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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

Smile of Earth-3

Sage or Salvia

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Coral nymph- Salvia coccinea

Sage (genus Salvia) has about 900 species of herbaceous and woody plants that belong to the mint family. They are generally perennial and aromatic. The name Salvia (“salviya”) derives from the Latin ‘Salvere’  meaning “to feel well and healthy”, referring to the herb’s healing properties.

Some  are important as sources of flavouring and many are grown as garden ornamentals. The flowers are usually tubular with two lips and only two stamens and are borne in terminal inflorescences. They generally produce a showy display with flower colours ranging from blue to red, with white and a variety of shades of these colours.

S. divinorum is a hallucinogenic plant native to Mexico.

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Salvia greggii ‘Blue Note’ Sage
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Salvia Greggii ‘Furman’S Red’ 
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Hot lip sage- Salvia microphylla

Eventide- 11

Sunset in a Countryside

The setting sun was captured while visiting Balmuri falls in Srirangapatna.

The first two shots were captured on the move through the nearby village. Last two pictures were captured at the falls.

I loved the sunset scenes over fields that were barren after the harvest!

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Lynx Spiders

Let us meet friends from my garden once again. This time I will introduce Lynx spiders.

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White lynx spider- Oxyopes shweta

Most species of lynx spiders do not use webs and they spend time hiding under leaves and waiting to ambush the prey. Most of them have large spiny bristles on their legs that may assist in confining the prey in their grasp.

Lynx spiders are very agile and have a small body of barely 1cm, with long legs. They have very good eyesight with 8 eyes! Generally they run away from predators. Though they rarely bite human beings, a bite can cause swellings on the body part.

All pictures are clicked in my garden.

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Green lynx spider- Peucetia viridan
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Orange-backed lynx spider (With prey)- Oxyopes kohaensis sp. nov.  
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Orange lynx spider- Oxyopes sunandae

 

Smile of Earth- 2

Geranium

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You may be surprised to learn that there are more than two hundred species of geraniums that range in size, shape and colour. The common geranium comes in shades of white, red and pink with many striking bi-colours, too! Its a gardener’s delight!

The genus name is derived from the Greek word géranos meaning ‘crane’. Its common English name ‘cranesbill’ comes from the shape of the fruit capsule.

Geranium, as a housewarming gift, represents friendship or wishes for good health. Americans view the geranium flower as a symbol of happiness and positive emotions. They are often presented at special occasions such as promotions and retirements.

Geranium oil is commonly used in aromatherapy for its many health benefits. Geranium tea is a soothing aromatic drink.

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Smile of Earth- 1

Dahlia

Starting a new series of blogposts…yes of course, with stress on photographs. This time it is about the “Smile of Earth“; the Flowers!!

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First of the series is Dahlia. It is a perennial plant from Compositae or Asteraceae family. With beautiful showy flowers, Dahlia is the attraction of many gardens.

Propagation in dahlia is through tubers. The basic species is Dahlia pinnata, though many hybrid varieties are available now.

Dahlia was declared the national flower of Mexico in 1963.

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Shield bugs

This post presents shield bugs from my garden. They may be friends or foes… cannot tell easily as I couldn’t see any visible damage in my garden by these insects.

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Brown marmorated stink bug-
Halyomorpha halys

Shield bugs are also called stink bugs as they release a pungent substance from special glands on their thorax, when threatened, repelling nearly any predator that has a sense of smell.

Though we refer all insects as bugs, the term ‘bug‘ actually refers to members of a specific group of insects – Hemiptera- to which shield bugs belong and so they are “True bugs”.

I couldn’t get the scientific name of the black stink bug.

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Black shield bug
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Red Cotton Bug-  Dysdercus cingulatus
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Green Stink Bug – Plautia affinis

Eventide- 10

Sundown at Point Reyes

These shots were taken at the Point Reyes National Park, California. Very cool evening breeze making it so very enjoyable .

A clear sky made it possible to capture the dipping orange ball, till it disappeared into the vast expanse of the ocean, leaving an etherial afterglow!

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Common Myna

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Common myna

Groups or pairs of Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) regularly visit my garden or backyard; they can be seen foraging on the road in front and the nearby properties.

This particular one was of interest as it frequented the backyard and moved in circles. A close encounter showed the reason for this circular motion… it was blind in one eye! May be a fight between the members in a group or a disease.

I noticed the disability as it flew down from the palm tree where it was perching.

I have seen it always alone and its absence is noticed since a month.

Common myna is considered a flourishing species. The prefix ‘common’ distinguishes it from ‘Jungle myna’.

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With the damaged right eye

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