Am Enchanted to be back to the world of blogging after over 9 months.
It is always a trigger which sets off a series of events in your life and a visit to the KAAS “Plateau of Flowers” in the Western Ghats did just that. I simply cannot keep the treasure to myself, so here I go opening the World of Amazing Flowers.
Am back to the world of blogging. Hello , am alive and kicking once again.
The Kaas Plateau is located in the Sahaydri Hills, 25 kms off a sweet town called Satara, Maharasthra which is accessible from Pune ( 120 kms away ) and Mumbai in Western India.
A hidden natural treasure and home to over 850 species of Unique Flowers the Kaas Pathar ( meaning Stone) is tagged as a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site.
The entire Plateau is swamped by flowers and the colour of the Hills changes with every passing season . When I happened to visit the site at the tail end of Monsoons in September , Kaas was cloaked in a Purple, have a look .
To really appreciate the splendour and magnificence of the region you need to keep a sharp eye for tiny microscopic carnivorous plants to large trees bearing medicinal fruits.
The purple strokes of this natural painting are on account of one particular flowerwhich seems to be dominating the landscape at this point of time.
They bloom at the tail end end of the Monsoons ( rainy season) from September till October.
A zoom in reveals “alien looking purple flowers” which remind me of the more familiar Sweet Peas we have in our gardens.
The zoom in also reveals the leaves which are armed to the teeth with deadly looking thorns.
These Enchanting flowers are endemic ( native) to this region and belong to the Balsam family Balsaminaceae .
An Enchanting area full of Natural Wonders , I will be back to unveil some wonderful pictures of flowers I have never ever seen before. Each would put to shame the creators of the movie Avatar and the imaginary world of Pandora.
So keep a watch out for Flowers which Bloom only once in 7 years.
The Year 2017 has been thus far been simply amazing with surprising twists and turns to make anyone dizzy.
My sudden plunge into Political campaigning in the heart of Rural India ( please read an earlier post titled INDIAN COUNTRYSIDE) combined with to and fro visits to Operating theaters in Hospitals and am literary gasping for breath.
The twister of a Political Ride took to me the Capital of Uttar Pradesh , Lucknow, where I spotted these spectacularMulberry ( English) or Shatoot (Hindi) trees.
The juicy “Shahtoot” fruits brought upon a surge of nostalgia as I recall my Grandfather’s Garden which had so many kinds of fruit which are now near impossible to find in any Fruit Market in the metropolis of New Delhi.
Black Mulberry ( English), Shahtoot ( Hindi) or Morus nigra ( Scientific name) is the name of this quaint and exotic looking fruit which many would not recognize in large cities today.
I do recall collecting them in little cups made by folding the beautifully shaped green leaves of the Mulberry Tree. The dark black fruits ooze a Deep Wine Red Juice which would colour anything they touched.
The Shahtoot shares its origins and name from ancient Persia but is today found across the Indian Sub continent. Though for some inexplicable reason it is extremely difficult to find in any Fruit stall in India which are now laden with Kiwis and such fruits from far away lands.
Things are changing for sure and many aromas and tastes remain now merely as memories.
Enchanting fruits for my lovely readers who welcomed me back with warmth and affection.
All of us are touched by the Divine but are often unaware of the same.
March in Delhi is the season for Flowers and the entire vista is magically draped in blooms. Recovering from a series of surgeries the flowers drew me to the magic of the Divine Artist providing the much required healing touch.
I return to the world of Blogging and the Enchanted Forests beckon again after a very long gap thanks to the “FLOWERS OF GOD”. They are the first flowers which brushed my senses as they draped over a brick wall as I stepped out of the house after weeks.
This Gorgeous and Voluminous Bouquet of hues of Purple is called the Queens’s Wreath, Purple Vine or Flower of God ( English).
Also called The Purple Vine, Sandpaper Vine or The Blue Bird Vine (English), Petrea volubilis (Scientific name)is simply a stunner and will take your breath away.
These picture were taken by an I phone and thus not equivalent to those taken from a DSLR but am sharing them though fuzzy as it brings across the hues of Purple and the 5 Star Shape of the Flowers of God.
This creeper has it’s Origins in far away South America and blooms in late Feb- mid April in Delhi as Spring transforms to Summer in this region of Planet Earth.
I have a lovely Video of Indian Honey bees buzzing around these Royal Flowers but unfortunately am unable to upload them in my current plan. ( maybe sometime in the future).
Am grateful to the Flowers of God which have enabled my return to my beloved Enchanted Forests.
I have had the most Unusual , Fascinating and absolutely Enchanting time in the Indian Countryside as I campaigned for three weeks for a Political Party during the ongoing Assembly Elections in the most populous and diverse state of India, Uttar Pradesh. ( literally means Northern Region) .
The setting is an area near the Ganges ,which is over 99% Rural consisting of close to 350 Villages.
Be Enchanted as I was with some pictures which capture the Flora & Fauna in this Agriculturally Rich Region in Northern India.
Parakeets, Mangoes and flowers like the Lotus adorn the facade of this Beautiful Home. The Inspiration is entirely from Nature and the surroundings.
Take a deep breath, soak in the fresh air, it is the Countryside and air pollutants reside in Urban cities.
For me it was a joyous time as I soaked in the Natural Beauty as I campaigned from door to door and village to village.
The Peepal or Sacred Fig Tree ( English), Bodhi or Peepal ( Hindi) , Ficus religiosa ( Scientific name) in the foreground is a much revered tree across the Indian sub continent.
The tree in the backdrop is another endemic and fascinating Tree the Indian Lilac ( English), Neem ( Hindi) Tree, Azhadirachta indica. This tree is a natural Germicide.
The little Brown Hill on the rooftop adjacent to the Temple consists of Flat cakes made from Cow Dung.
The Featured Image is a typical rural scene in a Sugarcane Field with Cattle Egret encompassing an Indian Buffalo.
Am delighted to finally reveal where I spent three weeks of my life participating in the Dance of Indian Democracy .
Now off to Hospital and the realm of doctors , where I will dream of the Enchanting three weeks I spent in Naugawan Sadat assembly constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
This blog is in continuation of the previous blog titled TREE VIEW.
A fellow blogger and friend ‘Josh” had loved the Kite and so here are more Images of this Bird of Prey.
Now I tire easily , the burden of an oncoming surgery are heavy on my mind and am sorry but details of The Black Kite, Babool Tree and the Infamous Chambal Dacoits will be filled in at a later date ( hopefully).
A few kilometeres from the Enchanting Riverine Sanctuary of the Cursed River Chambal flows the River Yamuna. In sharp contrast this River is revered and thus the temple village of over 108 temples, Bateshwar ( 60 kms from the city of the Taj , Agra) ,Uttar Pradesh lies on the banks of the Yamuna.
Mountains of White Sugar Balls can be seen decorating all the shops that lead to the Temples which dot the region in large numbers.
These act as Magnets for many a Winged Species, have a look .
The Indian Honey Bee ( English), MadhuMakhi( Hindi), Apis cerana indica (Scientific name) finds nectar in these White Sugar Balls or Ram Ladoos which double up as offerings in Hindu temples.
Another species with a striped Abdomen but as engrossed as it’s cousin above donned in Brown.Both belong to the Genus Apis.
The Wasp ( English), Tattaya ( Hindi) , Ropalidia marginata(Scientific name)is no close cousin to the Indian Honey Bee but finds common cause in these Balls of Sugar.
We were are all engrossed, Winged Insects, Bees & Wasps in the Balls of Sugar and the cameraman with them.
The mere mention of the Ravines of Chambal would send a shiver down the spine of those acquainted with the terrain and the infamous reputation that goes along with it.
Have mentioned the CURSED CHAMBAL RIVER, in previous posts and would request the readers to check them to familiarize themselves with the region.
During the BIRD FESTIVAL ( do read previous posts, the titles of which are a bit fuzzy) held in the CHAMBAL Riverine Sanctuary in December 2016 we did spot many abodes or burrows of Dacoits who once Ruled this Area.
Have a look at the Chambal Terrain in the picture below.It was very foggy and misty and the picture reflects that to some extent.
While we were being shown the abode of an Infamous Dacoit in the Muddy Ravines, we saw the abode of a feathered friend as well, a Solitary Spotted Owlet ( English), Ullu ( Hindi), Athene brahma ( Scientific name).
Can you spot the Owlet at the doorway of his Home of Earth ?
It has been over a month since I penned my last Post or Blog and am delighted to be Home and at the Desk once again. feel rusted though and the words do not flow so easily, forgive me please.
The Dacoits have long gone, and now buried in the pages of history, but my alert feathered friend carefully checks out all visitors to his EARTH HOME.
Naturally I was riveted by the Owlet and forgot all about the Dacoits .