Posts Tagged ‘forest’

The tinies of Turahalli, 120817

August 15, 2017

As my friend Janhvi was going to do a trek to Turahalli State Forest as part of her Corporate Social Initiative (CSI), a few of us decided to join in.

True to the lacklustre response from her company, the usual number of people (two!) turned up….and we promptly hijacked the trek into a nature outing.

Here we are, at brefus before beginning the walk:

Akash, Janhvi, Anand, Subbu, Shoba, Padma and Ramaswamy

IMG_7058

We started our walk from a point not known to regular visitors….and the lesser-travelled path proved to be extremely productive.

Several tiny flowers caught our eye.

Andrographis serpyllifolia:

IMG_7071/deepa.mohan

Commelina sp:

IMG_7073/deepa.mohan

Ground Orchid, Habenaria roxburghii:

IMG_7079/deepa.mohan

The “Argyreia cuneata” name of this flower won’t stick in my mind, but its common name, “Mahalungi” will, for the wrong reasons!

IMG_7084/deepa.mohan

We were lucky to find this Ceropagia candelarbrum:

IMG_7108/deepa.mohan

Tiny flowers of the Dodonea viscosa:

IMG_7146/deepa.mohan

Some of us took a break to look up things:

IMG_7147/deepa.mohan

Unknown:

IMG_7089/deepa.mohan

We were also enchanted by some of the six-footers we saw. Sometimes the insects and flowers were together.

Blister beetle (on Clerodendron flowers):

IMG_7083

Ants on Leucas species:

IMG_7088/deepa.mohan

Sarcostemma acidum:

IMG_7130/deepa.mohan

Crinium, or the Spider Lily:

IMG_7194/deepa.mohan

Stachytarpeta, the Devil’s Coach Whip:’

IMG_7156/deepa.mohan

Such small beauties:

IMG_7161/deepa.mohan

Gulaganji, or Abrus precatorius:

IMG_7163/deepa.mohan

The tiny flower of the Bastard Sandal:

IMG_7104/deepa.mohan

This Puffball mushroom had broken, showing beautifully-speckled spores:

IMG_7091/deepa.mohan

A tiny fly on the Sarcostemma plant:

IMG_7133/deepa.mohan

A Common Wanderer female:

IMG_7167/deepa.mohan

A Bagworm Moth pupa:

IMG_7095/deepa.mohan

A Hoverfly (that huge part of the head are just its two compound eyes!)

IMG_7147/deepa.mohan

A Plain Tiger caterpillar:

IMG_7111/deepa.mohan

A Geometer moth:

IMG_7116/deepa.mohan

A Peninsular Rock Agama coming into breeding colours:

IMG_7140/deepa.mohan

We did go over a few rocks:

IMG_7152/deepa.mohan

Eggs on the Bastard Sandal:

IMG_7123/deepa.mohan

A Shield or Stink Bug:

IMG_7153/deepa.mohan

Even the Giant Wood Spider was smaller than usual!

IMG_7155/deepa.mohan

The insects got tinier:

IMG_7110/deepa.mohan

Of course, one of the highlights of the morning was sighting not one, but two

Atlas Moths

IMG_7203/deepa.mohan

Very satisfied with all that we’d seen, we went home…looking forward to the next outing!

Advertisements

3rd Sunday outing, Turhalli, 180617

June 21, 2017

It was still rather cloudy and overcast as several of us met at Vajrahalli Gate, on our way to the Turahalli Forest Trail, where a few more nature lovers from the nearby areas also joined us.

IMG_4941

It was heartening to see that several children had joined the walk too! Keerthana had brought her friends Anvitha, Krishna, and Sahana; Subrahamanya C N and his wife Neha had brought their son Shreyamsh along. Many of the children kept meticulous notes in their notebooks.

IMG_5002

Ulhas introduced himself and talked a bit about the Turahalli forest, its earlier range and present confines. Prasad, too, joined us, and shared his knowledge with us.

As we slowly walked up the trail, Deepak decided that rather than go uphill, we would take the path skirting the base of the hill.

Ulhas and Deepak (centre left, and right)

IMG_4948

The usual gang of suspects, as we like to call the birds that one expects at a birding spot, turned up one by one…White-cheeked and Coppersmith Barbets, the Green Bee-eaters flying around as they hawked insects in the air, those who were more experienced pointed out the birds to those who were coming on an outing, or seeing the birds, for the first time.

IMG_4983

Nor were birds the only creatures of interest. Several of us were interested in the plants and trees that we passed; Ajit, Subbu and I looked at the tiny, beautiful flowers of what Arun Kumar N later told us, was the Byttneria herbacea, or Herbal Byttneria.

IMG_5009

IMG_5011

Some species of Clerodendrum,

IMG_5014

little blue Evolvulus flowers at our feet,

IMG_6483

Spider lilies

IMG_5020

the children (and some of us adults too!) having fun watching the Touch-Me-Not (Mimosa pudica) close up its leaves when we touched it….all these added to the walk. On the trees, the summer flowers were slowly giving way to the monsoon greenery, but here and there, the Jacaranda still held on to its purple blooms. Tiny wild jasmine flowers starred the path and added the magic of scent to the sights and sounds.

The sounds, too, were plenty. Ashy Prinias and Tailorbirds “marked attendance”. The sight of a peacock with a full “tail of a thousand eyes”, in the branches of a Peepal tree,

IMG_4986

IMG_4987

held us riveted at the beginning, and we kept hearing them throughout. The songs of Oriental Magpie Robins floated liquidly through the air, and we heard the harsher call of the Shikras even before sighting one.

IMG_4967

All around us, the butterflies dotted the air as they flitted about, and a fair amount of the walk was spent observing these winged beauties.

Crimson Tip

IMG_5046

Common Gull

IMG_5005

Zebra Blue

IMG_5036

Cotton Stainer Bugs

IMG_5053

Spider, Turahalli, 180617 Plexippus paykulli, Salticidae spider

IMG_5065

Finding some caterpillars,

IMG_5001

a large Cicada, and other insects, also kept our interest from flagging.

This Yellow Pansy was caught in a spiderweb, and the eternal dilemma…should we intervene or not? solved itself as the butterfly suddenly freed itself and fluttered away.

IMG_4998

The heavy, moisture-bearing clouds slowly gave way to the fleecy cotton-puffs (insert scientific names like Nimbus and Cumulus here!) that heralded bluer skies and bright patches of sunshine. Several walkers and cyclists shared our path.

Subbu and Nandini, who live in Turahalli Forest View, informed me that the Indian Rock Eagle Owl can still be seen regularly in this patch. We were not able to see too many raptors, though, probably because of the cloudy weather; we were content to see Brahmin and Black Kites, and an Oriental Honey Buzzard.

It is one of the marks of an interesting walk that even after many of us returned to our starting point, we were still observing and enjoying ourselves, and rather reluctantly pulled ourselves away

IMG_5094

to go off to a late breakfast at Adayar Ananda Bhavan (A2B)!

IMG_5095

IMG_5096

IMG_5097

Birds:

The eBird list, compiled by J N Prasad, is

here

Birders (as far as I can remember)

Adnan Raja,Ajit Ampalakkad, Amit C Javgal, Anil Bhatta,Anirudh
Bhatta, Anvitha, JN Chandrashekar,Deepa Mohan,Deepak Jois, Harish
Chandra, Janhvi Vyas, Lata, Keerthana ,Krishna,Lata, Nandini, Neha,
Padma Ramaswamy, Prashanth M Badrinath, Raji Hari, GS Ramaswamy, Rupa
Rao, Sahana, Sarrah , little Shreyamsh, Reshamwala,Sathyan, TS
Srinivasa, Sriram Prabhakar, Subramaniam Kumar, Subrahmanya C N,
Tamanna, Tara Jayarao from Hyderabad,Tarachand Wanvari. Uday
Kumar,Ulhas Anand, Vijay Krishnan. If I’ve left out anyone…put it
down to my famous memory (or lack of it) and forgive me!

Butterflies:

Baronet
Blues, Various
Blue, Tiny Grass
Blue, Zebra
Brown, Common Evening
Castor, Common
Cerulean, Common
Coster, Tawny
Crimson Tip
Crow, Common
Cupid, Plains
Emigrant, Common
Emigrant, Mottled
Gull, Common
Jezebel, Common
Leopard, Common
Mormon, Common
Orange Tip, White
Orange Tip, Yellow
Pansy, Lemon
Pansy, Yellow
Pioneer
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Tiger,Dark Blue
Yellow, Common Grass
Yellow, Three-spot Grass

I have put up my photos on an FB album

here

Let me leave you with my “shadow selfie”…

IMG_5003

Jaipurdoddi trip, 110717

June 12, 2017

What started out as a plan with 3 people rapidly developed into an outing with 15 other people! It was a very enjoyable outing to Ragihalli and then to Jaipurdoddi.Here they all are, at the MCS (Mandatory Chai Stop) where the group meet each other.

IMG_4657

There was not much interaction as we were driving through the reserve forests of Ragihalli and then Jaipurdoddi; but we all stopped at the Ragihalli sheet rock

IMG_4659

IMG_4660

The prehistoric dolmen, or burial site, can be seen. I often feel that even if I am not buried in this beautiful spot, my spirit is likely to be wandering around here!

Since there were two very young women, Akansha and Aadya, who were coming from quite far away (they were very punctual, too!) I woke up at 4 am to make

veN pongal

for everyone.

IMG_4670

I served it with that most healthy of foods…potato chips! Everyone enjoyed it, to my delight.

As we drove to Jaipurdoddi, the rampant granite quarrying caught my eye once again and I hoped that our petitions to the government are fruitful in checking the depradation of our hillsides.

IMG_4672

Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker

IMG_5586

We stopped several times before reaching the reserve forest, and at one place, this Oriental Garden Lizard was hoping to catch some sun in the cloudy weather.

IMG_4674

This particular tree, alone, at Jaipurdoddi, was replesendent in new foliage.

IMG_4676

As the monsoon clouds cleared (we still do not have adequate rainfall), I saw this strange cloud formation…seems like a ear in the sky!

IMG_4679

Tiny blue Evolvulus flowers grew along the ground.

IMG_4682

I photographed very few birds, leaving them to the DSLR bazookas.

IMG_4694

Here’s the Large Cuckooshrike:

IMG_4686

An Oriental Honey Buzzard, surveying the territory for prey:

IMG_4696

An Ashy Drongo:

IMG_4700

A Black-rumped Flameback, amongst the bushes:

IMG_4705

I call these two Spotted Owlets “Asleep” and “Awake”!

IMG_4778

Aadya, who sketches what she observes, made this drawing of the Spotted Owlet, calling it James Bond!

IMG_4752

This short stretch of the reserve forest is very scenic (with, alas, a terrible road!)

IMG_4706

The fleecy clouds and blue skies later dissolved into cloudy grey again.

IMG_4707

Everywhere, Pavetta indica (Indian pavetta) bushes were in full bloom.

IMG_4709

Here are some Vitex negundo (Medicinal nishad) flowers:

IMG_4737

We wound up near the tiny lake just beyond the forest stretch, full of muddy water after the rains.

I caught some of the others standing in the shade of a beautiful Banyan.

IMG_4730

IMG_4732

Several butterflies kept all of us riveted for a while, watching and trying to capture them on camera.

IMG_4756

Common Leopard

IMG_4721

Yellow Pansy:

IMG_4758

Tawny Coster:

IMG_4765

Pioneer:

IMG_4774

Common Lime:

IMG_4770

Common Emigrant:

IMG_4733

I’m glad there are no dogs in the forest, or else Aadya and Akansha would have to stop for every one! Here they are petting one at a farmer’s home.

IMG_4768

We wound up with a thatte iddli brunch at Manjunath’s Ragihalli Fine Dining.

IMG_4785

eBird list from Ragihalli is

here

and the list from Jaipurdoddi is

here

Butterflies

Blues, various
Cerulean, Common
Coster, Tawny
Crimson Tip
Crow, Common
Eggfly, Danaid
Emigrant, Common
Emigrant, Mottled
Jezebel, Common
Lime. Common
Orange-tip, White
Pansy, Lemon
Pansy, Yellow
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Tiger, Dark Blue
Tiger, Plain
Tiger, Striped
Yellow, Spotless Grass
Yellow, Three-spot Grass

Let me leave you with a “Leopard sighting”!

IMG_4725

Doresanipalya Forest Research Station, 160417

April 18, 2017

It was still very pleasant when several of us met up at the Millennium Avenue gate of DFRS, and Harish led us, literally, up the garden path.

Knowing what it is to drive long distances for birding, I must appreciate the interest of people who do this. For example, Latha and Satyan came all the way from Vidyaranyapura! Others in our group have the DFRS as their backyard and they just walked to the outing.

IMG_1465

The place is green and lovely now:

IMG_1511

A Shikra started off our sighting and bird list, and in fact, the sightings of these birds (probably two individuals, a male and female) were a recurring part of our whole morning.

IMG_1467

IMG_1531

It was nice to have several knowledgeable people talk to us about plants, insects and several other things, as we walked. Since we are still at the season where some trees and plants are in flower, the walk was punctuated by plant and tree information too. We started with the exquisite flowers of the Sesbania grandiflora, commonly called the Vegetable Hummingbird tree….

IMG_1460

The list went on. Ajit was delighted at finding Ixora pavetta:

IMG_1524

Here’a closeup of the fragrant flowers:

For example, Ajit powdered the resin of the Shorea roxburghii, and told us the common name of the tree…”dhoopa”, as the resin is ignited during the puja rituals. We heard an interesting story about why the cashew is so called (ask Harish if you weren’t there!)

IMG_1506

Resin of Shorea roxburghii

IMG_1505

When powdered, the “dhoopa” resin gave off a stronger fragrance.

IMG_1507

Nest of Social Spiders

Perhaps there were no “unusual” surprises…but the “usual gang of suspects” were enough to keep us interested throughout. A few Flycatchers, the flowing song of several Magpie Robins, both seen and unseen, a tailorbird flitting in the bamboo thicket…so the list, and the walk, went.

There were some very interesting mammal sightings too. A group of these, known as the Bangalore Butterfly Club

IMG_1557

Rohit, one of the founders of the Bangalore Butterfly Club, RHS

were having their fortnightly “buttering” walk there, and we had a Tiger sighting ….as well as Jezebels, Skippers,

IMG_1481

Indian Skipper

…and a few Blues in the short time we
spent together. They were beginning their outing while we were finishing ours. I think the time frame is one of the things that determine whether one devotes oneself to birds or butterflies!

IMG_1486

Common Picture-wing, a dragonfly.

IMG_1493

IMG_1494

A dead Tailed Jay allowed us to see this butterfly close up.The antennae and the body were eaten away, probably by ants.

IMG_1503

Funnel web spider waiting for prey

IMG_1558

Exoskeletons shed by Cicadas

A few mongrel puppies looked delightful as they settled at the base of a bamboo plant, but the few bonnet macaques I’ve noticed once in a while were absent. Since these invariably try to snatch the processed food and drink from people’s hands, it was good not to see them!

IMG_1527

We shared biscuits and khakras, and that made the walk all the more pleasant…but after 9am comes Breakfast O’ Clock, and soon, a few of us were seated in Adiga’s, getting outside some calories.

IMG_1569

I’d like to add that I missed Deepak, and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for every 3rd Sunday outing that he’s tirelessly organized. On any 3rd Sunday walk, of course, Geetanjali and Subir Dhar, who started this outing with a few of us pitching in,
are never far from my mind.

The eBird list, diligently compiled by Prasad, is

here

and my photos are

here

Hoping to meet many of you again next weekend,

Cheers, Deepa.

Home-maker, Doresanipalya Reserve Forest, 120317

March 12, 2017

We saw a White-cheeked Barbet, idle, and free.

IMG_0264

It seemed to suddenly twist itself, right towards the tree.

IMG_0261

I’d wished to see a woodpecker, and as if granting that wish
It pecked to make a nesting-hole, work that it seemed to relish!

Here’s the bird, hard at work, rat-tatting away.

“Go and build your own home!” is what it seemed to say!

Yes, we took its sage advice and homeward went our way,
But the thought of the home-building barbet we carry through the day.

Valley School and Vaderhalli Kere, 021214

December 2, 2014

Email to bngbirds:

Highlight of my morning!

IMG_6304

A quick decision made Amith

IMG_6308

Gayatri

IMG_6306

and me, decide not to go to Nandi Hills as per our original plan but to visit Valley School; the three of us set off in the pre-dawn darkness, and though birding was a bit slow as we drove down the road to the Valley, things picked up once we started walking along the periphery of the School wall.

IMG_6324

It was delightful to walk along the familiar path after a long absence, and the bamboo groves certainly did not disappoint us!

A new raptor added to the usual Honey Buzzards seems to be the Black-shouldered Kite, of which we saw two sitting on a tree. We therefore assume that the raptor that we saw in the distance, with hovering behaviour, was not a Kestrel but one of these birds.

The Warblers, of course, delighted us, and we were often at a loss to identify various songs, or know if it was the Black Drongo that was fooling us!

A Tawny-bellied Babbler was an unsual sighting, as was that of a Jerdon’s (I think…please confirm the id) Nightjar…not on the ground, but quite high up on a tree!

The White-rumped Shama and the Asian Paradise Flycatcher flaunted themselves briefly before us.

After the Valley, we went further to Vaderahalli Lake,

IMG_6348

and enjoyed the sight of many waterfowl. Brahminy and Black Kites soared and swooped, and we came to breakfast at Adiga’s refreshed in mind and spirit.

The birds (those at Vaderahalli are marked with V):

Babbler, Jungle
Babbler, Tawny-bellied

IMG_6311

Babbler, Yellow-billed

IMG_6293

Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Bee-eater, Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bulbul, White-browed
Bushchat, Pied
Bushlark, Indian

IMG_6353

Coot, Common (V)
Cormorant, Little (V)
Cormorant, Great (V)
Coucal, Greater
Crow, House
Crow, Large-billed
Cuckoo, Common Hawk
Dove, Eurasian Collared
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Ducks, Spot-billed (V)
Egret, Little (V)
Egret, Intermediate (V)
Flameback, Black-rumped
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue
Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail
Grebe, Little (V)
Heron, Indian Pond (V)
Honey-buzzard, Oriental
Iora, Common
Kingfisher, White-throated
Kite, Black
Kite, Black-shouldered

IMG_6322

Kite, Brahminy

IMG_6344

Koel, Asian
Lapwing, Red-wattled (V)
Minivet, Small
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Nightjar

IMG_6303

Oriole, Eurasian Golden
Owlet, Spotted
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pelican, Spot-billed (V)
Prinia, Ashy
Robin, Indian
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Sandpiper, Green (V)
Shama, White-rumped
Sparrow, House
Stonechat, Common (V)
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Red-rumped
Swift, Asian Palm
Tailorbird, Common
Tern, River (V)
Tern, Whiskered(V)
Tit, Great
Treepie, Rufous
Wagtail, White-browed (V)
Warbler, Booted
Warbler, Greenish

Butterflies:

Blues, Various
Coster, Tawny

IMG_6317

IMG_6314

Crow, Common
Emigrant, Common
Lime, Common
Mormon, Commn
Gull. Common

IMG_6327

Pioneer

IMG_6328

Pansy, Chocolate
Pansy, Lemon
Psyche
Rose, Common
Rose, Crimson
Wanderer, Common
Yellow, Spotless Grass
Yellow, Three-spot Grass

I have put up my eBird checklist

here

My FB album is

here

Off to Kelamangalam near Hosur, Tamil Nadu, for an overnight volunteering trip…with the children of Aarohi.

Turahalli Day, 281114

December 1, 2014

For some years now, we’ve been celebrating

Turahalli Habba, or Festival, or Day

just to register the presence of those who love this patch of forest, and want to prevent any more encroachment

Here’s the

FB page

A group of us decided to do the bird walk, and here we are, at the MCS before heading out to Turahalli:

IMG_6214

Light gathered in the sky:

IMG_6218

I spotted this little gem on the side of the road:

IMG_6215

tells me it is a Dodge Truck from the 40’s…

“The grille is very distinctive. Don’t know the exact model, but it sure seems similar to

this

he says. Indeed it seems to be the same!

We arrived a bit late, thanks to some befuddling GPS, but still got the rising sun:

IMG_6229

At Turahalli, a lot of activities were going on.

There were rock climbers:

IMG_6224

There were people just enjoying the peace:

IMG_6226

Some were sharing their knowledge:

IMG_6251

Some were collecting trash, and laughing about their “spoils”!

IMG_6253

It was good to see far less trash than before, and even more heartening to see children collecting it, too:

IMG_6269

There was cycling:

It was good to see adult and children’s cycles!

IMG_6278

We opened our “birding account” on the way to Turahalli with this female

KESTREL:

IMG_6217

MBK pointed out this

PEACOCK

IMG_6241

but later the butterfly group

IMG_6254

told us that some people were trying to poach these birds by setting the dogs on to them. I have made a complaint to the Forest Dept, and am hoping for more active surveillance.

A

SOUTHERN COUCAL

skulked through the trees, but we were able to see it.

IMG_6248

A delightful

CLERODENDRUM

greeted us:

IMG_6240

The butterfly group got 50 species! Here’s a

COMMON CROW:

IMG_6242

I found this dead

FRUIT-PIERCING MOTH:

IMG_6274

IMG_6275

I saw a

YELLOW PANSY:

IMG_6246

It was not nice, though, to see the loooong line of cars which had come for the event…but I suppose it can’t be helped!

IMG_6258

Naturally, there is a huge block of buildings coming up right opposite, with this as the selling point:

IMG_6262

Of course, some of us finished with a good breakfast at Adiga’s:

IMG_6282

On the way back home, I was wondering if I could hire this silver chariot!

IMG_6284

I’ve put up more photos on my FB album,

here

We hope the sun always shines on an undisturbed patch of Turahalli Forest:

IMG_6235

Children’s Day at Bandipur, 141114

November 17, 2014

As wildlife volunteers, Kumuda, Siddharth and I went to Bandipur to help celebrate Children’s Day with about 150 children from three local schools: Hangala, Mangala, Bheemannabeedu.

IMG_5103

I love that old Karnataka logo!

Here are the Forest Dept. officials at the event:

IMG_5166

13 of the children spoke about wildlife and conservation, and we were very impressed. One of the Adivasi teachers also spoke with great passion.

Here’s Chandrakala, a versatile girl who both sang and spoke well:

IMG_5165

Here are some of the children, who ran up and asked to be photographed…such delights!

IMG_5180

Here’s everyone at the end of the event:

IMG_5277

Here are all the Eco-Volunteers who attended:

IMG_5344

(Deepa, Harsha, Satish, Veena, Ashritha, Kumuda, Sandeep, Siddharth)

Other sights, and thoughts:

Wildlife:

Love can be Wild-ly Boaring….

IMG_5110

Hanuman Langurs were everywhere:

IMG_5207

This beautiful

ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER

delighted me:

IMG_5119

IMG_5186

As did this

TREE PIPIT:

IMG_5151

The Peacock’s breeding plumage, and That Amazing Tail, is just starting to grow out at this season.

IMG_5308

“Horn OK Please” is the slogan at the back of most trucks (meaning, sound your horn to overtake)…but here was a horn, sorry, antler…

IMG_5153

This plastic sheet, excreted (probably by a Chital) was a scary reminder that the litter we leave behind could kill animals that ingest it. This animal was lucky to be able to eliminate it.

Bandipur has always been a place of Mother and Child, for me. Here are the species that I clicked this time, quite appropriately, on Children’s Day!

Langur:

IMG_5156

IMG_5270

Gaur:

IMG_5316

IMG_5322

Elephant:

IMG_5335

Just look at those two little cuties!

Human beings:

Life at the edges of the forest continues to be hard:

IMG_5301

Our old temples fall into ruins:

IMG_5080

But instead of maintaining them, we keep on building new ones…

IMG_5076

Such beautiful banyan trees, shading the highway. They were planted long ago…can we keep up the practice?

IMG_5078

Contemporary Indian architecture certainly seems to celebrate colour!

IMG_5081

So do our buses!

IMG_5082

(Don’t miss the usual hanging-from-the-footboard mode of travel.)

We also dropped in to see Loki (Lokesh) at JLR Bandipur, and I asked permission for Kumuda and Siddharth to see the beautiful murals in some of the rooms:

IMG_5352

IMG_5356

I’d written an article on the three artists who did the murals…the project was left unfinished, and the newer cottages don’t have them.

I’ve put up more photos on my FB album,

here

(the official part)

and

here

(the other parts!)

Buttering, Arikere Reserve Forest, Sunday, 091114

November 12, 2014

Though highly jet-lagged, I decided not to miss the buttering outing, and joined Rohit Girotra and the buttering gang at Adigas; after breakfast, we went to the Reserve Forest. Here are some of the interesting things I captured on camera:

Plain Tiger caterpillars:

IMG_4935

Plain Tiger:

IMG_4961

Common Grass Yellow:

IMG_4956

Blue:

IMG_4959

Lemon Emigrant:

IMG_4937

Common Cerulean

IMG_4941

Blue Tiger:

IMG_4949

Chocolate Pansy on Silver Oak flower:

IMG_4954

Common Pierrot:

IMG_5013

Common Leopard:

IMG_5000

Sunbeam and Spider:

IMG_5004

This regnant Praying Mantis would soon be laying her eggs:

IMG_4967

Here,for comparision is a non-pregnant Mantis:

IMG_4971

Leaf-footed Bug:

IMG_4973

Wingless grasshopper:

IMG_4979

Unknown insect:

IMG_4986

Plant hopper:

IMG_4998

Bug and Praying Mantis:

IMG_4991

Spider with prey:

IMG_4978

IMG_4947

Millipedes on fecal material. Droppings, dung, or scat (or call it shit) is a nutrient in Nature, and never wasted!

IMG_5009

And here are the mammals…

In the fastest-growing grass:

IMG_4942

In the nursery area:

IMG_4950

Photographing the Skipper:

IMG_4952

We are all prone to photography:

IMG_4960

On the buttering trail:

IMG_5005

I liked the lovely colours of the “4 o’clock flower”, called, in Tamizh,”anthi manthArai” (Mirabilis jalapa)

IMG_4938

IMG_4939

Priya pointed out a puffball Mushroom:

IMG_5006

Termite nests, extend to quite a depth below the ground as well as quite a height above it…and the temperature remains regulated throughout, in all seasons. Here, one can see the wall perforations for temperature control:

IMG_5008

I was very tired within a short span of time, and Madhu kindly dropped me back to the bus stop. I came home and fell into a deep sleep, but I enjoyed my morning very much!

The fires of fall

October 12, 2014

Fall is a time when red seems to appear everywhere, amongst the green.

IMG_2888

Leaves turn into rubies:

IMG_2890

The brown tree-trunks are studded with gems:

IMG_2898

It seems as if the fires are warming the trees one last time, before the cold, and the monochromes of winter, set in.

IMG_2900

Truly, the fires of fall could be called the flames of the forest.