Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I did so want to see the Geminid showers. But alas, it was too cloudy late at night, and too much light pollution earlier in the evening.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The latest evening walk

Weather and surroundings as at 6.30 p.m. today 9th Dec
Air soft as silk, temperature oh so pleasant (for Kerala), a crescent moon smiling in the West in a clear sky; feathery clouds edged in pink darkening slowly, scattered around; alas mosquitoes too, permitting no standing still.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

After what seems like an eon, two consecutive days without rain! I went for a quick walk became it became too dark and spotted a flight of birds off to bed and an owl on the lamp post who Dog & I startled.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A hazy moon through the frangipani tree.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Walk on two evenings

Yesterday's walk... It is dark.  I have to walk with the garden lights on.  There is the drip, drip of rain. Doggy friend runs on ahead, thoroughly enjoying the rain.  I see a moth fluttering in a white lily.  A jagged flash of lightning snaking across the southern sky, makes me think that maybe I should get back inside. The rain increases and I'm driven inside.
This evening, it gets dark as I walk.  The rain was over earlier and everything is wet, wet, wet.  I go out again later in the evening and I can't believe it, there are stars out, so many and a crescent moon smiling down, with a little cloud ring around it. There is a cool breeze.  Beautiful!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The bright blue one is a regular one around here. This photo was taken just after it died and before it was dragged away by ants. Isn't it a brilliant blue? Apparently they are endangered.

This was taken in Chennai.

From Beauty around me

Some more on my favourite time of day

Dusk turning to night.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I go out for a walk.  It is dusk, my favourite time of day.  There is a half-moon slightly westward and Venus over eastwards.  Big puffy clouds, grey with a white head, sail slowly into view.  I breathe in the air and just for a minute my skin dissolves and I am one with the air around, the trees, the ground, the sky...........till my doggy friend reminds me that I am me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It seems to be new baby time all around.  A colleague and I were standing near the door at work (a school surrounded by vegetation of all shapes and sizes) and we saw running across the path,a mongoose.  This is a fairly common sight, but what was interesting was that we saw a tiny little one running with mom, just under her belly! Was sorry I didn't have a camera.

Monday, October 11, 2010

My favourite time of the day.

                                                         [Taken with my LG phone]

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Misty morning

Mist at 7 a.m. unusual for this time of the year.

And later in the morning, a mongoose sunning itself. ( Was in the car, so could only get a phonepic)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beautiful little vignette

I hear a tiny squeek outside my window.  I look out and see a teeny little squirrel run up the coconut tree right outside.  He/she is soon met by Mama squirrel who gives it a little kiss and off the two go. :-)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An evening walk

I walk most evenings with my Lab.  But I love it most when I can get to walk just as dusk is falling (if the weather is fine). 
Early in the evening, just as the sun is setting, a birds fly to their nests.  A few are out trying to catch early evening insects.  But as the light slowly fades, the birds disappear and the bats come out.  These early evening bats are tiny, with wingspans appearing to be not more than a few inches.  With the dusk deepening, come even larger bats, the average size ones. Finally, when all the light has faded out and the sky is darkening, come the huge  fruit bats.  As I watch them wheeling overhead, they remind me of the Batman silhouette :-)  Their appearance heralds the beginning of night.  Soon there are occasional owl hoots to be heard and I head back home.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Post monsoon evening

It' s been a really long time since I have been able to take a walk after dark.  I managed this evening and it is was so beautiful outside that it was a balm.  There was pleasant breeze rustling the leaves and making my skin feel cool, the stars were out and I saw Scorpio and Sagittarius--in fact the sky was full of stars.  There was an occasional fly by of the huge fruit bats and now I can hear a chorus of crickets and frogs.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monsoon weather

I was longing to try see the Perseid showers, but, though the sky was fairly clear on the 11th evening, it was cloudy all of 12th and 13th early morning.
Friday(the 13th), on my evening walk with Elsa, the sky was so beautifully clear, pale blue, with a few, high, stripes of cirrus and a sliver of moon and I thought the monsoon is really almost over.  14th evening it rained.  !5th morning was a lovely morning--breezy, pleasant and sunny.  Went to church and before service was over, it was pouring, said rain not stopping till sometime this afternoon!
The vagaries of end of monsoon weather!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I love how the birds come out within minutes of a lull in the monsoon rains!  It's as though they wait a minute for their feathers to dry just a bit and out they are singing away.  And on a rainy day, they seem to go berserk during the short gaps between the rains, more than on a day it's not raining continuously.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A video

Ok, I managed to convert the bird calls I'd recorded on my phone into mp3 and used Picasa to make a video. The various bird shots are taken either with my small Sony DSC-W110 or my old Motorola phone..

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I have some recordings of evening sounds and bird calls that I would love to share, but don't know how where to upload audio to, so that I could share it with you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Monsoon skies

Noon and a lull in the rains. A sky the colour of washed out light blue denim. High up are scattered thin lines of cirrus clouds, like a child's finger paint smudges; below them are big, white, puffy cumulus clouds, racing across, going eastwards driven by grey, billowing cumulo-nimbus, pushing along, gusting, changing shape constantly.
Will it, won't it, will it, won't it, will it won't it rain?
Should I, shouldn't I, should I, shouldn't I take the clothes in?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Last Sunday

A lazy Sunday afternoon; a lull in the monsoons.  I take a walk outside with the Lab girl without her leash, because nobody is out at 3 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon!  So she runs through tall grass (part jungle now it's the rainy season) and enjoys herself and I, I enjoy the South-westerly winds and listen and watch the bird life.

There are 2 couples having a heated dispute--a racket-tailed drongo couple and a regular drongo pair.  There are a pair of crow pheasants going 'Oop, oop, oop' to each other and when I join in, I can see the initiating pheasant is totally confused and so that shushes me.  There are sundry mynahs flying hither and thither.  I see a woodpecker flying into a tree high over my head--too high to see the colours clearly.  There is a flash of blue when Lab & I move to another area--a kingfisher flying off at the disturbance.  

I feel so grateful at being able to enjoy all this.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Random pictures

Three pictures to be precise :-)

 A bowl of bird;s eye chillies, from a plant growing wild among the trees
  An orange fungus/fungi growing on a cut mahogany log;

A tug toy I made for my 6 month old pup--of half a coconut shell and coconut fibre rope.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Personal Fitness Trainer!

I realize have the best personal trainer! If I sit down, even for a minute, there she is at me, shouting at me to get up and be on my feet. If I do sit down, it must be for some serious stuff--no sitting in front of the comp or sitting down with my mobile phone. As long as I'm walking around,or standing, whether inside the house or outside, she lies peacefully in a corner of wherever I am. She's happiest of course, if I'm in the kitchen.
This morning was the funniest. I decided to tidy up a shelf in my wardrobe. I laid the clothes from that shelf on the bed. Then I sat down to fold them into piles. There she was, my personal trainer, barking her head off. When I finally stood up and started folding the clothes standing, she went off to a corner of the bedroom, where the breeze from the overhead fan would be on her and went peacefully to sleep!!!!
So probably in a year or show, I'll be this really fit 60 yr old, almost fit enough to run probably:-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Early morning.........
Butterscotch body stretches, liquid eyes smile, furry head plops on my lap;---love.
Pale brown ears flapping, cream tail wagging, puppy legs pumping, grinning mouth full of toy, a furry missile swings past---joy :-)

Monday, May 10, 2010

I have an old exercycle, which had been consigned to an outside shed. But recently I decided to pull it out, to make way for something else. So it was just placed in the backyard, till I could think of where to put it.
So now, it sits in a corner of my backyard, a corner where I hope to catch a stray breeze. It is now where I now sit on an evening, cycling desultorily, looking at the trees, looking through the leaves for the stars, inhaling whatever the warm night air brings, sometimes good and sometimes not so good, while my pup, happy to have me outside, lies on a cool bed she's made for herself, in the ground near me.
I enjoy my evening peace and feel virtuous in the bargain!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I exercise outside--late evening, looking up at the stars. I inhale the scent of flowers, over-ripe jackfruit and the fresh scent of a rain washed evening.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Was walking in the front area of our house in the morning with Elsa our lab. The ground was still damp from yesterday's thunderstorm. I had finally got someone to come and take the cut gulmohar tree, but the debris was everywhere. Elsa was rooting around in the debris at one side. As I looked around I noticed, luckily at the side away from the dog, a mongoose crossing. Suddenly it saw me and stopped and then probably got the scent of the dog too. As I watched, she didn't run away immediately, but slowed and looked behind her. I wondered what she was looking at, when I saw this tiny little mongoose pup coming out of the undergrowth. Only after that, did she go into the base of my palms, with her baby. But a little later, I saw her come out and sit up on her haunches, looking almost like a meerkat, like this picture I've linked to and keeping the position for a bit. I promptly called Elsa away and into the house, to leave her in peace.
This is the first time I have seen a mongoose sit up like that and also not just run away immediately on seeing a human. It was a treat.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I cut my gulmohar tree because it had gotten old and besides the constant shedding of the tiny leaves got into the roof tiles, collected water and had damaged the roof more than once. It really was too close to the house. I decided I would remove it and plant a divi-divi instead; leave the base--which I love--and put the divi-divi near it. It was an old tall tree and had very few leaves at the moment--just a few peeping out. I couldn't bear to watch while they cut it though and on Sunday--before they cut the last raised branch, I looked at it standing there forlornly, with it's few leaves--and I cried, almost like for a beloved pet!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bird calls

Here are two videos. The first one is of the magpie robin's cry alone. I hadn't seen one around for a while. But there he was after the first few summer showers. Wanted to show what the magpie robin's call is, because in the second video, he's having a hard time making himself heard over the racket-tailed drongo's loud and varied warbles.

In the second video, you can also hear the cawing of a crow and unfortunately the sound of a vehicle horn (very common in India alas).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Summer showers

It was unusually hot in our part of the world through March and exceptionally dry--no rain through Feb & March.  The lack of showers and the heat had most of the birds in hiding during a large part of the day and got the many of the creatures desperate for water and some cool shade. 
My maid saw a toddy cat moving away from the house at midday, probably because the top of the house--under the roof tiles, where it lives normally--had got too hot. I saw monitor lizards running around madly at noon looking for a bit of cool shade and a small mongoose actually venture into our backyard post our lunch, when everything was quiet, for a drink of water from under the outside water tap, although it could probably scent my Lab pup somewhere in the vicinity.  Luckily she was asleep in the shade inside and so the mongoose had it's sip of water in peace.  The undergrowth, which is usually green, at least in the shade, throughout the year, was just brown & more brown.So these poor ground creatures were having a hard time.
Then came the welcome rains--evening showers and what a difference!  The day after the first shower, I saw a woodpecker and a magpie robin singing away and as my maid says, all the plant world was smiling:-)
Now, after regular thundershowers most afternoons, all the lilies are in bloom and the undergrowth has suddenly turned green.  I even saw a kingfisher, sitting high on a tree, enjoying the cool, damp air.
I'll post a video later of a duet between the magpie robin and a racket-tail drongo.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth hour

I was alone at home and so I turned off all the lights and sat outside in the moonlight with my pup, making phone calls on my mobile phone and then playing my guitar. I think pup dear liked the music, cos she just lay behind my stool very quietly and that is unusual for her. But ours was a lone household, cos the flats on the left and right off me all had their lights blazing.
But then just a minute or two after 9.30 there was a power outage and so my Earth hour went on for 90 minutes! The funny thing is that when I turned off lights out of choice, I didn't mind, but having it forced on me was not nice.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A video of new pup

A video of Elsa, jumping in the leaves, which had been swept down from our roof.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Lab pup

I am now again mum to a dog. She is a yellow Lab and is just about 7 weeks old. She's intelligent and seems to be learning fast. She's called Elsa--a name chosen by my grandson after watching 'Born Free' [:-)] and is Elsa the lioness' colour.
Her toys here--coconut husks, which are in plenty; the fruit covering of the mahogany--a really hard woody little sliver, which shows no dent from her teeth; a piece of an old towel; a discarded pressure cooker gasket; a withered branch off of the cinnamon tree and.......a ball! Promise to take some photographs to put up here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Annular eclipse

There was an annular solar eclipse on Friday, which I'm sure you have all read about. They say that another such eclipse will only come again a 1000 years from now!. Though cloudy weather had been predicted, the sky was beautifully clear.
I'm sure there are any number of pictures up on the Internet taken at that time. I'm shamelessly adding to that clutter.
The crescent sun cast such beautiful patterns through the leaves..........

From Beauty around me

From Beauty around me

This last is the new addition to our house--35 days old--lying in the beautiful light patterns!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I have been trying to get a picture of the common Indian monitor lizard for quite a while. I finally managed to get a snap and a video of it creeping into it's lair.