Archive for January, 2011

Web of Light….

January 20, 2011

When I go for my morning walk around the Mini Forest, it’s often dark, and so it’s easy to see the magic of the cobwebs that the spiders spin, to catch the insects that are drawn to the light….

light web 190111 mf

That’s the way the web starts…on some lamps, the creation is quite impressive:

cobweb   down 190111 mf

In the dark, the filaments of the web seem to be made of light themselves….a light-trap, to catch the unwary, that the predators build of gossamer….just look at the strength of the web, that can trap so much debris and hold it up without breaking!

cobweb full 190111

How to laugh after a heart attack…

January 18, 2011

There is nothing that cannot be faced with a little humour, as this wonderful account by Dr Kishore Shah, a renowned Gynecologist practicing in Pune, proves. I got this as a forward…but it’s too good not to be documented!

The following article is in his own words about the “MI” (myocardial
infarction-heart attack) he had suffered few days back.

” I suffered a heart attack about 5 days ago. Here is my account of
what happened:

As I was rushed to the Cardiac ICU, I just had this sinking feeling
in my heart. Just like the one before you enter the Viva Voce hall and
see the most khadoos examiner in place, only worse.

The resident there was quite courteous, “Sir, How are you feeling?”

I looked at him groggily and whispered, “Just like Rakhi Sawant (a Bollywood starlet)!”

He looked at me perplexed. I continued and said, “I feel an unnatural
weight on my chest.”


Bangalore Club…Lighting up the New Year

January 12, 2011

It was lovely to see the decorations at Bangalore Club for the New Year.

Here’s the main building, and the majestic 100-year-old conifers:

bclb frontage 301210

Brigadier Hill Annexe was also lit up:

brg hill anx 301210

And so was the passage between the two:

bglrclb pssage 301210

Birding at Manchinabele Reservoir

January 5, 2011

After a very long time, we had a local BULBs (Bangalore Urban LadyBirders) outing (it was beginning to seem as if they went only on international trips!), and we decided to go to Manchinabele Reservoir.

As usual, the day started with fog and mist:

sunrise 020111


Here the BULBs are:

020111 bulbs mnchnble

I got this


upon the wire…I usually see it on the ground:

acs lark 0201110



was showing that red rump!

rr swlw 020111

One of our most common birds, the


still looks handsome!

blk kte 020111

We enjoyed watching a group of


..especially when two seemed to be kissing!

ksng slvrbls 020111

a juvenile


soared overhead:

juv brmny 020111



posed for us on a granite pole:

i rbn 020111 mnchnble

After a long time, I decided to shoot a


…another common but very beautiful bird!

sgbeater 020111

As we left, we found this


in the tree, and it probably had its nest there, too.

shikra 020111

Here are the peaceful-looking waters of the Reservoir:

mnchnble res 020111

We also saw a lot of people meeting and discussing next week’s cycling outing; many kayaks were on the water after the discussion!

cycling/kayaking 020111

I did get a couple of butterflies; here’s a


cerulean? 020111

Here’s a


Rohit says it’s a


lycenid 020111

Here’s the bird list:

Avadavat, Red
Babbler, Common
Babbler, Large Grey
Babbler, Tawny-bellied
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, White-browed
Bushchat, Pied
Bushlark, Jerdon’s
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Cuckoo. Grey-bellied
Cuckoo, Pied
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Intermediate
Egret, Little
Francolin, Grey
Flycatcher, White-throated Fantail
Harrier, Marsh
Heron, Pond
Ibis, Black-headed
Iora, Common
Kingfisher, Pied
Kingfisher, Small Blue
Kingfisher, White-breasted
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Koel, Asian
Lapwing, Red-wattled
Malkoha, Blue-faced
Mynah, Common
Mynah, Jungle
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pipit, Tree
Prinia, Plain
Quail, un id
Roller, Indian
Rosefinch, Common
Shrike, Long-tailed
Silverbill, Indian
Sparrow, House
Sparrowlark, Ashy-crowned
Starling, Brahminy
Stork, Open-billed
Stork, Woolly-necked
Sunbird, Purple
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Red-rumped
Tailorbird, Common
Tern, River
Wagtail, Pied
Warbler, Blyth’s Reed
White-eye, Oriental
Whitethroat, Lesser
Woodpecker, Black-rumped


Here are my shots of the majestic


…I’d just finished asking, “Where are the raptors of Manchinabele?” and it just sailed past!

mhrrier wing low 020111

mrsh hrier 020111 mchnble

K Gudi camp of JLR, B R Hills, 27,28, and 291210

January 1, 2011

It was lovely to be able to introduce our family to the forests of Karnataka, even though the driving had them scared stiff at times…people from the US can’t cope with unruly traffic…they are too used to ruly conditions 🙂

What better way to start on the trip than with the sunrise in the fields on our way out….?

sunrise 271210

We crossed over the Arkavathi Bridge, too:

arkavathi bridge 271210

We took a brief detour to see Sivansamudram Falls, where the flow was much less than when I visited in November:

us at svnsnmdrm 271210

We reached the JLR resort at K.Gudi to find a festive green star on top of the Gol Ghar:

grn str 271210

We went to settle down in the tents, but I was also tickled by the “Lo ghut”!

lo ghut 271210

Some of the


around the campus are quite used to humans, and I caught a particularly human lazy-bones look on the face of this one. He seems to have come straight out of the Asterix comics!

boar 271210

On our safaris, we saw a lot of


barking dr 271210



or wild bison:

gaur 271210

Here’s the radio in the jeep, through which the drivers communicate with each other about interesting sightings:

k gudi radio 281210

Near the campus was a beautiful

SAUSAGE TREE (Kigelia pinnata)

…you can see how it got its name!

kigelia fruit 281210

Here are the beautiful flowers of the tree:


There were a pair of majestic


at the water body near the campus:

b kite 281210

On one safari we saw this


red sprfwl 281210

The next day, we also visited the Biligiri Rangana Temple:

brt 281210

Here are some of us:

us at brt 281210

My niece and nephew were thrilled by the antics of the


(of the huge group that were Kalyan’s great friends at the JLR resort, only four are present now!)

monkey 281210

Here’s a mother with a tiny baby:

monkey baby 281210

We enjoyed the spectacle of one of them doing acrobatics in order to eat the fruit of the



jackfruit etg 281210

Moving a little up the evolutionary ladder, I photographed this devotee with the ‘nAmam’on his forehead:

naamam 281210

We saw several

CHITAL (Spotted Deer)

during the safaris, including this magnificently-antlered stag:

stg antlr 281210

After the temple, we also went to visit


and I was very happy to meet Jadeswamy and Ganesh. Here’s Ganesh:

ganesh 281210

And I was really thrilled when Ganesh told me that Dr. Sudarshan was actually there, and introduced me to him! I instantly asked Ganesh (who is an excellent photographer) to snap me with him!

dr sudarshan 281210

Ganesh showed us around the campus, and I caught these mating


c s bugs 281210

Ganesh also talked about the tiger that had been active around the area, and showed us this pugmark:

pug mark gorukana 281210

Back at the JLR campus, I wandered around, and got this beautiful


pecking with its beak, and red tongue, at the wood:

s t wdpckr 291210

In the faint light, I also managed to get a


hood orle 291210

We saw several


on the safaris, and were able to observe their behaviour for a while:


elephant 291210

On one safari, we sighted the


leaping across the tree-tops:

langur 291210

And in a pond, between VGKK and K. Gudi, we sighted these


terrapin 281210

Of course, I can’t resist also including this


at the Mysore Palace!

amys lion 291210

Some of the deer at the campus, too, are used to humans:

deer backlit 291210

Here is the list of creatures (I haven’t included the butterfly list as I didn’t spot many)

Babbler, Jungle
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Cornmorant, Greater
Cormorant, Little
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Darter, Oriental
Dove, Spotted
Dove, Laughing
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Drongo, Racket-tailed
Drongo, White-bellied
Eagle, Crested Serpent
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Little
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue
Heron, Grey
Heron, Pond
Ibis, Black
Ibis, Black-headed
Kingfisher, White-breasted
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Laughingthrush, Malabar
Leafbird, Golden-fronted
Martin, House
Minivet, Scarlet
Mynah. Common
Mynah, Jungle
Mynah, Hill
Nuthatch, Chestnut-bellied
Oriole, Black-hooded
Oriole, Golden
Parakeet, Plum-headed
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Prinia, Ashy
Prinia, Jungle
Spurfowl, Red
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Sunbird, Purple
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Red-rumped
Swift, Common
Treepie, Rufous
Wagttail, Grey
Warbler, Greenish Leaf
Woopdpecker, Greater Flameback
Woodpecker, Streak-throated
Yellow-nape, Lesser


Boar, Wild
Cat, Civet
Deer, Barking
Deer, Spotted
Langur, Black-faced
Squirrel, Malabar Giant


Terrapin, Pond
Assorted Frogs and Toads

Let me close with these sunset pics, which give the appearance of the forest on fire!

sunset 271210


All in all, it was a very satisfying trip, though our family was rather disappointed at not sighting tigers or leopards. Since all the trails except one have been shut down by the Forest Department, I did not see this as likely to happen..and it didn’t. However, I told them that our post-dusk sighting of a Civet Cat was a rarer one than a sighting of a tiger!

I do hope that they open up the trails before I visit BR Hills again….

The Biligiri Rangana Temple, B R Hills, Karnataka

January 1, 2011


Biligiri Rangana Temple

in B R Hills, is a lovely temple.

Here’s the vENugOpAla swAmy (“God who plays the flute and tends the cattle”) shrine, and the dhwaja sthambhA (stylized temple flagpole):

brt flagpole 281210

Here is the intricately carved front door:

brt door 281210

For more shots in and around the temple,

click here .

All along the course of the Kaveri are temples to Vishnu as “Ranganatha” , or “Ranga” or “Ranganna” or “Rangaswamy”. I wonder why this deity is always associated with this river…. there is Srirangapatna, there is Srirangam in Tamil Nadu, there is Ranganathittu, there is the Biligir Rangana temple, there is the Rangaswamy Betta….all are on various places on the Kaveri river.

Others may sing the praises of the Ganga and the Jamuna, and the other mighty rivers of the north; but I have lost my heart to the beauty of the Kaveri….the beautiful maiden of southern India.