Sunday, July 8, 2018

Magpie robins

I was recently in Cochin at my daughter's home.  There i happen to spy a pair of magpie robins.  I love the way they look and their sweet whistle like calls.  Somehow here, in spite of all the trees we have around here, I hardly ever get to hear the magpie robin these days probably because their calls are drowned out by the loud raucous calls of the racket-tailed drongos.  I have to admit their calls can be beautiful too.  It is just that they are so loud!  I managed to get pictures of the pair, male and female--

This was the first time I got to see a female so close.  I see she is a dark brown.  I was unable to record their song though.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Backyard Visitor

This little fellow visited my backyard a week back.  Look at him sitting so coolly while my dogs bark, waiting for them to turn their heads so he can swoop down to catch some insects.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A chase

I am sitting outside on my front verandah.  An Indian kestrel lands outside.  I had heard it's screech earlier.  I find a crow is chasing it.  The crow lands near it and the kestrel takes off again and I see now what the crow is after.  The kestrel has a dead mouse in it's claws.  About half an hour later I see the kestrel sitting on a tree and there is nothing with it.  I wonder whether the kestrel managed to hide it's prey or whether the crow stole it.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mother Nature's magic

A leaf insect.  I was fascinated by the fact of the little veins.  It just looked like a leaf with eyes and 2 legs visible.  It was around 2" in length.

Another interesting find

This is a passion fruit flower.  Can you see a white spider on it?  Isn't Nature's camouflage wonderful?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Scented air.

It is once again that time of year, when the night air is perfumed by the scent of the little mahogany flowers.  Heady!

As you can see the flowers are very small.  But there is a carpet of them outside.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Peaceful easy feeling

Yesterday evening, the two of us(hubby & I) decided to go to Kumarakom to one of the clubs.  We reached just after dusk.   As it is the time of the 7 weeks Lent before Easter, which is observed by a large number of people in our town, (no alcohol and no meat or fish), there was nobody at the club and we had it to ourselves.
When we reached there was a cool, brisk breeze blowing, enough to make the water hitting the walls near the water go plop, plop loudly.  The lights across the backwater were just slowly becoming visible.  A lone country boat went silently across, with just a little red light flashing-out to catch our famous fish--karimeen, pearl spot--I'm sure.   We sat at a table near the water.  The waiter there asked if we needed a light at our table and we declined the offer.
The sky and the water got dark.  The moon came out.  There was an owl in the tree over our heads; a large fruit bat flew out from the other tree.  There were fireworks visible from the temples across the water.
The feeling of peace still lingers

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Mango blooms

This year many of the mango trees around here were in bloom.  There is a venerable giant in the grounds of the playschool I work at, and a beautiful spreading mango tree too.  Then the mango trees in the grounds around my house too were in bloom, more than in the last couple of years.

For the last 15 years or so, many of the mango trees in our grounds were covered by a parasitic mistletoe kind of plant.  When branches of the tree, which had got squeezed by the parasite, were cut off, the tree died out after a bit.  Even repeated peeling off of the mistletoe did not seem to help.  The presence of the parasite kept the trees from flowering This year, I do not see the mistletoe on the trees, hence the mango blooms.  Since it has been so long since the mango trees bloomed, I had forgotten the scent.

The scent of the mango flowers is intoxicating;, sweet, slightly spicy, with the sourness of the raw mango.  At first, when I caught the heady scent, I wasn't sure which tree had bloomed.  Then when the hint of sourness came along too, as the flowers matured, I realised it was the scent of mango flowers.  Now, most of them are no longer visible.  Hopefully, there will be mangoes though, later on.