Archive for September, 2007

Birding at Nandi Hills

September 30, 2007

Mahesh Devarajan, his wife Priya, amoghavarsha,amonks, KM and I left as early as we could and drove down to Nandi Hills, intending to get back before noon.

One of the main reasons for our returning much later was this beautiful BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE that kept flying from one telegraph pole to the next, tempting us on to take more photographs…

the ruffled look 300907

details of the trip and more pics, click here

A few minutes of birding…

September 29, 2007

I got a call from Mahesh Devarajan asking if I would be interested in going to the Bannerghatta forest area for a little birding. Of course I jumped at the chance, and when he came over for lunch, I was able to winkle KM too out from behind his desk and we drove to where Geetanjali Dhar and her husband Subir, and their delightful two-year old, Avantika, were waiting to put us on the right road.

So of course as we drove into the forest area, it started pouring and pouring and pouring and pouring…and even more naturally, it only stopped when it was almost dusk!

So a couple of LITTLE GREEN BEE-EATERS, SPOTTED DOVES, a YELL0W-BILLED BABBLER, a couple of female INDIAN ROBINS, and PIED BUSHCHATS were all we could see, and NOT photograph; in the gathering dusk, Mahesh finally managed to get one fairly grainy shot of the LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (anyone know why they are called “fiscal” shrikes in Africa?):

long-tailed shrike bg forest area 290907

And as the gloom deepened…we saw the utterly handsome, Bollywood-hero-style spectacle-sporting BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE on a tree…

black shouldered kite bannerghatta forest area 290907

The first was with the S3; the second with the Canon 20D with the 300 mm prime lens…but when the light is really too low, there is little one can do…or at least, that’s what I tell myself to explain the lousy pictures!

We returned home with the rain following us, and found that the ODI match had also been washed out, along with India’s chances of winning…!

Pots

September 29, 2007

I snapped these earthen pots waiting to be sold in the Indira Nagar area…the pots keep the water cool because the surface is moist and the evaporation brings down the temperature. A mud pot with a mud lid, with perhaps a ladle to dip into the water, and a glass nearby, is a welcome sight on a hot day!

pots in indira nagar 290907

And pots similar to these are also a still-often used percussion instrument in Carnatic music; traditionally, players would play the “ghatam” as it is called, bare-chested, modulating the sound the ghatam makes by adjusting its mouth against their abdomens. The highlight of a “thani Avarthanam” (percussion interlude) would be the ghatam artiste throwing up the ghatam and catching it…”ghati” is the Sankskrit word for “mud pot”. Alangudi Ramachandran and Vikku Vinayakaraman are well-known exponents of the ghatam.

Flowers and a Web…

September 29, 2007

Found this in the evening sunshine:

floral website basavanagudi 280907

Couldn’t get the spider, though…perhaps it had gone to visit the World Wide Web!

Friends….

September 28, 2007

A dear friend who read my recent post called me just to enquire why I was feeling low, and insisted I come over and spend the evening there…felt so touched and happy…I *am* incredibly lucky with my friends!

You know who you are…when you read this…thank you!

Horn Please…

September 28, 2007

I must explain this phrase for my non-Indian friends. Most trucks and several small vans carry that message on their rear bumpers (fenders)…it means, “please sound your horn and overtake me” (or more truly, “keep honking on your horn and I will block your way as much as I can”.)

But never have I heard of a packing and moving company named that…

horn please packers and movers blr 130907

The other legend that I often read on the back of vans and trucks is, “Wait for Side” (THAT means, “wait until I move over to the side of the road and then overtake me” or more truly, “keep on waiting, who do you think is going to move over for you to be able to overtake?”)

So I am now hoping to see the Wait For Side Movers and Packers advertising themselves.

Memo to me….

September 28, 2007

Note: must ALWAYS ensure that I have a nice looong time when I go to my friends’ LJ’s; never to go visiting when I am rushing out for something else; there will be interesting anecdotes, intriguing accounts, arresting photographs, amazing insights,without fail, and I have to tear myself away…

I took more than 20 minutes just savouring yathin‘s photos today…Yathin, it’s all your fault that my schedule got completely whacked out of tune and time!

Meanwhile, “chumma” (which means, “just like that, for no reason at all” in Tamizh) here are two pictures, one of a roadside wildflower:

un id wildflower on blr roadside 250907

And a common garden flower, don’t ask me its name, in fact, TELL me if you know…

panneer malli...what is the name in English?

In fact, if someone knows the name of that lovely flower that I found growing out of a crack in the pavement, let me know that, too….

Update: my preceptor, Karthik, says it is Caesalpinia pulcherima. So that’s that!

The two are different..

September 27, 2007

Age is one thing, maturity quite another.

When will I get the maturity to accept the things that have bothered me….friendships that are over, lack of understanding from even close ones sometimes, the fact that dead people will never be around again…what should be simple to accept is NOT.

I keep trying to grow as a person, but with such limited success. Calmness vanishes, emotions rule, I lose my peace of mind.

Truly, the most difficult conquests are those within ourselves.

My first Shikra sighting in J P Nagar

September 26, 2007

Though kalyan tells me that SHIKRAs are pretty common in Bangalore Bengaluru, I have never seen this bird inside the city limits before.

This evening, I was walking along and it was nearly 7 pm, and what do I see but this handsome bird sitting on the railing of the Mini Forest that abuts my home!

It was lucky and unlucky that I had my S3 with me; lucky because I had any camera at all, and unlucky because the S3 is not the best camera either for low-light situations or for bird photography… I wish it had been the Canon with the prime lens! Also, it was *really* low light…

But the bird didn’t fly too far, and these are the shots that I managed:

shikra collage sept 07 casa ansal

I am hoping that this bird will be around, and I can photograph it with a better camera in better light!

Update.

I posted this collage on INW too, and got a fantastic comment from someone who had this to say:

“good picture…could make out it is a kannada bird easily by seeing the board.”

Still laughing….!