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Showing posts from May, 2011

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Ladakh - Planning The Trip

Over 2000 Km by road, in around 10 days. Stunning landscapes, wonderful people. That sums up our Ladakh trip. But how did it actually work? How did we make it happen? Read on to find out!  Leh, the capital of Ladakh , is accessible by air and road. Flying into Leh is the easiest, and time-saving option, while the road is the time consuming one, but with the added advantage of driving past some of the most beautiful landscapes in our country. Each option has much to recommend it, and we chose the road for just one reason – altitude sickness. Altitude sickness was one of my biggest concerns, since I suffer from motion-sickness. Yes, I do travel a lot, but that is despite my condition, and, over the years, have learnt how to handle it. I struggled with it when we visited Nathu-La in Sikkim, and wondered if I would be able to manage a week at the even higher altitudes that we would encounter in Ladakh. This was the reason we stuck to a basic plan, of only 9 days in Ladakh, though we

Butterflies

We saw so many butterflies at Maharashtra Nature Park, but could manage to capture just a few of them..... The best of them all was the Blue Oak Leaf butterfly, which I have already written about.... Here are a few more I managed to photograph...

Mating Insects

You never know what you will spot when you spot when you amble along a path lined by trees. The Maharashtra Nature Park was a treasure house of insects - we didnt have to look for them.

Camouflage

White Flowers

These flowers are pretty, aren't they? But these arent just any decorative ones.....

Many little ducks went out one day.....

A rhyme we once learnt in school went.... Five little ducks went out to play Over the hill and far away  The mother duck said Quack, Quack come back Four little ducks came running back

Blue Oak Leaf Butterfly

On our recent visit to the Maharashtra Nature Park , we were early as usual and waiting for others to turn up. Not having permission to enter the campus itself, we were sitting near the entrance, Samhith jumping up and down. Even as I was wondering how to make him settle down, we noticed a butterfly hovering over the nearby tree. I despaired of taking a photograph, since in my limited experience, butterflies rarely stop long enough to allow me to focus my camera and take a decent pic. This turned out to be my lucky day, since the butterfly settled on the tree and refused to move.

Birds at the Rail Museum

My cousins have never traveled much with me, and certainly never since I started writing. Though they do read my blog, they aren't really used to seeing me looking for material to write about. When I visited the Rail Museum in Delhi along with a couple of them, they were really amused to see me ignore the trains when I saw a flock of birds on the lawn.

Parakeets and Kites at the Qutub Complex

They once  were haunts of the rulers of India - from the ancient and now almost forgotten Hindu rulers of the place now called Delhi to the Mughals who left their indelible mark on the capital of India -  the ruins around the Qutub Minar have plenty of stories to tell. Instead of the royals who once walked among the lanes, today there are tourists who rush past, stopping just for a photograph or two to commemorate their visit to the place which was built to remind a city of the greatness of its ruler. The only inhabitants of this place today are these birds, which are free to fly wherever they please.

Purple Rumped Sunbird

This is one bird I see every single day, but has proved the most difficult to photograph. They are so small and flit endlessly between the flowers and leaves on the tree that I can hardly focus before they are lost. I noticed this one a couple of days back, for once sitting peacefully.... and wondered if it was the same.

Grasshopper

My usual reaction  on seeing an insect used to be to scream. That is, until I started blogging. Now, I rush for my camera! Samhith seems to have picked up this too, and for once, instead of shouting about an insect in the loo, he quietly came to me, and asked me to come and take a photo before the insect flew away.

Urban Leaves Summer Camp

This yea r, Samhith was to take a break from all camps and classes – since we were travelling throughout May. A pleasant surprise came in the form of the Summer Camp for kids conducted by Urban Leaves . I had been following the Urban Leaves blog for a while, and was interested in their methods of creating terrace gardens in the midst of a busy city like Mumbai. While I am no good with gardening, and certainly have no green thumb, the idea of growing our own veggies in what little space we have does have its attractions, wouldn’t you agree? Especially when there are experts at hand to help out! And as it happened, the first batch of the camp coincided exactly with the dates we had free, and off we headed to Maharashtra Nature Park, Dharavi, for our introduction to Natueco Farming. The first day , being a Sunday, was the day the Urban Leaves’ regular city farmers turned up at MNP to tend to their plants and the Amrut Mitti – the secret of the healthy plants we could

Dwarakadhish Temple, Kalbadevi

Kalbadevi is an area well known for its wholesale steel market, but it is also an area which plays host to a huge number of temples. It is amazing to note that this small area in the heart of the commercial centre of Bombay has an eclectic mix of places of worship. While there are small and big temples galore dedicated to the Hindu Gods such as Shiva, Vishnu and myriad forms of the Devi, the area also houses two Zoroastrian fire temples, and the whole area is surrounded by mosques! And yes, of course, there are also a couple of churches nearby! Innately personifying the multi-cultural essence of Bombay, the area is a bustling hub of humanity at all and any time of the day! Walking peacefully along any of the roads here is difficult once the shops open in the morning, and one tends to miss out many interesting things while keeping our eyes peeled on the traffic and trying not to bump into our fellow pedestrians. Add this to the fact that a visit to Kalbadevi generally involves buying

Rose Ringed Parakeet

Summer always brings a number of parrots to our house. The red berries growing on the tree opposite our house  ripen in the heat of peak summer, and attract these birds by the dozen.They blend in so well with the greenery that we know of their presence only by the racket they make. Unfortunately, it has not been all that easy to photograph them so far. This year though, I managed to get some decent pics...

International Postcard Swap for Families 2011

When was the last time you sent a postcard? Come to think of it, when was the last time you used the Postal Service? With the world becoming a much smaller place with the advent of the internet, even the phone is now getting redundant. Most of my friends these days are those I have met over the net and communicated with via one of the social networking sites.