Posts Tagged ‘sunrise’

My walk home, 311018

October 30, 2018

My walk home this morning from my daughter’s, in terms of sunlight:
Making interesting moving shadows of leaves on the road.
Backlighting the hibiscus flowers into glowing gems.
Outlining a young man’s crewcut in sharp bristles.
Touching a young girl’s hair with gold as she turns to wave goodbye to her mother.
Dappling through palm fronds.
Reflecting in a blinding flash off some fragments of broken glass.
Dancing through the motes of the dust particles raised by a pourakramika sweeping the footpath. Slanting in shafts though the holes in some brickwork.
Warming up the slight nip in the air, and making it delightful to walk home!

Sunset and Sunrise on the Kaveri, 06 and 070115

January 14, 2015

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And now for the next morning’s sunrise…

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Experiments with light, 190914, Forest Park

September 26, 2014

I went and met Danny Brown in Forest Park, and spent a contented morning. There were no new birds, but I was trying out shots in different light settings.

The early morning sunshine was something I had to get from Danny’s running car:

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The rising sun on the Cooper’s Hawk gave me another opportunity to shoot against the sun:

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This, to me, provided more drama than the conventional sunlight-on-the-bird shot.

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There was the light on grass seeds:

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The long shadows, and the arch of the bridge made an interesting composition:

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I thought the sepia generalized the bird and accentuated the lines and curves.

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The mist rising off the water made a good capture.

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Even the common Mallard looked lovely in the golden light.

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I enjoyed the various poses!

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Greenery against the light was lovely, too.

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Then we came across a Wood Duck couple, partially in the light, and partially out of it. This was quite a challenge, getting the birds and their reflections without too much of washout.

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Getting details with the zoom was important.

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Of course, Danny clicked away like the pro that he is; it was I who was struggling!

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I got the male Wood Duck alone:

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Getting macro shots against the morning light was also tough.

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Another common bird, the Starling:

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I got a Cormorant in mid-flight:

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In the twilight, I went again to Forest Park, and got the Great Horned Owls that Mark and Brenda were showing some people:

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I may not be producing earth-shaking shots, but I’m quite happy with my experiments with light at various times of the day.

June 18, 2014

It was Sunday, and I was leaving for Linkoping in the afternoon….so we decided (after clearing up a lot of ticketing mess) to go for a nice ramble, with a picnic lunch.

We started by watching this young

WHITE WAGTAIL:

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Next, we watched a flock of

TITS (Blue or Great? the debate rages between Sumana and me)

foraging:

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and sitting on the trees…

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A

BLACKBIRD

showed itself in the leaf-litter:

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A

FIELDFARE

turned over the leaf-litter in typical Thrush fashion.

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I spotted Cupid, out in the spring sunshine:

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I realized that I was not the only one watching the birds:

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He then stepped out of hiding, that black beauty:

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Even “pests” look beautiful sometimes!

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I love the way tourists and cyclists are given importance:

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I did feel welcome!

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We chose a spot near a magnificient pile:

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Family photography began happening:

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Lunch was not fast enough for some people:

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A healthy, yummy dessert!

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Having seen Cupid, it was appropriate that I look up into the sky, and saw this sunbow and the arrow of a jet contrail:

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Quite aptly, too, there were star-crossed clouds!

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Advik, whom I have christened Laddu Kumar, was looking particularly sweet.

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We came back home, I finished my packing, and Deepak *lugged* my luggage all the way to the bus stop…but that’s the next post!

Two kinds of birding…

May 14, 2014

The

Valley School area

is one of the favourite birding destinations in south Bangalore

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On two days, I was privileged to do two different kinds of birding there.

One outing, on 110514, started at dawn:

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On the 11th, we started from Shoppers’ Stop as a group of 9:

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At the MCS, L to R: . Karuna, Janani, Siva, Varun, Aravind, Venkat, Ragini, Janhvi, yours truly, and Ganesh.

As more friends joined us at the Valley, and we met Swethadri and Kamal Hari, the group swelled to 15!

On this outing, we walked the trail, actively looking for birds, such as this

ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET

on the Silver Oak tree:

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a

CRESTED SERPENT EAGLE:

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the

WHITE-RUMPED SHAMA:

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with many birds, we ended with this

HOOPOE

on the path:

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Of course, I like to see the trees and plants around, too. I could not id this tree:

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The beautiful trunk of a

TAMARIND:

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and its tiny flowers:

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the beauty of the

GULMOHAR

under which I sat for a while:

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the petal of its flower:

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Photography was an active pursuit, too. I am not lying, but the photographer is!

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Ganesh is carefully documenting an insect…

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When one of us got a good shot, the others enjoyed it, too:

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There were quite a few butterflies, and I clicked this

DANAID EGGFLY:

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Some of us wound up with brefus at

Udupi Banashree

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(Yashpal, extreme left, has joined us!)

This active seeking out of the birds is one kind of birding, and on this morning, we were very successful in our quest. We wandered over the bamboo thickets and liana areas, and a variety of bird sightings rewarded us.

On the 13th, it was just Rosita,

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her son Mark, who’s an excellent bird-spotter,

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and me. This was in the late afternoon and evening…

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Once we reached the end of the path where the

ABANDONED HOUSE

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(familiar to every birder, I would think, in south Bangalore…I’ll make another blogpost about it. Thanks to Mark, I entered it and looked around for the first time in so many years!)

We just stayed there, not moving very much. The Banyan tree with the last of its figs was a kind of “bird Darshini (eatery)” for birds, so we just watched the birds in, and near, the majestic tree. Later, we walked around the abandoned house.

Mark didn’t even take a minute to see the

SPOTTED OWLET:

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The

JUNGLE BABBLERS

kept us company:

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This

ASHY PRINIA

its cousin, the Plain Prinia, and the Common Tailorbird, hopped through the undergrowth:

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First one

LARGE CUCKOO-SHRIKE

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and then two, delighted us:

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The

INDIAN LABURNUM

was in flower everywhere:

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MISTLETOE

(Loranthus) grew on the nearby tree:

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Looking carefully at the adventitious roots of the Banyan showed me

ANTS

farming the aphids:

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This

ROCK AGAMA

male, coming into his breeding colours, looked askance at me:

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The difference between the two kinds of birding is very marked. One means active walking around, seeking the areas where some birds are likely to be. The other means staying in one place, passively content with whatever birds show themselves. But both are intensely satisfying.

A large group vs. a very small one also makes a big difference to what one sees. In one, the chances of sighting the birds actually increase, if everyone is a careful birder. But a smaller group can be just as good.

With both kind of birding, there is the happiness of learning from others, and being able to share a sighting…sometimes with everyone in the large group

In the “active walking” mode, it’s looking for the birds; in the “passive waiting” mode, it’s about watching the birds that do appear, and soaking in the whole atmosphere.

Morning birding and evening birding, too, have different kinds of light for photography (and sometimes even seeing the birds.)

You can click

here for the visit where 15 of us enjoyed the morning

and

here for the visit with Rosita and Mark

110514 bird list:

Babbler, Jungle
Babbler, Yellow-billed
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Bee-eater, Blue-bearded
Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bulbul, White-browed
Bushchat, Pied
Bushlark, Jerdon’s
Buzzard, Oriental Honey
Coucal, Southern
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Cuckoo, Common Hawk (heard)
Cuckoo-shrike, Large
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Eagle, Crested Serpent
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Little
Flameback, Black-rumped
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue
Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail
Francolin, Grey (heard)
Iora, Common
Junglefowl, Grey (heard)
Kingfisher, White-breasted
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Koel, Asian
Lapwing, Red-wattled
Leafbird, Golden-fronted
Malkoha, Blue-faced
Minivet, Small
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Oriole, Eurasian Golden
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Peafowl, Indian (heard)
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pipit, Paddyfield
Pitta, Indian
Prinia, Ashy
Prinia, Grey-breasted
Quail, un id
Robin, Indian
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Roller, Indian
Shama, White-rumped
Shrike, Long-tailed
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Red-rumped
Tailorbird, Common
Wagtail, White-browed
Warbler, Greenish

130514 bird list:

Babbler, Jungle
Babbler, Yellow-billed
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Bee-eater, Blue-bearded
Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bulbul, Red-whiskered
Bulbul, White-browed
Bushchat, Pied
Bushlark, Jerdon’s
Buzzard, Oriental Honey
Coucal, Southern
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Cuckoo, Common Hawk (heard)
Cuckoo-shrike, Large
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Eagle, Short-toed Snake
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Little
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail
Francolin, Grey (heard)
Junglefowl, Grey (heard)
Kingfisher, White-breasted
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Koel, Asian
Lapwing, Red-wattled
Leafbird, Golden-fronted
Malkoha, Blue-faced
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Owl, Mottled Wood
Owlet, Spotted
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Peafowl, Indian (heard)
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pipit, Paddyfield
Prinia, Ashy
Robin, Indian
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Roller, Indian
Shrike, Long-tailed
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Red-rumped
Tailorbird, Common

Hoskote kere, 050414

April 8, 2014

Since David Frye, of Detroit, Michigan, had contacted Chandu to go to Hoskote, Thomas, his son Aakash, and I also joined in from south Bangalore.

We crossed the K R Puram bridge as dawn was breaking:

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This palm tree was bouncing an orange ball as we reached the lake:

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The lake was a mirror:

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There were an amazing number of swallows on the “bund” or the shore of the lake.

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Here’s my short video of the surfeit of swallows:

Here are two, preening:

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They sat on the dried-up trees in the lake, too:

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David Frye and Chandu arrived as we were observing the birds:

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I was very impressed with his sketching and documentation:

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Here’s our little group against the morning sun:

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L to R: Chandu, David, Vignesh( who also arrived at the same time), Thomas, and Aakash.

On the lake bed, we found an ex-crab:

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We consulted to get id’s….

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Especially one bird that was a lifer for me, the

COMMON GREENSHANK:

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Meanwhile, Sanjeev Managoli also drove up on his way to his teaching duties, and in his car, I saw this delightful Ganesha, with a laptop and a mouse:

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We took a brefus break, and here are all of us:

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And here’s IVC (Iddli, Vada, Coffee!)

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Suvarchala, Chandu’s wife, had made these delicious gulab jamuns, so we ate them, too:

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For more bird photos,

click here

to go to my FaceBook album of photos taken with the Sony,

and

click here

to go to my FaceBook album of photos taken with the Canon 30D.

I’ll add some photos from the 30D after I upload them to Flickr!

Email to bngbirds: Nandi Hills, 070214

February 7, 2014

Kamal Hari Menon was kind enough to take me along to Nandi Hills, and it turned out to be an awe-inspiring morning, on so many different levels.

The magical sunrise, and the golden light of dawn, painting the sky in purples and reds, and the land and trees in god.

A Crested Serpent Eagle, all fluffed up, in the huge Eucalyptus trees on the way up.

The beautiful vistas from the hill top, still shrouded in the mists of the night.

The almost immediate sighting of most of the Usual Gang of Suspects of Nandi betta.

The sight of a Shikra chasing a Pied Thrush. (We do not know the end result.)

The sight of four Pied Thrushes, together, moving around in the trees.

The sight of five or six Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, fluttering their way through the trees.

The green light through the majestic trees, reminding us of the Neralu Tree Festival and the ongoing need to protect these silent, patient beings.

Several kinds of Flycatchers, and a stint watching a Tickell’s Blue and, later, an Asian Paradise, foraging on the ground.

A newborn Bonnet Macaque,being inspected carefully by its mother and “aunt”.

Meeting other birders, also on their own quests.

Two Booted Eagles, swooping over Nehru Nilaya on their way to the thermals over the valley beyond the Yoga Nandiswara temple.

The calm that prevails in Nandi betta on a weekday morning!

Hearing two Pittas calling loudly to each other, and glimpsing one very briefly.

The sheer incredulity of realizing that it was 11am! Where had five hours gone?

If I was not already living in a place handy for Bannerghatta, I would be sorely tempted to invest in one of those “hill view” developments happening at the base of Nandi betta! Between ghatta and betta, we have a wealth of birds here….!

I’ve put up the pictures on my FB album

here

I will be uploading short videos of the Puff-throated Babbler, the Wood Pigeon, and the Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher…soon.

A short video of the adult macaques, with the newborn baby is already posted.

Birds:

Babbler, Puff-throated
Babbler, Tawny-bellied
Barbet, Coppersmith
Barbet, White-cheeked
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Cuckoo, Common Hawk
Dove, Spotted
Eagle, Booted
Eagle, Crested Serpent
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Flycatcher, Asian Brown
Flycatcher, Asian Paradise
Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary
Flycatcher, Red-breasted
Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue
Flycatcher, Verditer
Drongo, Ashy
Drongo, Black
Kite, Black
Kite, Brahminy
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pigeon, Nilgiri Wood
Pipit, Paddyfield
Pipit, Tree
Pitta, Indian
Robin, Indian Blue
Robin, Oriental Magpie
Shikra
Spurfowl, Red (a first for me at this place)
Sunbird, Purple
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow,Red-rumped
Thrush, Blue Rock
Thrush, Blue-capped Rock
Thrush, Orange-headed
Thrush, Pied
Wagtail, Grey
Warbler, Booted
Warbler, Greenish
Warbler, Un id
White-eye, Oriental

I’m sorry, I hardly noticed any butterflies…they started getting active only as we left, thanks to the cold and not very bright day.

I have a query…what are the sightings of Owls, Owlets and Woodpeckers from the slopes of the betta? I’ve seen the Spotted Owlets near Nandi Restaurant at the beginning of the road leading to Nandi Hills, but never sighted these birds on the betta.

Is anyone else apart from Kiran Baagade and me taking part in the Manipal Bird Day? I’m sure there must be plenty of people….would be nice to know!

The Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat, 141213

December 20, 2013

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The

Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat

is an amazing temple dating back to the 11th century, and it was wonderful to visit it during the Ahmedabad trip. It’s about 100 km. from Ahmedabad and it took a little more than two and a half hours to reach it.

It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty.
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Here’s the explanatory sign, in Hindi:

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I liked seeing the colourful clothes of people in front of the ancient carvings.

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Flights of pigeons add to the beauty of the temple:

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The Suraj Kund is a beautiful stepped “tank” or reservoir of water:

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Photography is a must!

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108 miniature shrines are carved in between the steps inside the tank. Also number 108 considered to be auspicious by Hindus as Hindu rosary has same number of beads.

Two huge ornamental arches called Toran forms a gateway to the Sabha Mandap (assembly hall)

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Here’s a small shrine in the grounds.
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Here’s a Nandi (sacred bull) facing Shiva’s shrine:

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Hanuman,the son of the Wind God Vayu, is usually depicted in red or orange in North India:

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Here’s one of the shrines:

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The Sabha Mandap is the main shrine:

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I was struck to read that the entire temple is based on an inverted lotus-base plinth. It was designed so that the rays of the rising and setting sun on the day of equinox (20 March and 21 September generally) fell on the bejeweled pure gold idol of Sun riding on his chariot driven by the”saarthi”, Arun. The Sun’s chariot has seven horses and Saarthi Arun sits on the fourth. The entire gold idol (including the charioteer, chariot and horses) was placed on a pit that was 15 feet deep and filled with gold coins. The temple was built by the Solankis in honour of their ancestral God. It was plundered by Muhammad Ghazni. The entire gold idol was, allegedly, taken away by him.

I could not find any gold, Muhammad Ghazni, had been there before me… but I certainly loved the dazzle of Surya Narayana, Himself, at His temple:

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Here’s the Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap:

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The sculpture everywhere, is elaborate and intricate:

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Sculpture of an elephant hunt

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Detail of a pillar

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Here’s the central cupola:

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Outside, in the grounds, are hapazardly-piled up treasures, some of which I clicked.

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I enjoyed seeing youth and age soaking up the atmosphere together.

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This beauty aligns her body tribhanga (standing with three bends of the body):

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I loved the delicate detail of the arch:

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weathered stone

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Here are the colours of humanity against the sculptures:

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At the fence which separates the temple from the temple from the Pushpavati river, this Red-vented Bulbul looked beautiful…

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On the Pushpavati River, this Black-winged Stilt went about its work, while its mate nested in the weeds, and a Red-wattled Lapwing showed its head:

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Cormorants fished…

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A Jungle Babbler probed the bark of a tree:

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Devotees took their ease in the shade:

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Here’s my group of friends:

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Let me end with a photo of these smaller shrines, peaceful under the trees:

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Hope you enjoyed your e-trip to the Sun!

Diamond drops…

June 9, 2013

Diamond dew drops glisten
In the morning sun
The very light seems washed, and fresh…
The rule of night is done.

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The mist still lies just above
The ground: the sun’s not yet strong
Refreshing my eyes, my very soul,
I enjoy it as I walk along.

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We had a very hectic day…photos of the

Solar Impulse

aircraft, my walk downtown, and the evening in

City Garden

will follow…

Cloudbow, or Ringbow, around the sun, St.Louis, 150313

March 15, 2013

I made a movie, using one of Picasa’s features for the first time.

This is for ….

I liked it when the aircraft flew across 🙂