Sunday, August 5, 2012

Feast in the orchard.

The big jackfruit hangs high up on the tree, slowly ripening.  The spiky skin starts getting just a bit soft and the aroma of the ripening fruit slowly spreads heralding a bird feast.
There is a flash of bright yellow.  It's a black-headed oriole waiting for some other bird to peck open the jackfruit.  After all, pecking open a jackfruit is no easy business, what with it's spiny, thick outer skin and the gummy sap.  There is yet another flash of yellow and one more oriole joins the waiting one.  Then come the tree pies, chirping loudly.  The tree pies manage to pierce the skin and get to taste a bit of the sweetness.  Then come a pair of mynahs.  Their beaks are sharper and they make a slightly bigger inroad into the fruit.  A bunch of laughing thrushes come next, --the raucous party types.  After a while one thrush is seen wiping it's beak vigorously on the thick skin, to get rid of the chewing gummy sap.  A squirrel comes along, but finds the hole in the skin too small. His moustache would probably get stuck with all the gum!  A woodpecker is the next visitor.  He of course has the hardware to make serious inroads into the fruit.  But he chooses to work on another part of the fruit.  In the wings wait a couple of crows, the tree pies and a thrush or two.
Unfortunately for them all,  their party got pooped by a human with a long pole with a knife attached, who proceeded to cut down the jackfruit and carried off to be eaten by humans!!!  Ah well, another jackfruit would ripen soon and hopefully no human would notice.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A monsoon evening; a lull in the rains.  In a patch of sky, between trees, two tiny insect bats freewheel quickly and intensely.  Then a flash of blue, a kingfisher hovers in the air and a little way in front a rather biggish insect.   Once, twice, a dart and hover.  Third time lucky and off he flies with his catch.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I have been in the USA for the last four weeks and am now home.  Since I was there almost exactly at the same time last year, I didn't expect to see anything different.  But I did.  There were no new flowers that I saw, especially, as I was told, it had been an unusually warm March.  What I did see were a skunk scurrying across my son's yard.  I know it is a nuisance to my son, who is an avid gardener, but the skunk really is a beautiful animal with those colours.  Then there were baby rabbits, as bold as brass, out eating the grass in the backyard, not at all scared of my little granddaughter, till she tried catching it.  I saw, at the lake nearby, gaggles of wild geese, many with little ones, as well as a duck family--father, mother and little ones--sail past too.  I saw a family of geese with the tiniest little ones, cross the road carefully, while we parked our cars and waited.  Then of course there were squirrels playing tag and the birds--chickadees, robins, magpies, a woodpecker, red-winged magpies and a cardinal or two.  As usual I did not have  my camera during these encounters!  Thoroughly enjoyable wild life encounters all.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

April has been very hot and quite dry this year, with the usual April showers few and far between except for this last week.  So, I have been keeping my bird bath/watering hole filled and there have been birdy visitors as well as squirrels coming to drink from it.  But I didn't get to see many of the visitors because it was so hot out, apart from the fact that my young grandson was here and his noise would have scared the birds away.
Then on a recent afternoon mid-April, while we were having lunch, there was so much noise at the waterhole, I crept outside to take a look at what was going on.  I saw around 5 different types of birds, the first time i had seen so many of them venture so close to the house.  The bird bath, though in a sort of bower, is near a private road, where people and the occasional car pass.  So the birds must have been really hot and thirsty to venture so close.  I tred to take a picture, but couldn't get a clear pic as I was too far away.
Anyway, from the next week, the summer showers started in earnest and so the bird gatherings have stopped.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Magpie robin.

A magpie robin has been hanging out near the front of our house after a really long time.  He's there most afternoons and leaves only after a drink of water from the birdbath.  I couldn't get him in this frame.  But you can hear his happy chirping.  A picture of him is below.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It is a pleasant evening.  The scent of jasmine wafts in through the open window, beautiful but heady.  I am reminded of my mother.  The 3 pots of jasmine plants that I have were hers and this year they are blooming more than usual.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's that time of the year again when the mahogany blooms.  The air is scented but has not yet become heavy with the scent.  When all is quiet, one hears the gentle plop, plop of the flowers falling, like a light drizzle.  Soon the ground will be a scented carpet of little green stars that crunch underfoot, slowly turning yellow and then brown.

Friday, February 10, 2012

This morning, I stood at my sink looking out.  I see a cat lying outside.  The way it lay, it didn't look good and I thought, ' Oh the dogs, look what they did!'  although there was no sign of blood anywhere.  I watched it for a while and then went off to make myself a cup of coffee.
Later, when putting the empty cup in the sink, I looked out and the cat was still there in the exact same position. After a bit, I went outside to take a look at it and then get it buried soon.  I walked towards the still cat and felt sorry as he/she had been living on my rooftop for quite a while.  When I got within touching distance, suddenly up comes the head and two yellow eyes survey me.  But as it didn't seem to be making any move to get up, I thought maybe he/she was injured.  I figured to take a closer look, but before that, shouted to my maid that the cat was alive, but maybe just.  The next minute the cat was up and away in a bound!
I've been smiling the rest of the morning, at how completely I got fooled :-)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Just sharing a few sunset pictures from a recent trip to Kovalam.

The last is a close up shot of the one above.