Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Gray Hairstreak And A Blue-eyed Bee

"But(t)....wha...?!" Looking at this 'goggle-eyed' beauty
this could be the most likely response! I've never
photographed a butterfly from this angle. And watching it
as it criss-crossed the length and breadth of the Ixora
blooms, was a sheer delight. To get this shot, I gently
brought the branch towards me all the time praying it
wouldn't notice the slight change in location. If it
did, it showed no signs of being disturbed but went about
its business of feeding.

I clicked several times then left it alone. It was far
too busy to acknowledge me anyway:) Wish other butter-
flies would follow suit!

A few days ago, as I was weeding, I noticed a bee on a
bamboo stake. Initially, I didn't pay much attention as
it looked like a common carpenter bee and they usually
make a beeline for dead bamboo. I see them all the time.

But when it turned towards me...oh my, this wasn't the
usual one! It had blue eyes and a bit of yellow in front
and was bigger than the regular carpenter bees in my yard.
Well, weeding was forgotten!!

This year I've seen many kinds of bees but I haven't googled
bees as yet. The tons of dragonflies and butterflies are
keeping me very busy indeed!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Indian Laburnum

The flowering trees of summer are a beautiful sight. Our
landscape is ablaze with the glorious reds, pinks, and
the yellows. And talking about the last colour, the
fragrant blooms of the Indian Laburnum truly stand out.

On roadsides and parks, on hills dotting our city, there's
this shimmer of gold that catches your eye, holds your
attention. And in the searing heat of summer, the sight does
not fail to lift our spirits. Locally known as "Sonaru" which
means golden. This tree is also called the Golden Shower tree.
The botanical name is Cassia fistula. In Hindi, it is Amaltas.

Words from Joyce Kilmer's poem come to mind...

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree

The must-see site of Indian flowers
has more on this. Another site for native plants that I can't do
without is-- where all the details
are given.

I hope you enjoy going through these pictures of clusters
of gold. I know I've gone a little overboard. But every time
I pass by one of these beautiful trees, I stop and click away.
I've taken so many that it was hard to select from my long list!

P.S. My internet connection went for a six on Friday which
is why I haven't been able to respond to comments here nor
comment on your blogs. But I promise I'll be there soon.
Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Queen's Crape Myrtle

All across the city streets, along with the other glorious
colours of summer, are these showy lavender blooms of the
Queen's Crape Myrtle. Native to South-east Asia its bota-
nical name is Lagerstroemia speciosa. Belonging to the same
family as Crape Myrtles/L. indica, the flowers are crinkled
and showy.

Queen's Crape Myrtle is also known as Pride of India.
Not knowing much about this tree I found out some facts
online. It is a fast-growing tree and can reach a height
40-60ft and also spread to 30-40ft. The blooming period
is from April to July.

In autumn the leaves turn to a coppery shade and then
shed during winter. Its timber is valuable because of its
durability. Since it can withstand the effects of sea-water
and rough winds, it is made into wharf posts, boats, and
casks. It is also used for making panels on walls as well
as furniture.

Although I've seen pink blooms on the Internet, all the
trees on our streets have lavender blooms. A beautiful
sight to behold!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Of Bugs...And Blooms

I've never had it so good this year! Spoilt for choice, really!
It's bugs galore! This tiny dragonfly went through the entire
A-Z Gamut-of-Wings as I clicked away!

And this red/black bug literally screamed at me for this shot!

The first is always special. It's been raining off and on,
and this is the first rain lily to bloom.

The combination of rain and wind is a little harsh on petals
as delicate as these. But the bugs? Oh, they don't seem to
mind at all!

And sometimes, in little puddles created by a sudden rain,
one might find a lifeless butterfly floating. But even the
dead have company! I saw the fly/bee after the photo was
loaded on the computer.

It took me almost a week for this Splendour-in-Rust to get
used to my presence. I'm no spring chicken, and to be dragged
from leaf to leaf/ sprig to sprig, is no mean feat! (But once
there was a time when I was nimble!!!)

But it's all worth-while! Just look at her(?) now!

The Globe Skimmer lands here when I'm clicking away at the
Common Picture Wing (below). Recently I'd posted a photo of
the male Common Picture Wing. This one is a female--there's
more black on its wings.

A tiny blue dragonfly.

This red one was the most elusive.

Perched on a sunflower stalk, this one looks like it's gulping
down the last morsel of grub!

Pink Ixora ready to burst.

It's not rare to find dragonflis either hurt or near-dead
around this time. This beautifully-hued one could barely

This is only the start of the parade. There are so many other
varieties/hues to come and I'm very much looking forward to
shooting them for posterity. Who knows what tomorrow will

Friday, May 15, 2009

Garden Bloggers' Bloom day May 15, 2009

Welcome to Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Hosted by Carol of
May Dreams Gardens on the 15th of each month, it gives us
a platform to share and see what's blooming in gardens across
the world.

I had posted pictures of the Wingpod Purslane earlier
but the pot hadn't filled up then. From the Portulaca
family again, is the Moss Rose hanging from a basket
tied to a guava tree.

The four o'clocks are going strong. Two colours and Nature's
brushstrokes do full justice.

The Desert Rose that I got from my south Indian holiday
in Dec/Jan has a fresh set of blooms.

A tiny wasp looks appreciatively at the pale blooms of my
Euphorbia milii.

Vinca---looking a little bedraggled after the recent rain.

I did get a 'civilized-looking' lantana from a nursery in
Chennai. The wild ones do not have single-coloured blooms.
I love this yellow and the butterflies do too!!

More blooms coming on this Hydrangea.

Yellow Allamanda.

The blooms of the Caricature plant/Graptophyllum pictum.
I've had this plant for about five years and it's
blooming for the first time.

Cream-coloured hibiscus that I bought from the horticultural
show I'd visited in Feb.

Morning Glory/ Blue Dawn flower I'd uprooted from the
lakeside (in my hometown) back in January.

Peace lilies in several stages of blooming and fading....

The attractive but tiny blooms of Jatropha podagrica.

To see more blooms from across the globe, please visit
May Dreams Gardens. I wish all my visitors and my
blogger friends a very happy GBBD.