Hoping to attract more bees and butterflies, I'm gradually adding more of bright blooms to my collection. I love the pattern on this variety of coleus. The line of bromeliads at the back also has tinges of pink on them! I once had an adenium but it died. Maybe I should've gone easy on the watering. A recent post by Eric of I Like Plants had such a beautiful bloom that I HAD to go and get one from a nursery. There was only a hint of a bud when I bought it but now it's blooming. I'll most certainly remember that its other name is Desert rose and where there's 'desert' there's no water! I've only recently started adding more euphorbias to my collec- tion. This colour instantly lifted my spirits! I made a little bamboo trellis for this pink Ixora. Once the blooms go I'll prune it. The trellis immediately attracted a carpenter bee which soon gnawed/drilled a near-perfect round hole on it! This Ixora is a dwarf variety. The person at the nursery told me that it'll grow to a height of two ft or so. I'm happy with that but most of all, the thought of the butterflies that'll come is worth the wait!!!
Thank you to all who voted for Terra Farmer and all Blotanists -- who stopped by, left their kind and appreciative comments ... It's been a wonderful learning experience and has enriched my life in ways that I had not even-- it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say-- dreamed of!!
Another beautiful day and I'm chasing a yellow butterfly... Mission unaccomplished but it led me to the grassy road-bank on the fringes of the marsh. And bugdom unfolded before my eyes. I don't know what this one is called but it looked pretty with a touch of red! There were several damselflies--in reds and bluish-greys but they were really tiny. Couldn't get a good shot of the insect which resembled a lady-bug but it was in orange. Miniature blooms amidst all that green and luxuriant grass. Returned home happy with what I'd seen, carrying with me a spray of wild grass blooms....
Today was the day of the birds...but the first one to greet me this morning was this dragonfly. Totally and wholly at rest on this plant. I even adjusted the pot a wee bit but it gave no indication that it knew about another creature's presence!!
The day was hot but by afternoon there were clouds that bore the promise of rain..... Carpenter bees live in this bamboo. As I passed this way I saw this sight. Usually, they go in very fast but this is a smaller bee or wasp being dragged down! The water rail is an elusive one and difficult to photograph. These birds come only when no one's around. The moment they see me they fly their short distances and disappear in the marsh. But they forage here every day and their squawk is something I've gotten used to. Here's another shot. It might be a little difficult to locate the bird. Ever since the rains started, I've often seen the pond herons in flight. They look absolutely white because of their wings. But that's only in flight. At rest, they're a light shade of brown. This is only the second time I've seen a heron on my coconut tree. Looking up Wikipedia, I found out that in warm countries, they dwell in wetlands. Pond herons nest in small colonies often with other wading birds. They feed on insects, fish and amphibians.
Couldn't get a clearer picture. The moment it sensed my presence it flew away to a neighbour's mango tree! Without any ripening fruit in any of my trees, I did wonder whether the birds would come. But seeing them happily twittering and chirping on the wire and the trees I now know that they'll always come. And that, in itself, is heartening!
My hybrid bougainvillea is all set to light up my life! My fading blooms next to the Masai lady. I used wild grass blooms from the marsh as fillers. Fast growing plant, this Jatropha. In a day or two the tiny petals will open. I've placed it next to an (earthen) container water- garden. The reigning Princess of my yard!!
"Embroidery has a natural affinity for flowers. It can also, of course, represent nothing at all." ~ Chris Rankin, Splendid Silk Ribbon Embroidery 1996 Really I don't dislike to cook, but what you cook is eaten so quickly.When you sew, you have something that will last to show for your efforts.~ Elizabeth Travis Johnson The Complete Book of Sewing For Children
While watering the plants this morning, I found this bee moving about on the ground. I thought that was odd! I've never managed to get a close shot of this kind and here it was, barely moving. I got down on my knees and watched it for a while. It tried to fly but simply couldn't take off! I held out a stick and it got on to it without any hesitation.Then I placed it on this flower. Now I've never seen a bee of this size on these blooms. But there are always tiny bees hovering at light- ning speed here. It seemed happy but was still slow for a bee! I went back to my chores and temporarily forgot about it. But the moment I remembered I went back to check. Still there. Went back again after a while...still there. But when I went to check the third time it'd flown away. Well, I didn't actually see it in action but I'd like to think about it that way. Maybe the flower must've rejuvenated it! If all the smaller bees happily buzz around these blooms, it must've done wonders for my sluggish/hurt bee too!! And a bonus as well! This carpenter bee drills holes on dead bamboo and I'd never seen one as still as this. Didn't even let go of what it was holding on to when I clicked away. I didn't think that I'd get bees to 'behave' for my camera!
My mother-in-law sent me a whole lot of produce from her garden. Besides the star fruit there were two bunches of bananas, bay- leaves, fragrant lemons, a small pumpkin, corn and bamboo shoot. The last came cut into thin fine slices, wrapped in a kind of leaf that is commonly used for wrapping food in north-eastern states. I've always been fascinated by this fruit and the tree. Originally from Sri Lanka and the Malaccas, this tree has been cultivated in many south-east Asian countries for hundreds of years. Mature trees reach a height of 25 to 30 ft with several branches. The blooms are mauve with purple tinge and the fruit grows in clusters. When it comes to bearing fruit the only word which comes to mind is, prolific. At my ma-in-law's there are hundreds of fruit during the season and they look so pretty hanging like green and yellow little lanterns. Green or yellow, depending on its maturity. This is the sour variety and is good for pickling. There are two kinds; the other is the sweet variety. Even the sour ones turn sweetish when they ripen. ripe fruit turn yellow with light brown splotches on them.
There are many medicinal properties attributed to this fruit. Several sites list the benefits, but ever since I was a child I've heard about the juice of the star-fruit curing jaundice. Maybe not on its own but with other prescriptions of alternative medicine.
Also known as carambola this fruit is now found/grown in all sub- tropical and tropical regions of the world. This picture shows stars in the making ( of the pickle!) A full day in the hot sun and they're ready to be spiced up! Freshly cut, mixed with turmeric and salt. Out they go to soak up the sun! After being sunned I've added these spices.... Whole ones that went into the hot oil--- Fenugreek, mustard, bits of dry chillies, caraway seeds, cumin seeds bay-leaves and asafoetida.
Roasted and ground into submission------ Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, fennel.
Soaked in vinegar and ground-------- Dry chillies and about ten cloves of garlic. The last ingredient enhances the taste and the flavour! The pickled stars!! A few more days of sunning and voila, the pickle will be ready for the eatin'!
The frangipani trees with white blooms can be seen in many gardens here. But this pink isn't all that common, which is why I couldn't help stopping by this Namghar, (the literal translation is Prayer House) at Zoo Road, in our city, to click a few pictures. I hope you enjoy going through the photos. A very happy weekend to all those who stop by.
Glory be to God for dappled things- For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings; Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough; And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him. Gerard Manley Hopkins
The first flowering shrub I planted on our land
Every flower is a soul blooming in Nature.-Gerard De Nerval
Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself? -Henry David Thoreau