Posts Tagged ‘tree’

Under the Ash tree, 251014

October 31, 2014

Under the Ash tree swing the little one, and I.

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The ash tree’s grown so gracefully; the leaves peep at the sky.

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Others also take their turn on this quickly-strung-up swing.

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Swinging in the cool, crisp weather means joy in everything!

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Tower Grove Park with Edge Wade, 071014

October 8, 2014

Edge drove down all the way from Columbia to take me to Tower Grove Park, and it proved to be an enormously rewarding outing.

We started with cloudy and overcast weather, and it took a while for us to see some birds; but suddenly, there was an eruption of Warblers in just two or three trees,not too far from the Cypress Grove…. and other birds, too!

Edge emailed me later, ” Warblers we saw were Yellow-rumped (Myrtle subspecies), Tennessee, American Redstart and Nashville. Also saw several Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Blue-headed Vireo,Carolina Wren, Eastern-Wood-pewee, Carolina Chickadee, and Tufted Titmouse, as well as the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hairy, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers.”

I learnt a lot, too. For example, when Yellow-rumped Warblers arrive, it means that most of the other Warblers have already left. And that there are about 33 species that pass through Missouri during the migration period!

Here’s one

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER:

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A

TUFTED TITMOUSE

pecked for insects among the leaves.

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Here’s a

BLUE-HEADED VIREO

which, Edge said, was quite a special sighting:

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I was able to catch a

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH

on the tree-trunk:

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And just when I thought I’d hit the highlight of the morning…we saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker, and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, on the same tree, too! It was Woodpecker Central, and we just needed a Northern Flicker, a Pileated Woodpecker, and a Red-headed Woodpecker to have a complete smorgasbrod of them!

It was quite amazing to me to be able to actually see and compare a Downy and Hairy Woodpecker at the same time, on the same tree.

Here’s the Hairy:

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Here’s the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker:

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This photo definitely shows that it’s a wood pecker!

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Here’s the

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER:

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Look at that checkerboard back!

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An

EASTERN PEEWEE

against the light:

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Edge told me that these

WARBLERS

are very versatile; they exhibit warbler, thrush and flycatcher behaviour (flitting through the trees, turning over leaf-litter on the ground, and hawking insects from the air)…

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A female

NORTHERN CARDINAL

was around, too:

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The

CAROLINA WREN

seems to be the American counterpart of our Ashy Prinia…a loud voice in a small bird.

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Edge’s call brought the bird out in a militant mood; they do not like intruders on their territory.

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We sat for a while at the Bubbler; there were no birds to be seen, but the peace of the place seeped into my soul.

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We saw some Mallards on the water, and it struck me how, for a colourless liquid, water takes on the most amazing hues!

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It reminded me of the water around this Wood Duck in Forest Park:

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Edge shared a lot of knowledge about plants, too; this meant that when we didn’t sight birds, there was still a lot of interesting stuff to see and learn about.

This is the Hedge Apple, also called the

OSAGE ORANGE

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Here’s one fruit on the tree:

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The tree trunk is quite amazing:

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Edge said that she’s usually seen trees being much smaller than these. The fruits are not eaten by any animal or bird, and many lay there on the ground…quite an unusual sight in Nature!

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The fruit had a tart, tangy smell, and seemed very fibrous.

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the

STAGHORN SUMAC.

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is so called for the shape of its infloresence. I was lucky to see a small tree in full bloom. Here’s Edge, showing it to me:

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We saw the plaque for Torrey Berger, who, Edge informed me, invented the term “Birders’ Direct Route”…which could take a birder one to a thousand miles off the mapped route!

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These berries were beautiful.

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Here’s a

BLACK WALNUT:

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The conifer had gall that looked like brains!

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Here’s a pic to show the tiny berry-cones and the gall:

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We don’t know what tree this is, but it’s so beautiful!

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The

SYCAMORE

tree-trunk is a work of abstract art!

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Edge told me this ground cover plant is called Gill O’Ground.

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This tiny flower is Cinque, a kind of Clover:

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I clicked some of the landmarks, such as this Turkish Pavilion (dating from 1872!)

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This is the Bandstand:

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It’s surrounded by the busts of Western classical musicians.

Beethoven:

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Wagner:

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and several others.

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How old is this seat, I wonder?

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Here’s Edge, eating the Uppma that I made, and liking it…she shared some lovely dark chocolate and pickled gherkins with me!

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I loved the punny slogan on her cap!

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Edge dropped me home, and there were these two Grasshoppers, which I had to click:

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A collage of fall leaves is foliage follage!

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I hope you enjoyed my outing as much as I did…thank you, Edge, for a wonderful time!

Would you….?

May 1, 2014

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Would you like to be a god
Symbolized by stones..
Or rest in eternal peace,
Your world-weary bones
Under the spreading shade
Of majestic trees
That Nature made?
Would you also say,
Would you agree
With the poet’s words,
“Only God can make a tree”?

A giant of a palm tree! Kanakapura “Pipe” Road, 280114

March 10, 2014

On the way to Sundaghatta, I suddenly was struck by a truly majestic, dead tree!

This was, I learnt from Arun Kumar,

Corypha umbraculifera, the TALIPOT PALM

which is a species of palm native to eastern and southern India (Malabar Coast) and Sri Lanka.

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It is one of the largest palms in the world; individual specimens have reached heights of up to 25 m (82 ft) with stems up to 1.3 m (4.25 ft) in diameter.[1]
You can see its height above the coconut palm trees:

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It is a fan palm (Arecaceae tribe Corypheae), with large, palmate leaves up to 5 m (16 ft) in diameter, with a petiole up to 4 m (13 ft), and up to 130 leaflets.

The talipot palm bears the largest inflorescence of any plant, 6-8 m (20-26 ft) long, consisting of one to several million small flowers borne on a branched stalk that forms at the top of the trunk (the titan arum, Amorphophallus titanum, from the family Araceae, has the largest unbranched inflorescence, and the species Rafflesia arnoldii has the world’s largest single flower).

The talipot palm is monocarpic, flowering only once, when it is 30 to 80 years old. It takes about a year for the fruit to mature, producing thousands of round, yellow-green fruit 3-4 cm (1.2-1.6 in) in diameter, each containing a single seed.

The plant dies after fruiting.

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The talipot palm is cultivated throughout Southeast Asia, north to southern China. Historically, the leaves were written upon in various Southeast Asian cultures using an iron stylus to create palm leaf manuscripts. This must have been the original “olai chuvadu”!

The tree is known as kudapana in Malayalam Language, which means “umbrella” palm tree. On the Malabar Coast, the palm leaves were used to make traditional umbrellas for agricultural workers and students in rural areas until a few decades ago.

What a wonderful amount of information from one stray look at a huge dead tree!

A few of my favourite photos…

February 6, 2014

I just saved them on Flickr, so putting them up here for me to view Later, When I’m Too Old To Do Anything Else.

Bharatpur, 2009:

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Me in my favourite haunt, Bannerghatta, taken by Chandu Bandi:

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What happens if there are no trees:

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Me, taken at Ragihalli by Rathika Ramaswamy:

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A moment during the Boat Race at Alappuzha, Kerala (we were in a boat ourselves)

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“Oh, God, he’s started singing again!”..Devarayana Durga (Naamada Chilume):

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FPF/Audubon 1st Saturday Bird Walk, 010613, Forest Park

June 3, 2013

This was supposed to be a walk to the Norman Probstein Golf Course, to see the gourds and boxes of the

PURPLE MARTINS

about which I’d posted earlier,

here

However, the “official” walk was cancelled, due to possible inclement weather. Here’s the path as I walked up to the Visitors’ Center:

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Several of us

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enjoyed John Miller’s

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informative talk about them…and since the weather had cleared up considerably when we emerged from the Visitors’ Center, several of us decided to follow Mark Glenshaw over to see the Great Horned Owls.

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Mark and Brenda are nothing short of superb in their skills at spotting these birds in the heavy vegetation and the rainy, low-light conditions…so we were able to enjoy the sight of these majestic birds.

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We saw this

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD

male, showing why he is named so:

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We then walked further, looking at various waterfowl, such as this

MALLARD couple, the

GREEN HERON:

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and this

SNOWY EGRET, fishing:

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and then Liz, John, and Robert agreed to come with me to see the Purple Martins at the Norman Probstein Golf Course. On the way, we saw several birds, including this

EASTERN KINGBIRD

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We finally saw the Purple Martins, too, in their gourds and boxes,

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swooping and hawking for insects.

We then went to the Prairie area, saw some more birds such as this

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD female and the EASTERN KINGBIRD,

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the

SONG SPARROW:

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We went home after a very enjoyable morning.

Here are Robert, John and Liz, who were patient enough to be with me on my peregrinations!

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Bird List:

Blackbird, Red-winged
Cardinal, Northern
Cowbird, Brown-headed
Crow, American
Dove, Mourning
Egret, Great
Egret,Snowy
Flicker, Northern
Grackle, Common
Heron, Green
Kingbird, Eastern
Martin, Purple
Mockingbird, Northern
Oriole, Baltimore
Owl, Great Horned
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Robin, American
Sparrow, House
Sparrow, Song
Starling, Common
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Tree
Swift, Chimney
Wren, Carolina
Woodpecker, Red-headed

I did see and hear a few Warblers, but was not able to make any definitive ids.

The common birds of Forest Park continue to fascinate and delight me! I’ve put up some of my SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots) on a web album,

here

I’ve also written the narrative.

Liz was kind enough to give me a ride back home…it was 1pm by then! Another lovely Saturday morning, spent in my favourite haunt!

The House Finches are back…YAYYYY!

February 14, 2013

I had made

this post

about the Housefinches which nested in both Arbor Vitae trees in 2010.

For the past few days, I have watched the buds slowly emerging on the bare Japanese Maple tree, and was wondering if the House Finches would return…and wow, just now…

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I quickly put down the baby and rushed to get this beauty…

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Now I’m waiting to see what happens in the next few weeks! Last time, a severe storm destroyed the nests (and, alas, four hatchlings in one of them). I am hoping for the best this time…

The green light of leisure

June 29, 2012

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In the green light
Falling through the leaves
The family outing
Relaxes and relieves
The tensions of the week,
The cares of each day;
In the green light of leisure
All these melt away.
To be together with loved ones
Out in the open air….
Nature’s the best healer
When the weather’s set fair.

New laptop!

June 29, 2012

After my laptop and I went flying over a granite surface last January, in Chambal, my friendly neighbourhood laptop repairman, and my dear friend

Chandan

together brought it back to life, and it’s been performing creditably ever since.

However, I decided that, like in other areas of my life, I must make a new beginning, and for the past few days, has struggled to load a version of Ubuntu on it, too, to improve my usage.’

Here’s , opening up the exciting package (I waited for him to come home!)

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and setting it up…

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Here’s on Gtalk, also looking at what is going on…

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So…here are the old one and the new one, sitting companionably together on the island in the St.Louis kitchen:

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The new model (it’s also a Toshiba…this is going to be my third Toshiba, and each time it’s smaller and lighter….) is the Toshiba Portege R 835 P83…probably a dinosaur for all the techies and geeks, but very exciting for me!

Also, the old machine had used up all the RAM, and was using the disk memory, and hence had started working at, in DS’ memorable phrase, “Paint-dry speed”. It is a relief to see the prompt response of this new baby!

OK, since I feel very happy to have the laptop, here’s a lovely pic of roses for all of you….

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This pic is dedicated to all the Jhatgussas I know.

The Rain Tree

April 3, 2012

Why is it called “Rain”
When it flowers in the hot sun?
By the time the monsoon arrives
The flowering is done.

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Perhaps the tree is called so
Because it rains so much on us….
Shade, shelter to creatures, clean air;
Beauty and grace.. in silence, without any fuss.

Off to Gir, to see the Asiatic Lions (never been there)…back in a week 🙂