Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Nature Rambles

A colourful bug that I saw on the Garlic Creeper yesterday

Hello everyone! I haven't been regular here for a while. Despite starting this blog with the intention to share whatever bugs and other creatures that I see around me, my passion has now turned to food. It wasn't a sudden interest, I had been passionate about food and cooking all along but didn't really concentrate on writing recipes or a blog. But now I have started a food blog called Blending Flavours so much of my time will be spent working on it.

A variety of wild turmeric blooms under the mango tree

I would like thank everyone who stopped by and left your precious words. They have always inspired me to go out there and get more photos. On many occasions under our very hot sun, bending, crouching, kneeling, etc. All worthwhile. I'll always be a gardener and the sight of a bee, bird, or butterfly will make me stop and look and admire but I'll no longer be blogging here. Cheers to all my blog friends and visitors!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Nature Notes/Chandubi Lake

Last week we took the long (but not winding) road to Chandubi lake. The meaning of the word 'Chandubi" is- where the sun sets.The lake was formed by a devastating earthquake in 1897. The lake is spread over se I had always wanted to visit the area having heard much about the beauty of its surroundings. It's about 65 kms away from Guwahati. The weather was pleasant as it's getting warmer now and the trip was worth it. After crossing small towns, we drove through a beautiful tea garden. What made it more beautiful was the winter haze and the pale blue hills in the backdrop.
The tea garden as seen from a speeding car

A large flock of birds descend to feed on the grass seeds.

A pair of Purple Swamphen
Swamphens have a dazzling plumage. They are known to be excellent swimmers and are commonly seen on the edges of water bodies.
A Common Stonechat
Besides these birds, I saw several egrets, cormorants, the white-breasted water hens, and a blue jay.
The delicate bloom of a Bush Morning Glory
 Bush morning glories are shrubs that grow to 1.5m in height. They are mostly seen on the edge of rice fields and wetlands. Like other blooms from the same family, the flowers close by mid-day.

By the time the boat returned to the bank, the sun was warmer and I caught the gold reflected on the calm waters. As we headed back home I was glad we visited the place but sad that visitors to the spot do not care about wildlife at all. Loud music played by picnickers are driving away most birds. The litter that's left by revellers is another sad tale. The Bombay Natural History Society and the International Bird Conservation Network had declared this site as an Important Birds Area some time ago.

To see more posts on nature, visit Michelle's Rambling Woods.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Some Sights From Diyungmukh

Sunrise as seen across the river at Diyungmukh

Floss flowers bloom in the foreground
 I haven't been able to blog as regularly as before but i'd like to share some of the pictures taken on a recent trip to a place called Diyungmukh. It's a four-hour-drive from where I live and where the river Kopili has some of the most beautiful stretches. During this season, one of the most invasive weeds of our region blooms prolifically. There are endless stretches of pale blue floss flowers on both sides of the road, on the edges of fields, and of course on  the river bank as well.
The blooms are attractive to butterflies. I found a female Leopard Lacewing butterfly feeding on a cluster of these blooms. 
And here's a male Leopard Lacewing butterfly resting on a lantana leaf-- another weed commonly found in our area. 

A green snake. Not a common sight and certainly a first-time photo-op for me.
I found a flock of chestnut-tailed starlings perched high up on this tall tree. My camera isn't good enough to get really clear shots but I'm happy I got these blue-beaked darlings huddled together.
A flock of chestnut-tailed starlings

Thank you for stopping by today. May this New Year bring you peace and happiness!

I'm linking up to Michelle's Nature Notes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nature Notes/Regeneration

 In some of my earlier posts I had lamented about how the empty plot of land near our house has been filled up with tons of soil and that apartments were coming up. But since the builders are probably waiting for some more time, it's been wonderful for the bees, the birds and the butterflies. Regeneration of grasses and other wild plants have been quick and I captured this bit of verdure from my balcony. There are several grasses with seeds and the other day I saw a flock of chestnut-tailed starlings feeding on them.
 There are many butterflies flitting about and the most prominently seen are the Peacock and Gray Pansy butterflies. I'm not too sure which one this is but looks like it's calling it a day at 3.30 pm.
My bachelor buttons are still attracting quite a few pollinators and this albatross butterfly is one of the regulars.
Scaly-breasted Munia (juvenile)
With all the grass seeds in abundance, could the seed-eaters be far behind? It was exciting to see a new bird in our area. My reference book titled Common Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Ananda Banerjee says that this is the Scaly-breasted Munia/Lonchura punctulata. A small but active bird that feeds mainly on seeds. The adult has a dark stubby bill, brown upper parts and darker brown head. The underparts are white with scaly markings. The juvenile has lighter underparts.
It remains to be seen how long this patch of green will survive. But I'm glad that this period has given solace to so many wonderful creatures, however ephemeral that may be.

To see more posts on nature visit the home of Nature Notes.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Backyard Birds

The Oriental Magpie-Robin (female)

Spotted Dove
Although there are plenty of birds in our area, these were the most active last week. The pair of doves abandoned their nest on our balcony after a chick fell out of the nest and died. If I had seen it earlier, maybe it'd have been saved. But they left and now are looking for another nesting site. It's such a wonderful feeling to wake up to the cooing of the doves...I hope they are happy with their new nesting place in the vicinity of our house. Meanwhile it's been a joy to photograph them on our berry tree.

To see more posts about what's happening in the world of nature, head over to Michelle's Rambling Woods.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Kingfisher & Lizards

Going up on our terrace to water my plants this morning I found this white-breasted kingfisher perched high. I ran downstairs for my camera and got these shots through the glass door. I dared not open the door or I'd have missed this chance. From my crouching point there was no flash of that magnificent blue but this is one of my favourite birds to photograph. Isn't that beak incredible? As soon as I had taken a few shots, it called out in that shrill voice. It's a commonly heard sound in our neighbourhood but that sound usually comes from the highest wires and alas, my camera has its shortcomings.

White-breasted or white-throated kingfisher is a tree kingfisher. According to Wiki, they can often be found well away from water where they feed on a wide range of prey that includes small reptiles, amphibians, crabs, small rodents, and even birds.
An early morning call!

Throughout summer I had photographed the lizards in my garden. I have even posted some of the photos from this collage before. This is a reminder of lizard activity particularly in the months of June and July. The picture below was taken on my Indian blackberry tree.

To see more posts on nature, visit the home of Nature Notes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tiny Creatures For Nature Notes

We've had several sudden showers this past week and the temperature has come down.
Amid my portulacas and bachelor buttons, I often see the tiniest of skippers feeding on the blooms.

Here's one of the blues on a Polyscias some time after the rain stopped.
Another skipper feeds on a yellow portulaca.
But yesterday's sunshiny day was much welcome. More chores get done when the clouds are gone. The best was the sight of the crescent moon shining through the leaves of my berry tree.

Visit the home of Nature Notes to see what's happening in the world of nature.