Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pride of Barbados or Peacock Flower (Rajamalli)

The names themselves look interesting, no? - Peacock flower and Pride of Barbados. In Kerala it is commonly known by the name Rajamalli. A very beautiful and common flowering plant which is enchanting due to the unique shape and colors of the flowers – that is the short description I felt about this plant. 

Pride of Barbados or Peacock Flower (Rajamalli)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Common Mormon Butterfly

In my last post about the Common Rose butterfly, I had mentioned about the Common Mormon, which is very similar to the former. The pictures below show Common Mormon. You can compare the differences in the appearances of the two.

Common Mormon Butterfly (Papilio polytes)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Swallowtail Butterfly At Night!

I was having exams so for a few days I couldn’t look after the blog, and I it has been more than a week since I took photos, posted or commented. Now finally they are over and I am free again. And by this time you might have seen some changes in the look and feel of the blog, including a new top bar. Yesterday I spent some time for designing it.

So, coming back, today I am sharing some pictures of a Common Rose Butterfly taken at night, not too late but just after sunset. 

Red Swallowtail Butterfly - Common Rose

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Analivegam - Medicine for Snake Bite

So this is yet another tree with very high medicinal values – Devil tree, or Analivegam, as we call it. Didn’t know why it is called Devil Tree. This is actually my third post about a tree. The previous ones were about Jack Tree and Ashoka Tree

Analivegam (Astonia venenata)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Butterfly Trapped in a Spider Web !

Insects trapped in spider web are a common scene. But how do you feel when it is a beautiful butterfly? I felt sorry for it :( But don’t feel sad because these are also a part of nature's plays :) 

Butterfly Trapped in a Spider Web

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Red Cypress Vine - The Glorious Flower of Morning

Yesterday I came before you with some beautiful Sunset Bells, which I hope everyone liked very much. And today, there is another beautiful small flower – Red Cypress Vine – which we grow here. 

Red Cypress Vine Morning Glory

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chrysothemis or Sunset Bells - The 'Powerful Plant'

Sunset Bells - I like to call it a very ‘powerful plant’. Its strength is evident from its leaves itself. See the hard and black texture of its leaves, which are also very rough to feel. 

Sunset Bells (Chrysothemis pulchella)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Red Marsh Hawk Dragonfly

This is one more to the series of dragonflies I have posted. See  below this post to view all the other posts from this series. 

Today it is about a Brown-Backed Red Marsh Hawk dragonfly, which I saw from my backyard. I think it is the male. Scientific name is Orthetrum chrysis. But couldn’t get why it is called brown – backed. 

Red Marsh Hawk Dragonfly (Orthetrum chrysis)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Photographing Roses : Some Experiences and Tips

Who doesn’t like roses? Is there anyone who doesn’t admire its beauty? I think there is no one like that. For me photographing flowers has been one of my favourite interests. As you can see in this blog, out of the 57 posts I have published till now, 23 of them have the tag – flowers, either about flowering plants, trees, or just flower photographs. And I will come with more and more flowers, as I explore more.

In this post I am sharing some pictures of rose flowers that I took and some of my experiences related to it, from the view of a naturalist, than that of a photographer - some things that I learned from photographing during different times of a day.

Photographing during the morning hours:

Photographing Roses

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Catus with Flowers

Did you know that cacti have flowers and fruits? The answer is yes. I came to know about it when I saw this cactus with flowers. 

Cactus - Opuntia cochenillifera

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thazhuthama and its Medicinal Values

Thazhuthama has small flowers, too small that it is only one or two millimeters in diameter. They are pink in color and have five petals each.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kalyanasougandhikam - White Ginger Lily

First of all, I wish everyone a very Happy Deepavali

White Ginger Lily, known as ‘Kalyanasougandhikam’ in Malayalam, is a beautiful flower with captivating fragrance. ‘Sugandham’ means fragrance and ‘sougandhikam’ is something which is fragrant, and so is the name of the flower. These are the flowers from my garden.

Kalyanasougandhikam - White Ginger Lily

Monday, November 5, 2012

Crimson Marsh Glider (Female)

The last post was about male Crimson Marsh Glider dragonfly and this one is the female Crimson Marsh Glider. Scientific name is Trithemis aurora.
If you haven't seen the previous post, visit it also : Crimson Marsh Glider (Male)
The pictures of the female dragonfly was taken from the same place where the male was also found.

Crimson Marsh Glider (Female)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Crimson Marsh Glider (male)

Crimson Marsh Glider (Trithemis aurora) is yet another beautiful creature from the dragonfly family with a shining crimson color.

Crimson Marsh Glider Dragonfly - Male

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Brown Butterfly (Chocolate Pansy)

This brown butterfly is one of the most common butterflies seen here in the central and southern parts of Kerala. Even though it is not so colorful or attractive, it is interesting. It may look like a moth but it is not. A few months back, I had a post on another butterfly from Junonia genus. See it also :

This one is Junonia iphita 

Brown Butterfly (Chocolate Pansy)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Black and White Striped Butterfly - Black Swallowtail

When I saw this big butterfly, it was feeding on a Tithonia flower under the bright noon Sun. I am almost sure that it is the Common mime butterfly (Papilio clytia). 

Black and White Striped Butterfly - Black Swallowtail

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Sacred Ashoka Tree

We have an Ashoka tree growing near to my home, and these pictures were taken during last April when it flowered. The flowering season is from March to May. 

Ashoka Tree

According to the Hindu epic ( 'ithihasa') Ramayana, Sita Devi had sit under an Ashoka tree while at Lanka and till the end of Rama - Ravana war, Sita Devi remained there itself  under the tree. The place was called 'Ashokavani', 'vani' means garden. It is mentioned in 'Sundarakandam' of 'Ezhuthachan Ramayanam', the version popular in Kerala. There the tree is called as 'Shimshipa' its another name. I myself had read it.

Friday, September 21, 2012

After a Rain . . .

Rain is always a soothing experience for me, may be for many, drizzling are  more special. It not only refreshes the nature but also our mind.
These are some photos taken on a morning after a rain.

Water droplets from a Plumeria leaf...

After a Rain

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Beautiful Caterpillar

The pictures of this interesting caterpillar were taken on a cloudy morning, from my backyard.
It was swiftly moving from one end to the other of an iron rope (and that's why the photos are a bit blurred!)

A Caterpillar

The images are not magnified, it was almost the same size as seen in these photos.. It is a big one. Isn't it?! Probably the biggest one I have ever seen!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some Blue Hydrangea Flowers

These are some blue Hydrangea Flowers from my garden . . .

Blue Hydrangea Flowers

Monday, September 10, 2012

Spider Catching Its Prey - 2

This is the continuation of my previous post:
And these are some more similar pictures of another spider catching a bee.

Spider looks like a devil, isn't it? (hope it won't hurt anyone.. if it does, you can close the window clear your browsing history. I only captured what I saw :) )

Spider Catching Its Prey

Friday, September 7, 2012

Spider Catching Its Prey - 1

On one afternoon, when was simply roaming here and there with with my camera, I saw this - A spider catching a honey bee.. The poor bee, felt sorry for it :( , any way it is a part of nature's food cycle.

The spider is hanging on its web and is trying to lift the bee with it . . . 

Spider Catching Its Prey

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Red Tailed Dragonfly

Dragonflies with red tails are the most beautiful and this is one among them - Asiatic Blood Tail (Male). My last post was also about a dragonfly - Green Dragonfly. This one is also from the same place where I spotted that green one.

Red Tailed Dragonfly

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Green Dragonfly

A Green Marsh Hawk Dragonfly (Orthetrum sabina) sitting on the stem of Tithonia plant in front of my house.

Green Marsh Hawk Dragonfly

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Crape Jasmine (Nandyarvattam)

Here are some nice Crape Jasmine flowers. These white  five petaled flowers are also called 'Pinwheel' flower, see, the petals are arranged like the leaves of a pinwheel. Malayalam name is Nandyarvattam, also known as Nandyavartham.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Heliconia Flowers or Lobster Claw

These are some pictures of Erect Heliconia Flowers (Heliconia stricta) a little away from my house.

Heliconia Flower or Lobster Claw

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Granite Ghost Dragonfly

The Granite Ghost dragonfly (Bradinopyga geminata), is an interesting one due to its special characters - it is very friendly to artificial human environment unlike other dragonflies. Due to this character, I prefer to call it as 'modern' dragonfly :) 
See the pictures below, it is evident..

Sitting on a plastic rope..

Granite Ghost Dragonfly (Bradinopyga geminata)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Yellow - Black Potter Wasp

A Potter Wasp (Eumenes flavopicta) collecting mud for building its nest...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Butterfly Pea Flower (Sankhupushpam)

These are three beautiful varieties of Butterfly Pea Flower (Clitoria ternatea).

1. Blue - colored

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Canna Indica (Indian Shot Flower)

These are some pictures of  an Indian Shot Flower.

Indian Shot Flower (Canna indica)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pygmy Dartlet or Midget Wisp Damselfly (Male)

Here is a male Pigmy Dartlet  damselfly (Agriocnemis pygmae), the smallest damselfly I have ever seen! Its whole length was around  3 centimeters only. The picture below is magnified.

Pigmy Dartlet Damselfly (Agriocnemis Pygmae)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mexican Sunflower or Tithonia

Mexican Sunflower, or Tithonia flower (Tithonia rotundiflora) is one of the most beautiful red flowers I have ever seen.  Its central portion is rich with yellow color.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Red Dragonfly : Fulvous Forest Skimmer

These are some pictures of a male Fulvous Forest Skimmer dragonfly (Neurothemis fulvia).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lemon Pansy Butterfly

Here are some shots of a Lemon Pansy Butterfly (Junonia lemonias), that I took when it was sitting on a Bolsom leaf.

Lemon Pansy Butterfly

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Yellow Bell Flower or Allamanda (Kolambi)

These Yellow Bell Flowers, also called Golden Trumpet or Allamanda (Allamanda cathartica) are from my garden. Also known as Kolambi in Malayalam.

Yellow Bell Flowers

Monday, May 28, 2012

Orange Dragonfly

An orange dragonfly perched on the leaf of a Mangosteen tree in my backyard, I doubt if it was a Rufous Marsh Glider (Rhodothemis rufa), not sure, because they are normally more reddish than this one.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rock Pigeons

Here are some pictures of pigeons which regularly visit our house. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 22 - World Biodiversity Day

Here comes another day for us to think of the wealth of our Earth - The Biodiversity. With millions of species, ranging from the microscopic amoeba to the huge blue whale, our Earth is really rich. 

The idea of biodiversity came out during the UN Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, and the Biodiversity Day was celebrated on every December 29th from 1993 to 1999. Due to certain difficulties, from 2000 onwards the day is being held on every May 22nd. These are only some history, and the more important thing is something else.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hibiscus Flowers - 3

The previous two posts were also on hibiscus flowers - 'Hibiscus Flowers' and 'Hibiscus Flowers - 2'. In the first one, Red hibiscus, orange double layered, orange were given and in the second, Japanese Lantern, sleeping hibiscus and red-rose hibiscus were given. And now this is the continuation . . . As in the previous posts, here also three more varieties are given. 


1. Pale Orange

Pale Orange Hibiscus

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hibiscus Flowers - 2

This is the continuation of my previous post 'Hibiscus Flowers'. There I had given three varieties - Red Hibiscus ( Hibiscus rosa - sinesis ), Orange with two layers, and Orange with five petals. Here is another three varieties.

1. Japanese Lantern
This one is Hibiscus schizopetalus and its common name is Japanese Lantern. There are five petals and the petals are split. This feature of the petals is its main attraction. Also, it always hangs vertically downwards.

Hibiscus - Japanese Lantern

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hibiscus Flowers

Hibiscus is one of the most popular flowering plants. There are a large number of species under it. This post will be having one or two parts more. Through these I wish to share some varieties of hibiscus that I have seen. Here I am sharing three of them.

1. Red Hibiscus

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Frangipani Flowers

Frangipani or Plumeria ( chempakam / chempa ) is a beautiful flowering tree having white flowers with five petals. There are also other varieties of Frangipani with red and yellow colors. The one which I am sharing here is Plumeria obtusa. And here are some photos of such a Frangipani tree, taken during different season. I was watching it from the last flowering season to the present, and it was easy as it was near to my home. 

These three were taken on last October . . .

Frangipani or Plumeria obtusa or Chempakam

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Aromatic or Musk Turmeric (Kasthurimanjal)

It is also called wild turmeric. I find it very interesting because its flower is very different, and because of its high medicinal value. So I think it is very precious.

aromatic turmeric or wild turmeric or kasthurimanjal

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dragonfly - The 'Helicopter'

Taken from my backyard, when it sat for some time on this wooden stick . . . and i think this one is Crimson Marsh Glider (Trithemis aurora ).

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Giant Fruit

It's all about a giant fruit - it is nothing other than the jackfruit ( Artocarpus heterophyllus ).


Friday, March 30, 2012

Piercing Rays

Watching the sky is always very interesting, whether it be sunset, sunrise, cloud patterns, clear blue sky,black rain clouds or the night sky with millions of stars, or anything . . . it's always wonderful and great.

Here are  some sky photos that I took, when very thick dark rain clouds suddenly hid the shining sun on an evening, a few days ago . . .

Sky photo : Rays piercing through rain clouds( from Cheruvally, Kerala )

Sunday, March 25, 2012

'Yesterday Today and Tomorrow' !

     This post is all about an interesting flower – it’s nothing other than ‘yesterday today and tomorrow’  -  that’s its name!  Some of you may know that . . . I came to know about it just a few weeks ago only and its colors made me amused, as I have a special interest in watching and photographing flowers. 

About the name : Its name shows the three main colors of the flower. It is blue when it blossoms, turns into light lavender the next day, and finally becomes white. 
Take a look at the pictures. Note the gradual change in color. Hope you will like it . . .

The bud. .
Yesterday today and tomorrow or Brunfelsia pauciflora

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Remember Them ! - World House Sparrow Day

     March 20 - Today is the day to remember one of our small winged companions-The House Sparrows (scientific name : Passer domesticus). The birds which once greeted us in the morning with their chirping have become almost memorial. Until a few years back, these cute birds were very common in almost all parts of the world, seen widely in our courtyards and fields. But now its population has decreased alarmingly, and it is very difficult to find one. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture to share here as I haven’t seen a house sparrow in the recent past. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

White Rose

Tone by the Nature. . .

White Rose Flower
                                                                                                            from Kottayam, Kerala

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Macrophotos of Ants

Macrophoto of Yellow Crazy Ant
from Kottayam. Kerala
(Shooting information : ISO 200, f 2.8, 1/200 s)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bougainvillea Flowers - Orange, Yellow and White

          In the previous post, I had given a small description on Bougainvillea and some pictures of the pink variety. Now, this is a continuation of the previous one, and I am giving some pictures of orange, yellow and white varieties here. . .

Link to the previous post : Bougainvillea Flowers - Pink

Orange variety. . .
          Being more precise, its colour is orange - red. This is one of the most beautiful in the different colours seen for bougainvillea flowers.

Red - Orange Bougainvillea
                                                             from Kottayam, Kerala