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.
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’.
Two guests from my garden that are not so welcome. They are pests of my plants…
These are pictures of a pest on Brinjal or Eggplant- Coccinellid beetle (Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata). These bugs eat away the green portions resulting in the skeletonizing and drying of the leaves. The bugs are of 5-6 mm in size. They are also named as ’28-spotted potato ladybird’.
Now certain bugs on Curry leaf plants.
These appear to be new entrants as I have never seen them before! These pictures show the larvae and adult of Tortoise Beetle (Silana farinosa) that damage the plants by skeletonizing the leaves. The bug may be 5-6 mm long.
Larvae have a deceptive shape. The globose structure is the poo carried by the larvae, mostly to scare away the enemies!
Katydid or long-horned grasshopper…. The species is green and grows to one and a half to two inches in length. The forewings have “veins” that resemble the veins of leaves, helping to disguise the insect. The filamentous antennae can even exceed their body length.
I found these on my geranium plants and looks like they like to eat geranium leaves.
The first picture is that of a female Katydid with a brown coloured structure, the ‘ovipositor’, clearly visible. This structure helps the female to stick her eggs together in clusters.
The male is shown in the second picture. Poor guy, he has lost one of his hind legs!
Katydids can make shrill sound by rubbing special structures on their forewings together.
This pretty Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) is a regular visitor to my garden.
During breeding seasons a pair of them fly around my terrace garden, unmindful of my presence, drink water and bathe in the shallow pan I have provided for the birds. They take turns and cool off!
Red- whiskered bulbuls are beautiful with brown upper-parts and whitish underparts with buff flanks and a dark spur running onto the breast at shoulder level. It has a tall pointed black crest and red face patch. The tail is long ; the vent area is red.
They feed on fruits and insects.
Their shrill sound reverberates in the morning and evening hours and needless to say, I enjoy it.