February 2009


 

I haven’t photographically tracked the progress of the garden in the last few weeks but when I did this morning it was a total joy to see the profusion of the blooms.Have a look and have a good day and an even better weekend.
1) The carnations are now coming into bloom and I look forward to capturing on camera more such beauties in the coming days

 

2) This year I planted cherry colored nasturtiums giving the usual orange ones a pass.The results have been spectacular.

3) The snap dragons are really going great and have filled up this long bed at the front of the house.

 

 

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Australia(especially the southeastern state of Victoria) was ravaged recently by bushfires that resulted in the tragic loss of 201 lives.Many are still in hospitals with very serious burns.This is the worst incident in Australia’s history of bushfires.The dates 6th and 7th Feb 2009 will probably go down in the country’s history as the darkest.

But Aussies have this truly remarkable attitude to life that makes them get up and get back on their feet in the shortest possible time.Ask a Aussie who is visibly ill,
“How are you mate?”
99.9 % of the time what you will hear is not a litany of his/her troubles but this:
“No worries mate.”

I am posting this picture that a friend sent from Melbourne.It has been taken at a winery in the wine making region of Yarra Valley.It is a beautiful area( as is most of Australia) and the hot air balloon rides over the picturesque valley are very popular.Well ths picture was taken at a wedding that took place recently against the backdrop of the still burning fires.

Wedding at Yarra Valley

Wedding at Yarra Valley

This photo has not been taken by me.I just felt this was worth sharing with everyone because for me this truly captures the Aussie spirit.My thanks to the original photographer who captured this image.

This is a kitten that just a few months ago was a helpless, little, furless thing that its mommy deposited under the bougainvillea creeper. I have lots of low growing plants planted around the base and it makes for a perfect hiding spot for the kittens and mommy cat and also provides total protection from the wind, the heat and the cold. Last time the mommy cat had a litter the two kittens got themselves stuck in the bougainvillea’s thorny branches and mewled pitifully the whole day in the heat. When I tried to rescue them the mommy cat appeared out of nowhere and hissed the living daylights out of me.
1) When I tried to get it to pose, it ignored me royally. Moving closer would have meant it sauntering away and another lost photo opportunity so I resorted to making bird sounds(or what I think were bird sounds.
 
2) The bird sounds did not impress the little fella and it just continued snoozing in the sun.All it would grant me was a front profile.
 

3) When I would not give up with my annoying ‘bird noises’ one eye opened and I got this look.It says it all.It does

think of me as a major ‘human’ annoyance which it tolerates only because of the occasional treats it gets from me.
 

 

P.s: Going by its size this one is going to be one big cat.Just like its daddy

I backed off and called the local SPCA (society for preventing cruelty to animals). They sent a young Sri Lankan employee who brought them down but then insisted on taking them to the shelter. No amount of pleading the mommy cat’s case would make him relent so off he went with the two kittens to the shelter and I was left with a mommy cat that mewled pitifully for a whole week before it gave up on its babies. The guilt of somehow being responsible for that fiasco made me watch out protectively over the present litter of three, out of which two survived and one got lost when it was a cute little fur ball.

So this is the one that has survived and has now been left alone by the mommy cat. She no longer plays with him/her, nor hangs around protectively. So this fella has taken to hanging around my garden, chasing birds (probably making a meal out of a few) and knocking down my carnations by jumping all over then during its bird chases.As you can make out from the pictures this one has a mind of its own and is quite a character.

This came to me in an email and I think for sheer ingenuity and  entrepreneurial  spirit it is matchless.Have a look.


My apologies to the original photographer for using this picture without consent but it is too good not to share it.I have no idea who you are but you do have a brilliant eye for capturing the idiosyncracies of the nation.

neem_hakeem

 

Lately,I have not found myself inspired to write about anything .Writer’s block? Maybe. But there is no photographer’s block on the horizon so here is a tour around my personal paradise. Come along.

 
 

 

This flower fascinated me for a whole month last season……unfortunately I had no seeds to plant it again this year. A dust storm was about to hit the day this picture was taken and hence the brownish hue of the pic.

This is where the bountiful vegetables come from.In the left lower corner is the compost bin where all kitchen and garden waste is composted.Just showing off my GREEN credentials.

The paperwala arrives with my copy of the local daily and a day old copy of The Economic Times.

This is how serene the compund looks,bathed in the winter sun.Don’t even ask how it is in summers with temperatures at 48 degrees+.

The gardener gets busy watering. He has been nurturing this place for last 30 years, I am told.

This is the oasis his efforts create within the walls of the compound.Look  over the wall to see how it would be without constant improving of soil and watering.

The barbecue that is usually used as my gardening work bench to raise seedlings and carry out the re-potting of plants. What else can a vegetarian do with a barbecue?

The mid morning sun brings out the many hues of green that are there.

 OK, that’s it folks.See you again soon. Take care.