Monday, September 26, 2011

Birds around our new home

Hoopoe (We can hear her, but haven't seen her here yet.)

Common Flameback (Singara Tea Estate)

Common Myna (Live and feed near the house.)
Long-tailed Shrike (Saw in the neighborhood.)

House Crow (We feed; they come to remind us.)
Large-billed Crow (We feed.)

House Sparrow (We feed.)

Jungle Babbler (Singara Tea Estate and neighborhood.)

Oriental Magpie Robin (Neighborhood.)
Pied Bushchat (Singara Tea Estate and neighborhood.  Tiny bird.)

Red-Whiskered Bulbul (We feed.)

Rock Pigeon (Transcient; we feed)

Spotted Dove (We feed thirteen.)

Grey Wagtail (who paddles and bobs through the puddle on the roof next door)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

6-21 September 2011

Here are some pictures we have taken on our walks.

Apurva, Govindharajan's youngest, surprised us with a visit on the 15th.  On the 16th she stayed overnight while her father travelled on business.  She's sweet and fun.  We enjoyed her stay with us.

Carolyn and Apurva at Singara

We couldn't find a name for this guy, but it looks like some kind of ground beetle.  It's 3" long!

I found this flower at the Taj hotel where I take yoga.

From the side.  Isn't that elegant?

When we moved into our new house, I cried because I couldn't have the bird feeders and bird bath I was used to.  Now, we throw feed over the driveway out back to the roof behind the house where birds come to feed.  And the rain provides large pools of water for them to drink and bathe in.

Here's a Grey Wagtail, a marsh person who comes to pad around in the  water.  His long tail bobs behind him the whole time as if he bends his knees and bounces as he walks.

Here are Spotted Doves

And this guy is a pup who lives nearby.  Very sweet and needing love.

27 August 2011 - Mike's birthday

This was taken on our walk in Singara tea estate on 21 August.  The small, lighter colored bison is a baby who was jumping and running around.  Wasn't quick enough to get a video of it.  But this shot was very close to our trail.  (The big males make me a little nervous.)

So, Saturday, 27 August, was my son's birthday, so we went to the little temple on the mountain, Saravanamalai, a Murugan temple.  We asked Prabhu to come with us.  He always comes with us.
Prabhu and Gopal climbing up the hill through the forest toward the temple.

At a familiar junction in the trail, we found that the Forest Department was planting  native plants right there.  Very good!  Since there are sooooo many eucalyptus trees in this forest, it will be interesting to see how successful these plants and trees will be.

Here's our little temple perched upon enormous granite rock.

Prabhu helping us clean up the temple by sweeping with a  branch.

The temple is very small, and this is the Murugan picture inside.

View from the temple grounds

On our way down over the rock

A little temple built into the rock on the way down
A little temple on our trail back down.  (We always do a little puja at each little temple, burning incense at each one.)

Just had to show you my new saree that I wore to a lunch on the 30th of August.  I'm standing in front of our front door.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A friend of my husband sent this to him this morning.. a poem by a Palestinain-American poet named Naomi Shihab Nye.  Enjoy ...

"Before you know what kindness really is,
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment 
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

"Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho 
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

"Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, 
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing,
you must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

"Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, 
only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the
day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for, 
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend." 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1-7 September 2011

This post is going to seem idyllic, and that's appropriate.  Our life is like that.

The weather right now, traditionally, has been a sunny period between two monsoons, the heavier coming in October.  But the lesser monsoon that starts in June was late, and it has been raining on and off every day for over a month.  This rainbow came on 31 August (one month in our new home) when the sun came out for the first time in a long while when it was drizzling, as usual.  The picture was taken from our balcony.  sigh

When we left our home on Gray's Hill, I cried for two days because I was unable to have a bird feeder, etc., in our new home due to monkey invasions.  The monkeys also terrorized my flowers.  I was really upset.  Another thing I disliked was the low, ugly building along the back of the house, which we had to look down on all the time.
Well, it turns out that building is a great place to throw bird seed and watch all the birds come to eat.  AND, big puddles collect when it rains, so everybody comes to bathe and drink.  So fantastic!  Here are Spotted Doves.  Aren't they pretty?  (We had ten of them the other day.)

On Saturday, the 3rd, on our daily walk over at the Singara tea estate, this is what we saw late in the day.

The following morning, we found our bison friends grazing in the tea.  (I think they never stop eating since they're so big.)

And today, near the tree temple just inside the forest next to the tea plantation,  I found this guy crossing the road and encouraged him to turn back where it is safe.  Isn't he/she gorgeous?

Oh, and this morning, we saw this guy walking through the tea.  This picture is from the net because, by the time we figured out what he was, we couldn't get a good picture.

This is a Ruddy Mongoose, which had the coloring  of the one we saw.  The Nilgiri Mongoose is black.  Who knows.  But pretty darned exciting, huh?