Monday, November 30, 2009

Where In The World Am I?

Janie of An Obsessive Compulsive Plant Collector had done a post
in early November about where we garden bloggers were planted. I
had been meaning to do this for a while but too many posts came in
between and November brought me more than my share of the usual
computer aches and pains:) And instead of prose I've turned to
From a poem titled "Guwahati" by our region's most prolific
writer, Indrani Raimedhi, who has kindly granted me permission
to reproduce her poem here.

Guwahati, that's where I live. In the north-eastern region of India,
in the state of Assam. I've called this city home since 1993. It's the
largest city in our region and one of the fastest growing cities in
India. Its etymological root is derived from two Assamese words--
"Guwa" and "Haat". The first stands for areca nut/areca catechu and the
second means 'market'. These photos show the fruit on the tree and
the harvest. The ripe ones turn a rich shade of yellowish orange.
You can find out more about the nut here.

Home to more than a million people, Guwahati stands on the banks
of the mighty river, the Brahmaputra. The city is dotted with hills.
Summer's maximum temperature can be as hot as 38* and our short-lived
much-loved winter temps vary between 10* and 25-27*


Ancient city with a young heart
Hills huddle around you
Like old women at a birth
Or a funeral
A sullen river
Receives your offerings silently
Of flowers,ash,coins


You contain multitudes
Slums break out like rash
Your arteries are choked with cars
You die a little
As fumes permeate your lungs
As floods surge into your homes
And taps run dry
You die a little
When they tear down your
Dreaming, time-worn houses
Dig up your verdant fields

The Brahmaputra


You unleash a melody
The clamour of bells at Kamakhya
Trains mournful whistles
Tumult of traffic
Cries of children at play
Muezzins call for prayers
The madman's muttered obscenities
Ringing of telephones
Scream of pilot cars
catcalls of eaveteasers

The Kamakhya Temple on Nilachal Hill


Lovers link arms
Under your Krishnachura
As red as the blood
Of the scooterist who
Died in your street

The Flame Tree in bloom. Locally called the Krishnachura


Your people have no time
To read the graffiti on your walls
Or live out a cosmic experience
At your planetarium
Few care to walk
The corridors of your history
Or even know why
A frozen God contemplates the river
At Sukleswar

At the temple of the nine planets
On Chitrachal hill
The earthen lamps flicker

To dispel the darkness

One of the city streets in the evening


Every day your old self
Dies a little
The glossy tourist brochures
Have for you
A brand new sobriquet
Gateway to the north-east
How can you be
Only a threshold
To be crossed?
They have forgotten the pulsebeat
Of your history

Perhaps only the statues
In your parks
Remember your past
The wrinkles under your paint
The hills huddle around you
The river sullenly washes your side
Live on Guwahati
Dreaming under the sky.

View of the city photographed from Nilachal Hill

Friday, November 27, 2009

Blooming Friday!

Welcome to the last Blooming Friday of November. I have blooms in
three colours today. To see what's blooming around the world, please
visit Katarina at Roses and Stuff.

I found this Marmalade Fly on the bloom of the Golden thyrallis. This
is also known as the Gold Shower and Rain of Gold. The small flowers
bloom in clusters and are of a bright and cheerful yellow.

This yellow bougainvillea growing next to the wall blooms in the cooler
months. It's at its best now.

Coconut blooms. It's such a blessed feeling to see blooms of either
fruit or vegetable.

A touch of red here! I found this Bulbul bird perched on my neighbour's
Star-fruit tree.

A red hibiscus blooms after a gap.

Buds on my potted salvia. I've planted some on the ground.

And guava blooms! There were only four blooms on the tree. Summer is
the season for guavas but one does get a one or two fruits in early
spring. I guess they don't want to wait that long;)

Thanks for stopping by. Blooming Friday, started by Katarina turned
a year old last Friday. It's been such a pleasure posting flowers from
my garden as well as from other locations. Seeing other participants'
posts have been a wonderful learning experience as well. Thank you,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

These Blues Don't Get Me Down!

Kiki of the refreshingly beautiful blog Awake With Charm And Spirit
recently wrote a post titled The Color Essence Of Blues and invited
bloggers to share their blues:) Since blue happens to be a colour
I like, I'm sharing many of the blue blooms I've grown or photographed
elsewhere. And butterflies, without which my post wouldn't be complete!!

The colour blue has more of positive than negative connotations. No
wonder it's much-loved. The symbolism of freedom and optimism comes
foremost to mind when I think of this shade.

The bluest blooms I have are those of the Butterfly Pea. It's
the double-petalled variety and grows in a vine. Recently, Autumn Belle
of My Nice Garden did a wonderful post on this plant.

The Blue Dawn flower/Ipomoea indica is also known as the Ocean Blue
Morning Glory. It's more of a bluish-purplish shade and the blooms
turn paler when they close for the day. Although I have this plant
in my garden, this photo was taken on the roadside in my home town.

A butterfly whose name I do not know. I found the blue stripes

Hydrangea which bloomed in early summer. I hope it puts on a show again.

The Blue Daze is also known as the Brazilian Dwarf Morning Glory and
Hawaiian Blue Eyes. I photographed this in the gardens of the local
zoo. The leaves pretty much resemble the petunia's. The botanical
name is Evolvulus glomeratus.

Walking Iris. Blooms in early summer.

Blue blooms from weeds on the wayside.

One of the common small butterflies...not really sure whether it's
the Grass Blue or Hedge Blue.

And the mysterious enigmatic blue of the skies at daybreak is a
magical sight.

Patches of blue infinity reflected on my water-lily container. Somehow
the tiny snail navigated its way on the tender leaf...

To check other participants' "Blue" posts, please visit Kiki's charming blog.

Season Of Joy!

In my heart and in my soul "Ah...Winter..." is the song that's played
over and over again. Our maximum and minimum temps, as of today, are
29* and 13*C. Bliss!!

I caught one of my garden lizards basking in the morning sun and
as I took several shots it only moved a wee bit. Now who wants to
move away from the warmth of a November sun? Especially when the
night has been cold by tropical standards?!

The outermost skin of gladiolus corms...The colours were so pretty
I couldn't resist taking this photograph. I'd taken them out to
plant them on a tray of sandy soil. Now the first leaves have sprouted.

Winter is also the time one can look forward to horticultural shows.
These photos are from February. The shows go on till March. The fruit
and vegetable displays are worth a visit. And to see so many varieties
in one place is an opportunity that one can't miss. On other occasions,
one has to go nursery-hopping to see that many different kinds of plants.
Apart from all the seasonal flowers, there are dry decorations on sale
too. And an amazing display of orchids. I hope I'll be able to share
many more photos later.

Everyone seems to be celebrating the welcome change in the weather.
Picnics, trips to eco-camps and wildlife sanctuaries--it's the best
time for these activities. As December approaches, many will spend
time around a bonfire. And sitting around a fire surrounded by family
or friends, I feel how important it is to keep relationships alive.
Just like stoking that fire without which it'd simply die.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blooming Friday/Sky blue Cluster Vine

Welcome to Blooming Friday! My erratic connection kept me out of
blogdom but now I hope I'll be able to make up for all that lost

I took this picture of a tiny dragonfly some time back in a nursery.
The next best reason for visiting nurseries I must say, is to see so
many lovelies flitting and flying about.

The Cluster Vine bloometh....after a gap of several months. There's a
reason here. I had to prune it because the growth was so vigorous and
that I did just when it showed signs of fatigue blooming like nobody's
business throughout the cooler months till March/April. Wish I could say
the same for other vines too but the others happen to be moody!!

The Skyblue Cluster Vine/Jacquemontia pentantha is a fast-growing climber.
A native of tropical America, it's from the Morning Glory family. It's
ideal for trellises. The flowers bloom in clusters at the end of long stalks.
The flowers are attractive to pollinators. The plant can be easily propagated
by cuttings and by seeds.

I couldn't resist posting these pictures from February and March this year.
There's always a fly or a butterfly on the many blue blooms. I hope you
enjoy going through these photos. To see what's blooming around the world,
the place to stop by is-- Katarina's.

Thank you for stopping by... Have a great weekend everyone!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blooming Friday!

Welcome to Blooming Friday on this wonderfully pleasant day of
November. For today's post, the blooms are from three different
places. To see what's blooming around the world please head over
Katarina's beautiful blog---Roses and Stuff.

From the gardens of Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra

November sky reflected on the pool next to Dwarf Mussaenda/
Mussaenda glabra. The entire bush was covered with tiny yellow
blooms and creamy white sepals.

The buds (below), and the blooms of the Powder Puff/
Calliandra haematocephala.

A profusely blooming shrub is the Limestone Ruellia/Ruellia strepens.

Didi's Blooms

Didi is the term we use for an older sister. My husband's sis-in-law
is a keen gardener and these blooms are from her garden. The winter-
flowering plants have been planted and in the next month or so there'll
be plenty of colour. But some blooms that seem to go on and on are....

The pretty and fragrant blooms of the Rangoon Creeper/Quisqualis indica.
From the ground it's trained to climb up to the terrace garden.

Dark pink Bougainvillea brightens up the terrace area.

The Creeping Foxglove/Asystasia gangetica is another prolific bloomer.
I hope to show some more of Didi's blooms in my future posts.

From my yard

Lighting up my rather dull yard are the bright yellow blooms of the
Candle Bush/Senna alata. I didn't plant it. It's a gift from the birds
or the wind. I'll have to transplant it later but the yard is full of
construction material now.

It's a bush that gets about 6 feet tall. The leaves are used in the
treatment of ringworm so it's also known as the Ringworm Shrub.

Yellow blooms of a variety of bean grown in the hilly areas of our
region. Don't you love that yellow?