Dec 9, 2009

Thank the Teak

Your garden becomes complete only when the winged and beaked friends visit it, wouldn't you say? I longed for this for long! I was envious when I saw a butterfly in a pathetic looking plant on the roadside or in others' gardens. Of course one or two butterflies would visit Plantville for a fleeting moment and whiz away as if saying, "This place isn't interesting enough." There were very few wasp visits and an occasional bee or two, but this year things changed., especially with the arrival of Sarad.
There was suddenly a flush of butterflies flying around. Remember the lazy gardener becoming busy with his camera and watching his flowers and butterflies? Yes, these beauties kept me busy. There were many different kinds of them, right from small to medium sized (I am yet to see a large one) ones. Below you'd see some of the shots that I took this month. I was too busy watching them that I didn't take shots of other beautiful ones during the early Autumn.
With the addition of Jasmines to the garden, these butterflies finally considered that Plantville was worth a visit. These tiny bees went mad at the Leucas. And these kings with blue spots seemed to have increased in population! And this teeny shy guy was just sitting on the parapet wall, thinking if he should enter the city and he eventually did in the days to come. There were others too, like the brown ones, tiny yellow ones, black ones with white dots, and few others, but I was too slow for them. I hope I get to capture them in future.
Two weeks ago, I noticed that the new Dwarf Crape Jasmine that I introduced to Plantville started looking pathetic.
Trying to find out who the culprit was, I discovered this! I was excited. I was almost sure that it was a caterpillar (Isn't it?) because it's not there anymore. Did it become a flying beauty now? I hope it was a caterpillar, because I it feed on that cute plant.
Few days ago, I saw a flush of butterflies - especially the black ones with blue spots, in Plantville and I realized that the Teak tree in my neighbor's plot was in bloom!
Later I realized that most of the butterflies visit that tree and then my garden. Well, thanks to the teak that my garden is becoming complete!
Speaking of butterflies, I thought I'd also share some other butterfly pictures from my recent trip to Trichy. We went to a temple near Trichy
where there was a garden space around it, well, part of it was wild and there was such an assortment of butterflies fluttering about crazily and I was doing so too and managed to get a few decent shots.

Nov 30, 2009


Hello everyone!
Finally, I'm back from my cocoon. Yes, I was hiding in a cocoon for long. Though I thought was ready to blog when I did the last post, I realized that I was not. Though I did visit some of my fellow bloggers' sites, I somehow didn't feel like blogging and thought it best to let the blog sleep for a while and take a break and that's why I didn't even reply to the comments. If any one of you is offended by that, I sincerely apologize for it.
Well, I stopped blogging temporarily after my trip to Trichy (Thiruchirapalli) in June and somehow my third trip to the same place renewed me. It is a great place that I fell in love with. It has kindled the desire in me to start another blog that I was planning to do for long (about the Hindu religion).Though I was not blogging, Plantville was not idle. It was invaded by a host of insects. There were good ones too like this one, but the bad ones started taking over fast and furiously. The gardener of Plantville was fooled due to his carelessness (yes, blame me) by their showy flowers. The lazy gardener didn't notice the tiny, seemingly-invisible preys feeding on Plantville. He was content with the smell of the blooms and their showy colors. He smiled at the new tender leaves and sprouts. He was satisfied as the denizens of Plantville offered him blooms for his daily pooja (a form of worship to the gods).Little did he know there were many kinds of eight-legged monsters that were spinning their traps, trying make Plantville a ghost city.Soon Varsha (Rainy Season) was gone and Sharad (Autumn) took over. The Plantville was filled with joy and more blooms. Winged friends started visiting the city more often that the gardener was busy photographing them and overlooked the monsters who were building their foundation in unseen places. Heavy rains of Autumn washed away all the dirt but not the monsters. It helped them and with its end, the monsters found the climate perfect and sought after ants to herd them and help them extend their colony. Those bloody workers helped them build a huge army.
It was now that the dull-headed gardener noticed the damage. Flowers started drooping, leaves started curling. Buds became weak-footed and began losing their balance. Especially the Cape Honey suckle became very weak. By the mere touch or a slightly heavy wind, they dropped their buds.For some it was over and for some the damage was recoverable. The gardener tried to fight the army of monsters with organic and chemical means only to delay the eventual death of some and managed to save some.(Anyone knows the identity of this monster? Soap spray and neem spray seems to get rid of them but they come back soon! I noticed that these usually stay in the base of a branch/stem of a plant when they're young and are green in color and have soft tissue. At that stage, they can't fly, but only when they become like this, they can. Hope that helps you to identify them.)
(The above is a mealy bug and neem spray works best on them, just in case someone's desperate to get rid of them. God am I!)
The dull headed one decided that it was time that Plantville underwent a makeover and required overhauling. So that's what I'm up to now - Overhauling. Repairing stuff and introducing new lives, but neither my changing shifts nor the rains are helping, but I'm not giving up this time and even if the growth is slow, I wanted it to be steady. Hopefully, 2010 sees a new Plantville...

Aug 22, 2009

When would you come to me?

Months before, as some of you know, I tried what people said was impossible – germinating strawberries in my area. I got doubtful glances that said, “C’mon! Why waste time?”

But I was determined. My theory was, “Strawberries do well in Sun and don’t need a cold dormant period.” So why can’t I grow them? I told myself that I can and did sow some months ago only to watch weeds growing in that pot – no sign of strawberries.

I took a break and again sowed some two week before when the temperature cooled down. One week – the pot remained dormant. The second week was welcomed by Varsha’s delightful rain. Did that kill the unprotected seeds? [sigh]

Why wouldn’t you come to me, ye’ strawberries?

“I’m here with full of blooms!” replied the Jasmine, but my mind was preoccupied with the images of reddish berries.

“Oh, I can cheer you up with my orange blooms!” said Mexican Sunflower but I simply turned away.

“Look at me! Your favorite blue! I’ve regrown for you!” said the Butterfly Peas but my eyes yearned to see the yellow blooms.

“Here you go! I have yellow blooms too!” said the anonymous visitor, but I wanted to taste the juicy pulp of the ‘berries.

“Here I am, your favorite berry like grapes! I’ve recovered and am healthy now!”

[sigh] I simply poured a mug of water and turned away, disheartened that the strawberries haven’t germinated.

I am still waiting. “Why wouldn’t you come to me, ye’ strawberries?” With that plea to the bare pot, I descended downstairs. So anyone know the trick to get them come to me?

It's the same with my future African Grey too. Seems an AG would never own me, but against all hopes, I keep praying everyday and dreaming of cuddly grey in my hands.
One of my budgies would circle around me as if to say, "I'm here for you," but my ears wanted to hear those words from a parrot.Moments later, Shuka jumped onto my fingers saying, "Who could be more cuter than me?" but my eyes wanted to see a bigger grey bird.Oh, well, you could always own an Indian Ringneck! It'd be cool too. Told my twin inside me, but I couldn't just accept it.
Okay, how about the Cockatiel that can whistle and sing to you on your birthday! "Nah!" I dismissed.
Why wouldn't you come to me, AG?