding to their elegance. Never rush or chase other birds…but, wait for their turn patiently to quench their thirst! These are pictures captured on my terrace.
Spotted dove is also called the mountain dove, pearl-necked dove and lace-necked dove. These are common residents across the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast Asia. They are very common in urban areas, foraging on the ground for grass seeds, grains, fallen fruits and seeds of other plants.
Yosemite (yo-SE-mea-tea) National Park is best known for its towering granite monoliths, deep valleys, waterfalls and ancient giant sequoias. The day I entered Yosemite it started snowing, that season’s first snowing. Looked like the visit was badly timed… but there was no option. For a person from the opposite part of the world this was an exciting experience! 😊 Couldn’t view the iconic monoliths. Managed a few shots of the landscape covered with the first snow of the season. It looked beautiful!! The first picture was captured just before snowing and then the spectacle unfolded!! The road was intermittently cleared by the agencies concerned.