Monday, June 27, 2011

The Lemon Pansy Butterfly

It's been a while...getting to photograph butterflies, I mean. I had almost given up hope!! All I saw every single day were the Common Palm fly and the Cabbage whites! And the Swallowtails, if they came, made sure that my camera wasn't clutched in my hands at that particular point of time!

But yesterday all that changed as I found the Lemon Pansy resting on a hibiscus leaf. It's the most common butterfly among the Pansies (there are seven kinds) and earlier I did manage to take quite a few pictures here, in my garden. The Lemon Pansy is found in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. This is mostly found in gardens, forest clearings, and agricultural land and is seen on the wing throughout the year.

I took several shots on the hibiscus leaf but when it flew to the bougainvillea bush I got the angle I wanted. Made my day!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tortoise Beetles

Golden Tortoise Beetle on a sad-looking leaf

 The other day I saw this beautiful insect on a chilli leaf. I've only seen the Golden Tortoise beetle twice in as many years. So you can imagine my excitement at the sight of this beautiful creature again. Please click on the pictures!

Tortoise beetles have bodies that are somewhat shell-like in appearance. Body margins extend in a roof-like manner over much of the head and legs. Most species are 5-8mm long.

Leaf damage on the Bush Morning Glory

 I had noticed this leaf a few days earlier and had seen some spiny instars of what I presumed to be of the Tussock moth. All that googling did not help as I didn't come across a match.

Strange-looking pupa

 But after I saw the newly-emerged beetle, it was easy to find more details. When the larvae shed their skin, it remains attached to a prong-like process at the end of the abdomen. Moults are stacked on moults and are carried around held over the insect's back like a parasol. When disturbed, the larva waves the attachment...good enough to detract its predators!

More of them, and a newly emerged beetle

Motionless on the underside of the leaf

Here's another. Tiny and with a different coloration.

Here's another!

This one has become active...flying from leaf to leaf!

Host plants are the sweet potato and closely related plants such as the morning glory and bindweed. 

It pooped!

Leave me alone!!

Looks like this one didn't make it.

I had helped myself to a small branch of this plant from the edge of a rice field about three years ago. Little did I know then that apart from the pretty blooms there would be a much more fascinating revelation in store for me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weekend Reflections/Gated!;)

Welcome to Weekend Reflections! The photo today is part of our gate reflected in the puddles after a sudden shower.

To see more images, head over to

My thanks to James for hosting this fun meme.

Thursday, June 23, 2011



Throughout the cooler months, only the black damselflies (like the one in the first picture) were seen resting on my plants. But now that the rains are here they are here in all colours and on most plants!

Damselflies are insects in the order Odanata. They are similar to dragonflies but the adults can be differentiated by the fact that the wings of most damselflies are held along, or parallel to the body, at rest. The hindwing of the damselfly is essentially similar to the forewing, while the hindwing of the dragonfly broadens near the base. Damselflies are also usually smaller than dragonflies, and weaker fliers in comparison, and their eyes are separated. (Wiki).

I found this mating pair on my potted fern. They are not the easiest creatures to photograph...too tiny for really good captures. They could well be the Pigmy dartlets although I'm not too sure. But I'm posting the pictures anyway. At least you can see the kind of colours they come in. Sometimes I see them gorging on mosquitoes and small spiders. I even have them landing on my hand as I go about my pruning and my weeding. It's a joy to see them ...may their numbers increase!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I was going through some of my old folders and found quite a few pictures of nests. I thought I'd share some of these with you. The first picture is from a park in the outskirts of my hometown. The place has a small orchard of oranges and pineapple plants. I wonder to which bird this nest belonged to, right on the top of the plant, exposed to the elements and danger. So unlike the crow's nest (pictured below) high up on the Indian Jujube tree in my sister's garden.

Around this time of the year, these tiny wasps become very active. I found this lot busy building a nest on the underside of a canavalia bean leaf in my backyard.

On a walk in a holiday resort not too far from the city, I came across this ant's nest. Leaves sewn up into a ball. I can imagine the activity inside. The picture below shows lizard eggs that I came across while loosening the soil in one of my pots. I didn't think that one of my containers would also be a a lizard's nest! They were all intact and I left them buried in the soil. That was in April. when I went to check them about a week ago, only remains of the 'shells' were left. Not too sure about the 'shell' part because they are more like plastic. But I'm sure the latest additions to the wildlife count in my garden are gorging on insect cuisine!

And talking about birds' nests, it's only fair that I include this picture of the Bird's Nest fern/ Asplenium nidus growing wild in my mother's garden. The large fronds unfurl from the centre of the plant giving it a nest-like appearance, hence the name.

And a few pictures of the weaver birds' nests can be seen on my other blog. Here's the link-----------------

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship. ~ William Blake

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Weekend Reflections/Pink Dragonfly

Sunshine on my shoulders wings makes me happy.........

A dragonfly that I have seen and photographed once only. The Crimson Dropwing/Trithemis aurora is the most beautiful dragonfly I have come across!

To see other participants' posts, click here.

My thanks to James for hosting this wonderful meme, Weekend Reflections.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Something To Crow About!:)

Among all the common birds that I see, the crow is the one that I usually do not bother to take a second look or photograph. But sometimes that changes. Like the day I was at my sister's (where I got the bug in my last post). I was actually hoping to see some dragonflies and get some good shots when this crow fell on the Sleeping Hibiscus bush. It didn't look that much of a fledgling but it faltered and flapped about before it unceremoniously  flew/fell to the ground. There was a lot of raucous cawing from the Indian Jujube tree (picture below) as all the mother hens crows flew in circles. With that kind of encouragement the learner made its way, maybe back to the nest. You can't tell which is which when it's a murder of crows!

But sometimes, sights like these make you feel that it's worth taking some shots. Silhouetted against the afternoon sky whether at rest or in flight, I'm glad to capture these crows!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Squash Bug

The other day I was at my sister's place where I came across this unique bug on the long bean climber. I have never seen anything like this before. I took quite a few shots but it made no attempt to fly away. Checking online later, I think it comes closest to the description of the squash bug. A pest in the garden! These bugs suck sap pumpkins, melons and other cucurbits. The long bean climber had cucumber plants as its immediate neighbours. No wonder!
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weekend Reflections/Blue-eyed Bee

This week I'm posting light reflections on the muti-hued wings of this carpenter bee. Its favourite perch is a drying leaf of the potted mother-in-law's tongue that I have. The other day,these metallic wings sparkled in the reflected glory of the sun!:)

To see more images on Weekend Reflections, click here.
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Monday, June 6, 2011

The Golden Oriole

Not the best shot, I must say, but this is the first photo I have taken of the Golden Oriole. It looks spectacular with that yellow and black colours. Please click on the photo to see the details. This is a male. The female is drab green but I have never seen one. Looking up online I found out that.the Golden Oriole prefers deciduous woodlands, forest edges and orchards. 

My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather.~ Terri Guillemets

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Leaf Beetles Or Love Bugs?

This morning I posted pictures of my May-blooming orchids/Aerides odorata on my other blog for a weekly meme where I participate regularly. Ever since these blooms appeared, the ants, the bees, and these leaf beetles have been living it up on these fragrant blooms!:)

Some time back, One, who posts the most amazing pictures of insects ( and blooms, and scenic sights) had posted a picture of a mating pair of leaf beetles. Well, the other day, I was going about my own business, read that as: looking for butterflies and other interesting winged critters, when I came across these sights.

Hope you enjoyed going through these images! Andrea will be tickled pink to see this post (me thinks)!!

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Weekend Reflections/Wild Duck

Today's photo is from a pond in the outskirts of the city. It was late in the afternoon and the light was fading. Suddenly we saw this little duck and although I clicked away, what I got was more of the reflection in the water.

To see more Weekend Reflections images, click here.