Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'll be away

I'll be away from blogosphere for a short while. I'll be
visiting and commenting on all the blogs I regularly visit--
once I'm back.

The photographs below are some of my much-loved visitors. All
the photos were taken in Feb and March in my garden. The most
recent ones are of the tiniest butterflies--the Common Grass Blues.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Of late, the skies haven't been the bluest...

clouds loomed large----

---and sunsets had become a little less spectacular. And
although the signs of rain were there, all we got was dust,
and more dust! Sometimes, the first mild rain comes as early
as February. Enough for the dust to settle down but since it
took its time coming, it has created drought-like conditions
in many parts of the state. Several times, planes have not
been able to take off or land because of the dust-storms.

But yesterday, the storm came. The kind that's usually accompanied
by rain. It was sudden--the bang, the thud, the swish, the frantic
swaying of trees, everything happened all at once. It must've
lasted for about fifteen minutes followed by a drizzle so light
it left us disappointed...

But it finally rained at night. Enough to wet the rain-starved
soil.Andthe first thing I did in the morning was to get these

The Common Castor butterfly was on my Ixora, gently flapping its
wings. I waited with all due reverence waiting for this shot.

Droplets of rain on this Oxalis--a recent buy...

...on the green and tender bananas.

Raindrops sit pretty on this caladium leaf.

This year the mango trees were covered in blooms so thick
it made me wonder whether I've ever seen that many blooms
before. There's a saying that if the mango blooms like that,
there's enough rain that year. And it's good for the paddy.
Here's hoping that the saying comes true for our farmers.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Garden Update

The first Adenium bloom of the year. I'd noticed the buds
earlier and had forgotten about them. Normally I wouldn't
have, but with all the different butterflies that I'm after,
even blooms have taken a backseat!

A wispy, spidery bloom lands on the coleus.

The tomatoes that I grew from seeds are ready to be picked now.
The first small batch is in the basket. There were too many
plants for me from that packet. So I gave a whole pot of
tomato plants to my neighbour who in turn gave half of them to
her neighbour! One packet of seeds and three families! Not to mention the friends and relatives that the tomatoes will go to!

Yesterday's pickings. The cherry tomatoes re-seed every year.
It's a yearly staple here!

A pair of bulbuls are nesting in my garden. Initially, I thought
they were in this birdhouse. But I found out they're in the palm
trees growing next to this Ashoka tree.

Part of the palm trees can be seen here.

Through the thick foliage, only a bit of the nest can be seen.
I'll have to be extremely careful if I need to remove dead leaves--
I wouldn't want to scare them in any way.

Here are photos of the nesting pair. I'd been working in this
area,re-arranging pots, and watering the plants-it's looking messy--
when the bulbuls landed. Luckily I had the camera ready. I managed
a shot before they sensed that somebody was around.

The pair on the blackberry tree.

The Common Palm Fly butterfly is always around. Just like the Cabbage
Whites. Look who else is there in the photo?! Sometimes, something else
other than the subject you were concentrating on, shows up in the photos.
Here, I wasn't even aware that I'd shot this strange looking insect too.

Thought I'd take another shot when I saw movement and I clicked.
And I'm glad I did because when I realized I'd just shot an
insect I did not recognize, I kept looking for it but it'd
disappeared in the midst of all that foliage.

A frog I've never seen before was on this recently transplanted
shrub. I noticed it as I watered the plants this afternoon.
Throughout the photo-shoot, it sat there, still, unmoving...
Now, if only a hummingbird moth would also pose like that......!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Year Of Blogging!

Terra farmer turns one today! A year ago, after being glued to
gardening blogs, I wanted, oh, so wanted, to belong to this won-
derful community of garden bloggers. And on a pleasant evening in
March, this blog was born.

Ever since, it's been a journey of discoveries.....of the most
fascinating people, the most amazing gardens, and a host of
superlatives! My interest in gardening has a renewed zest--and
in the process, I have managed to attract more wildlife in my
small garden than ever before! I've seen so many different species
of butterflies than now. Below are the photos of some of my visitors/

I've seen the Cabbage White butterfly with its abdomen raised
and I'd found that odd. But reading Randy and Meg's Garden Paradise
a fascinating blog,I found out that the female shows that
she isn't interesred in breeding. Here, her suitors flutter
about her but she stays there, unmoving.

They fly away....

Abdomen still raised, she stays for a split second then flies-
the usual way.

A Bulbul bird on my Indian Blackberry tree. They have a red
patch at the root of the tail. If you click on the photo,
you'll see that bright red.

The Tailor bird. See how well it blends with its surroundings.
It does make a lot of noise and visits regularly.

Another of the pretty blue butterflies with the wings closed.

Quite a regular now...the Peacock Pansy butterfly.

Not a harmless-looking spider, this!

Did someone paint this little spider?! I've never seen it here
but now that it's here, welcome!!

There's much to look forward to.... this year and the coming years!
Thank you for stopping by. I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blue-eyed Damselfly

Guess who looked at me in the eye yesterday but said nothing?;-)
A blue and red damselfly perched on a dry gladiolus leaf! Last
summer, there were many of these beauties in my yard and I was
very happy to see at least one of them again, this early. They
abound in the rainy season. I'm still waiting for the reds and
the vibrant yellows.

It flew to another leaf and arched its body into a circle.

What a joy to be greeted by a sight like this! It was 11.30 in
the morning. The day was cloudy and I'd gone to check whether
the gazanias were ready to rise and shine.But no, as you can see
from the photo below,they were still bleary-eyed. So unlike their
wide-eyed bed-fellows!!