Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Joy of Feeding!

Many visitors to this blog, and my blogger friends, have commented
on my photos of butterflies and bees. What is it that draws myriad
lives to a small garden? Wildlife wasn't foremost on my mind when I
first started sowing seeds ages ago! I was happy with the fleeting
sight of the birds and the bees. But I never really gave it much

Ever since I started blogging I've added more and more plants. And
I actually started to notice every little creature who happened to
fly by. Although I keep posting garden wildlife pictures I still
have TONS of them. It's amazing to realize how many tiny lives
count my garden as a source of sustenance on a day-to-day basis.
This post is all about my plants as a food source for my
visitors and garden residents.

Guavas from my two trees are ripening at the moment. The above
photo is from a recent harvest...placed on a bed of Sunset Bells/
Chrysothemis pulchella and Musical notes/Clerodendron incisum.

I was really happy to see what looked like a Common Evening Brown
feasting on one that'd fallen on a sand pile.

This photo, and the next four, show the winter look in my garden.
Butterflies I had never seen before came calling every single day!
And many of them have continued to do so. Swallowtails, the Pansies,
skippers and the paler ones like the Psyche, Albatross, Cabbage
Whites, Emigrants, Grass Yellows and those tiny common blues.

Apart from the bees pictured here there were other kinds too.
Hummingbird moths were here in broad daylight.

This is my front yard As you can see it's small and there's no
grassy patch in the middle. That's because water-logging is a
an issue here, especially during the summer months. This photo
was taken in Febrary. At the far end on the right is a clump
of palm trees. The Golden Cane Palm or Butterfly Palm blooms
in May. By that time the winter flowers start to fade and wither
away so the focus for the wildlife shifts there.

Also around the same time the Indian Blackberry tree is laden
with fruit and the Ashoka blooms prolifically. The activity never
really stops! Both trees are not seen in the picture.

A million blooms fall on the ground and look who's high on ambrosia?!!

If you click on this picture you'll see two brown butterflies
feeding on the fruit. The previous day I had lopped off an
invasive climber, the Grape-leaf Wood Rose and the area hadn't
been cleaned!

Here's what the bloom looks like. Ipomoea vitifolia grows wild
here. Although it needs to be constantly trimmed, I love the yellow

A Butterfly Palm without butterflies? That cannot be!! Here's a
female Common Palmfly butterfly taking a break from feasting!

The male isn't done yet! Gorge on! The birds make it easier for
the butterflies. They peck on the fruit and the flesh gets exposed.
No wonder it's a favourite watering hole for the 'browns'!

To peck or not to peck, that is the question!

It isn't only the Asian Pied Starling who comes to feed here.
The bulbuls, who recently raised a family on the upper portion
of the clump, love the fruit too!

With all the insects converging here, can the skink be far behind?
I found this one lying in wait....Although I haven't got a picture
of a marsh mongoose I've seen it/them in the vicinity several times.

A constant in my garden is the Mexican Heather. The smaller, paler
butterflies are happy to be here, every single day!

Other wildlife are dragonflies and damselflies, and several bugs I've
not been able to identify (as yet). And lizards! So it isn't without
the feeling that when I walk out into my yard I'll come across
someone enjoying a bite or a sip out there!


Titania said...

Your garden is a veritable food heaven for all sorts of wildlife. It is such a pleasure to observe them. No wonder they love your garden with all the fruit and blossoms at the ready. I think a garden should be like this. As more manicured it is as less wildlife. Mine never looks spick and span but it provides shelter and food for all sorts of wildlife. As we move more and more into their habitats it is important not to shut out the wildlife from our gardens.
Your header is beautiful!

islandgal246 said...

Kanak you have a very pretty front yard. Love your flowers is that phlox I see next to the zinnias? Your garden should be declared a wildlife garden by National Geographic. I have been trying to get some photos of wild life in my garden i.e. monkeys. I saw two of them walking along my back garden this wall this morning, and I had no luck, they are too quick .....SIGH. Well one of these days I might be lucky.

Susie said...

How nice that your garden feeds and cares for some many wonderful insects/animals Kanak. I've never really considered how many species do depend upon our flowers.

birdy said...

Lucky you, both garden and these little creatures bring you joy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful yard/gardens with us and all the insects. It is always so enjoyable to take a tour with you. You have such great images of visitors to your many flowers. Hope you have a wonderful day.

tina said...

Your frontyard is just gorgeous! No grass needed. And to think it is in February when all of our flowers are sleeping.

ShySongbird said...

So much going on in your garden Kanak and I too have noticed how blogging concentrates the mind :)
I am much more observant than I used to be and find myself noticing even the tiniest insects. I loved all the photos, the colour of the Ipomoea is beautiful.

I also loved the stunning photos of the Lime Butterfly on the previous post, what a beautiful creature.

Stephanie said...

Winter has begun? You have two seasons like Nepal also right? I really love your garden :-D So many beautiful flowers and plants. I wish I can garden there.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Trudi, thank you so much! So true about not shutting out wildlife after taking over their habitat... Our locality used to be rice fields before. As the city grows more agricultural is taken up but I don't know how passionate others are about wildlife but many of them are very much into gardening. There's hope!

Helen, good luck with those shots! And thanks for all your words...We don't have any such certification here although I've seen it on Tina's blog. That's phlox, yes! Summers are pretty drab here . All gardens come alive in winter. Also the flower/horticultural shows are a big draw!

Thanks Susie. I'd never considered it myself. But recently Karen's(Greenwalks) and Wendy's(Changes with Seasons) comments about the food source for my visitors set me thinking. And I also wanted to post some of my winter shots:) In a way I'm glad I know who's where.

Birdy, thank you for stopping by.

Mildred, thanks. I'm glad I've finally posted some of the photos I had with me for so long. Have a great day!!

Tina, thanks! Funny about the seasons in different parts of the world. Right now there isn't much colour.

Jan, thank you so much! There are many colourful insects but the birds are mostly grey/brown/black. I hope I can get great shots of birds like you do!!

Steph! Must be like Nepal, not too sure, but a whole lot of plantings start in Oct/Nov. For us the cooler months are the best!!!

walk2write said...

It's not just luck that's brought all the creatures to you, Kanak. We can see how much loving work you've put into attracting them. I see some familiar plants that I grow like the zinnias and the Mexican heather, but you have so many different palms and other lovely trees. I think the insects and animals enjoy the plant diversity almost as much as the sweet nectar and fruit.

Kanak Hagjer said...

W2W, I remember when we first 'met' our conversation was about Mexican heather. Since then the plant has spread to other areas, which means more butterflies.

You're right about the diversity. I've created a mini jungle next to the coconut tree. I haven't posted those photos as yet. The best part is that I never thought I'd be attracting so many other life forms. A blessing indeed, for a gardener.

Autumn Belle said...

Kanak, I love your garden. I like how you mentioned about your 'garden residents'. Now, I am looking at my own garden from a different perspective. It is really nice to talk about the birds, bees and butterflies here with you.

Sunita said...

I never know what I'm going to see when I'm visiting your blog, Kanak, which makes it so much fun. Especially since we share so many of the same butterflies and other creatures. Its almost like looking at my own garden but with a whole new set of eyes. Fun! :)

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Hi Kanak !! You have got a beautiful garden ..Lovely and fantastic..Unseen Rajasthan

Kanak Hagjer said...

I'm glad to know that Autumn Belle. It's a subject we gardeners love talk about!

Sunita, you put it so well!! Pleasure to read your comment...about the butterflies, I think you have more variety. I haven't seen some of the ones that I've seen in your garden. But hoping that they'll stop by....

Unseen Rajasthan....thank you so much!!!

Prospero said...

Most excellent post, Kanak. I really enjoyed seeing your front yard, too. I really wish I had as many insects as you have. I have many plants, but I think that being right on the ocean deters some of the flying insects. You always treat your insect as welcomed guests, and I really like that.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Prospero, thank you so much!! I really, really, love them coming to my garden. There's a small part of the day that I call 'insect time' and believe me I do get some photos!! Yesterday's insect-time was all about the blue-banded bees. They came back after a gap of 2 months and I was thrilled to see them.

Very happy to read your comment. But the ocean does sound lovely!