The most enchanting and invigorating morning scenes from my beautiful village! What a refreshing misty dawn! The first light had appeared in the sky, before the sunrise. I could witness the transition from night to daytime as the sky got brighter and the morning twilight heralded the beginning of a new day. The sunlight trickled over the lovely, misty village landscape…and the Golden Sun appeared majestically in the horizon! The day dawned softly in the village which was already abuzz with chirping of birds and morning activities of the folks.
Probably you might not have bothered much to appreciate this beautiful bulbous pattern… not that you cannot appreciate beauty, but this beauty makes you shed tears! 🙂 A mundane stuff in our kitchens onion is so versatile, a culinary expert will surely vouch for that. Look at the patterns shown here! So compact and symmetric. As you know, onion is a modified, disc-like underground stem and the pattern is formed by the fleshy scale leaves that store water, food etc for the growing bud at the centre. We will keep the science aside for now and appreciate this beautiful layered pattern created by nature.
I had promised to post the pictures of these beauties when I presented their handsome counterparts. You can have a look HERE to find these handsome males. Females are a staid brown, without the male’s bright eyes and only with hints of iridescence on the plumage. Common in towns and open habitats, we can see these long-legged, ground-foraging birds on sidewalks and city parks. Brewer’s Blackbirds (Euphagus cyanocephalus) cope well with humans and human habitats. These females were strolling on a beach of California. One stopped and posed for a photograph while the other went on to collect stuff for its nest from the shallow and still water.
Once again taking you along to witness a lovely sunset in my hometown. It was a mesmerising phenomenon unfolding in the western sky, with the setting sun painting the sky with a warm orange hue. I watched this over River Periyar, standing on the skywalk across the river. A few shutterbugs were also clicking away the scene while many were just enjoying it. The warmth of the orange glow lingered in the sky much after the orange ball disappeared in the horizon.
Orchids are one of the oldest family of flowering plants. Orchid varieties have been found all over the world. This leads experts to believe that they have been around even before the continents separated! Orchid plants are valued for their exquisitely beautiful flowers. Many of these flowers stay for months and this makes them good cut flowers and much cherished ornamental plants. The flowers are used in the preparation of perfumes and beauty products. Vanilla essence is extracted from a species of orchid, which is of high commercial value. Orchids are considered as a symbol of love. These exotic blooms are also considered unrivalled symbol of luxury. Orchids have the tiniest seeds in the world. A single seedpod can have up to 3 million seeds inside! The seeds are so small they can only be seen under a microscope. My first two pictures show two varieties of Phalaenopsis species. The third picture is that of Crucifix orchid (Epidendrum ibaguense) and the last picture is that of Ground orchid (Spathoglottis plicata).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.