PATIENT HUNTER

The Heron sure led me up the garden path, read on.

Enchanted Forests

As the “River of Flowers” meanders through  the Coastal Lands of the Southern Tip Of India, it creates a Wonderful Ecosystem and an Enchanting Habitat.

Mangrove Forests  burst forth in the Estuary of the River Neyyar and constitute many a Wonderous species of Plants which survive in marshy lands much like Amphibians; half in water, half on land.

The Hanging Red Fruits of this Species hang decoratively over the Tranquil ( do read an earlier post titled TRANQUILITY and TRANQUIL MERGER)  Waters of the River Neyyar in Poovar, Kerala, India,

forest of hanging fruits BEAUTIFULLY UNKNOWN

As the tendrils of the  aerial stems  curl and swirl carrying the floral buds to the peaceful  waters of the River, you can spot an equally calm HERON casting a reflection in Tranquility.

“The Indian Pond Heron (English) , Ardeola grayii grayii(Scientific name) had me deceived as it was in

View original post 199 more words

THE SEA CROW

The Neerkakka ( Malyalam), The Sea Crow ( a literal translation into English), Little Cormorant ( Common English name), Phalacrocorax niger graces the banks of the River Neyyar at Poovar. Kerala, India.

Have written at length on the Region in previous blogs this week and thus will not submerge you with more details.

Simply enjoy these Birds in their natural habitat in the pictures that follow.

all alone
Green Water

If you compare them to Cormorants I had posted about on the River Chambal you will discern the difference between them as well.

Are two of them the  Parents of the Solitary  Juvenile in the picture above?

Observe the abundance and variation in Flora, much of which grows out of the fresh river waters.

three on a branch
Birds of a feather….

Is the little one looking back to see if it is left all alone ? Is there a predator lurking below the calm tranquil waters ?

The Juvenile Little Cormorant has a brownish plumage and it needs a few more months before it acquires the majestic Glossy Black Colour (the dark colour gives the species the name niger) of it’s Parents.

looking behind
Am I all Alone ???

The pictures above  highlight the Enchanting  Waterworld and one of the several Species of Birds that are native to the region.

PATIENT HUNTER

As the “River of Flowers” meanders through  the Coastal Lands of the Southern Tip Of India, it creates a Wonderful Ecosystem and an Enchanting Habitat.

Mangrove Forests  burst forth in the Estuary of the River Neyyar and constitute many a Wonderous species of Plants which survive in marshy lands much like Amphibians; half in water, half on land.

The Hanging Red Fruits of this Species hang decoratively over the Tranquil ( do read an earlier post titled TRANQUILITY and TRANQUIL MERGER)  Waters of the River Neyyar in Poovar, Kerala, India,

forest of hanging fruits
BEAUTIFULLY UNKNOWN

As the tendrils of the  aerial stems  curl and swirl carrying the floral buds to the peaceful  waters of the River, you can spot an equally calm HERON casting a reflection in Tranquility.

“The Indian Pond Heron (English) , Ardeola grayii grayii (Scientific name) had me deceived as it was in breeding plumage.

The Dull Brown Robes had been transformed into shimmering multiple hues, the beak was greenish-Blue and the Legs were a Beautiful Red.”

quietly awaiting
INFINITE PATIENCE

“I had never seen the Indian Pond Heron in Breeding Plumage and had been thoroughly deceived into assuming that I had seen a new species of Heron.”

This was the primary reason I did not pen down the name or the scientific name before. Am thus reblogging this now, with all the additions in the text , post discovering the identify  in apostrophes.” (“)

The Heron, displays Infinite patience as it awaits silently, with hardly a scant movement, gingerly holding onto twigs which arch over the surface of the River.

The Cup like leafs in the foreground of the photograph are Water Hyacinths.

the scenario
A STATUE?

The Heron beat me hands down in patience and I did not wait to witness what this Enchanting Bird had for Lunch.

“It also took me on a Wild Heron Chase by donning a lovely new plumage to charm the Lady Heron.”

The shimmering subtle hues of the  “Breeding ” Plumage show up beautifully in the Featured Image.

 

RIVER OF FLOWERS

The Spellbinding ways of nature are thrown up in an Enchanting manner along the banks of the southern most River of Kerala at the southern  tip of India.

As the mystical and historical River Neyyar winds its way from the Mountains to the Arabian Sea it creates a fascinating World of Backwaters, Mangrove Forests  and water channels bustling with Magical Flora and Fauna.

A King from the Medieval Ages observed the River was covered with Flowers and named the Village “Poovar” ( River of Flowers) ,  a name which the village town carries to date.

The pictures that follow were taken from a Wooden Boat at the Estuary of the River Neyyar at Poovar. The tree in the foreground is I presume the same species that bore the flowers  the King of Travancore (that was what the Kingdom was called) saw 600 years ago.

the habitat
Living in the River

The River Neyyar is steeped in Ancient Hindu Mythological Stories and maybe the River of Ghee and Water which gave birth to the Avatar of Lord Vishnu, “Matsya”.

These lovely Red Fruits are suspended on delicate little tendrils which surf the tranquil waters of River Neyyar. 

If you check the previous blogs titled TRANQUILITY and TRANQUIL MERGER you will appreciate the Habitat of these mysterious Conical fruits.

” Nearly two weeks after posting the blog “RIVER OF FLOWERS”, I am delighted to have discovered the identity of these Beautiful Decorative Fruits.”

hangings
Stretching out to touch the River

The small delicate White flowers of the Conical Red Fruits appear to be Pink on first glance. The gorgeous and bountiful flowers  are borne by wiry aerial stems which submerge their heads in the calm cool  waters of the River.

“As they sway in the breeze much like an Enchantress these Flowers and Fruits are bearers of a Deadly Poison. Beware Looks are Deceptive.

 Native to India the Fish Poison Tree ( English), Samudrachampa ( Malayalam) ,  Barringtonia macrophylla ( Scientific name) is a Freshwater Mangrove.”

 

the pink flowers
Gorgeous Reflection

A zoom in and unintended magnification reveals the numerous  Pink  Stamens which overwhelm the delicate white petals of the Flowers and Buds.

” These lovely blossoms hang on thin tendrils called Racemes and sway over the freshwaters of the River Neyyar.

The native name “Samudra Champa” is so descriptive and close to the title of this post and  means Fragrant Flower of the Seas.

The Freshwater Mangrove belongs to the Brazil Nut Family “Lecthydaceae”. “

The Samudra Champa on account of the Poisonous substances (opioid painkillers)  it carries also has medicinal benefits and is anti microbial and anti fungal as well.”

the flower and buds
The Gorgeous Flowers in Pink

As I end the blog I wonder if these were the flowers which Enchanted the Mighty King  ?

I have a task at hand too, what are they called ?  I have failed to discover thus far.

” The discovery was quite by chance as I was searching for another name for quite another Plant.

It is not easy to hone onto the species and you can see other Trees which look very similar to the one posted above. those interested could check out Barringtonia racemosa and  Barringtonia acutangula as well to appreciate the point being made .”

Am elated and I reblog the post to share the name of the Mysterious Flowers of the Freshwater Mangrove seen in the backwaters of Kerala.”

All that is added in the blog  is highlighted and put in inverted commas.

TRANQUIL MERGER

Gentle cool winds caress the leaves of the Tall swaying Coconut trees along the banks of the Neyyar River at Poovar, Trivandrum District, Kerala,India.

Poovar is a small laid back village where the Neyyar River merges into the Arabian Sea.

the estuary
The Gentle Neyyar River

The Estuary or the mouth of the river has a vast net work of interlinked water ways which create an Enchanting Waterworld.

spreading out
The Estuary or the place of the Merger

This is the first glimpse  ,from the Boat,  of the beach along the Arabian Sea at the point where the Neyyar River merges into The Arabian Sea.

After having traversed the Green canopied  back waters on a traditional flat wooden boats, the sudden and vast expanse at the Mouth of the River felt like emerging from a tunnel.

the sea
The Arabian Sea glimpsed

The Turbulent breaking of the Sea Waves along the Indian coastline is in sharp contrast to the Gentle waters of the River Neyyar.

the beach
 Calmly Merging into the Arabian Sea

I am left wondering as to how the River is so calm and tranquil even as its existense is immersed in the Turbulent Waters of the vast Arabian Sea .

The Featured image is of the Setting Sun over the Estuary at Poovar.

Poovar literally means The River of Flowers. Enchanted , we must look for the flowers after which the village takes its name.Do await  the blogs to follow.

THE HAUNTED

Am joyous to have identified the hitherto elusive Himalayan Chestnut Tree and thus re -blogging the same.

Enchanted Forests

When I opened the window at Mussoorie,Uttrakhand ,India in the Western Himalayas I was overwhelmed by a Sea of Trees covered with multi hued blossoms.

“Have been fortunate  after many days to now identify the flowering  Sea of Trees as those of The Indian Horse Chestnut.”

view from windowHaunting view of  Himalayan Flowering Trees from the Window

On a closer look through the dense Foliage I see the Haunted Home of the Swallows. ( do see an earlier blog titled  UP IN THE SKY ). Silly me, The Swallow had been pointed towards the their home all along.

haunted houseHaunted Home in the midst of mysterious blooms

A zoom in reveals glorious blossoms in pink, yellow and white buzzing with Butterflies. If you wish to see more of the butterflies do see an earlier post titled SMITTEN BY NATURE along with the Feature Image.

For…

View original post 187 more words

ETERNAL SLUMBER

The Enchanting Royal Cenotaphs in Bundi, Rajasthan are located besides a Lotus Lake and surrounded by the Ancient Aravalli Hills.

The Pictures remind me of movies Like India Jones, Tomb Raider and blogs on Angkor Vat.

The Era of Kings and Queens is over, yet these lovely Structures now run over by Nature remind me of an Era long gone by, when they Ruled this very Land under which they lie in Eternal Slumber.

hidden behind trees
Forgotten and hidden among trees

The Leaves have fallen from the  naked trees and turned to dust along with The Maharajas ( Kings)  and Maharanis ( Queens)  whose ashes lie beneath these lofty Cenotaphs, called Chattris ( literal translation is an Umbrella) in Hindi.

the leaves are shed
Ancient trees mask the Royal Cenotaphs

Details like the procession of Elephants in stone carved at the based of the Chattris and the Beautiful Natural Surroundings accentuate the beauty of this relatively unknown region of Rajasthan.

Previous blogs like RIP PRETTY ONE, THE HAUNTED and TRANQUILITY have somehow compelled my subconscious Brain to unveil these ROYAL CHAMBERS of Everlasting Peace.

Resting Chambers
Royal Chattris

TRANQUILITY

Meandering through the coastline at Poovar, Kerala  are backwaters, Mangrove Forests and the Estuary of the River Neyyar.

Tranquil , Peaceful and Calm the waters gradually flow to meet the vast Arabian Sea unveiling an Incredible region of India.

Far from the Himalayas experience the diverse Flora and fauna of this Enchanting and Fascinating Land.

The River Neyyar  and the region it traverses is host to numerous Unique Flowers and Plants many of which resemble those depicted in the movie Avataar.

the river at poovar
Tranquil Flow

While Coconut trees dominate the landscape you will spot interesting Birds as well, watch out for the blogs to follow . A traditional Kerala wooden boat approaches the river, in the picture below, from the well shaded backwater channels.

traditional boats
A Calm traditional Wooden Boat

Mangrove Forests and Unique  Screw Pines line the Banks creating a Unique and Distinctive Ecological Region.

One can spend hours watching the Lush Green Terrain as the waters are extremely gentle and peaceful.

Listen to the the Gentle winds and the Calm flow of the River as the Boat lulls you into an Enchanting Slumber.

mangrove and screw pines on banks
 Peaceful River Bank

Go with the Flow and be overwhelmed by the Spells of Nature. This is after all Kerala, “God’s own Country”.

THE HAUNTED

When I opened the window at Mussoorie,Uttrakhand ,India in the Western Himalayas I was overwhelmed by a Sea of Trees covered with multi hued blossoms.

“Have been fortunate  after many days to now identify the flowering  Sea of Trees as those of The Indian Horse Chestnut.”

view from window
Haunting view of  Himalayan Flowering Trees from the Window

On a closer look through the dense Foliage I see the Haunted Home of the Swallows. ( do see an earlier blog titled  UP IN THE SKY ). Silly me, The Swallow had been pointed towards the their home all along.

haunted house
Haunted Home in the midst of mysterious blooms

A zoom in reveals glorious blossoms in pink, yellow and white buzzing with Butterflies. If you wish to see more of the butterflies do see an earlier post titled SMITTEN BY NATURE along with the Feature Image.

For me am totally Haunted by these gorgeous and mysterious Blossoms and the mystery is compounded as I have been unable to identify them.

“The Spike of Flowers of the Indian Horse Chestnut ( English Name) tree,  I have since  learnt can be seen only in the months of May and June”.

blooms

Mysterious and  Haunting Flowers

Be Haunted like the Butterflies by the abundance of these blooms , seen at an altitude of 2000 metres ( 6000 feet approx.) in the Lower Himalayas.

” The Mystery is now finally resolved, these lovely flowers are of The Indian Horse Chestnut ( English Name), Pankor      (Hindi Name), Aesulus indica (Scientific name). A Deciduous Tree Native to the Himalayas and found at an altitude between 900 to 3000 metres.”

pink blooms
The Breathtaking  Inflorescence

Am hopeful that someone will be identify these Trees with Chestnut or Maple like Leaves and break the Haunting of these mysterious and Enchanting flowers.

“The mystery is resolved, the fruits are used as a cure for Colic in Horses and  probably the reason for the name Horse Chestnut.”

NATURAL HEALERS

The State of Kerala is located on the Southern Tip of India along the Arabian Sea.

It is also the home of Ayurveda, an ancient Indian System of Medicine that uses the natural  healing properties of Plants.

The Heart Leaved Creeper  seen in the picture has the most incredible and near divine healing properties. The  extremely strong but slender aerial roots were used in Ayurveda as sutures. Not only did these natural sutures heal they also held the wound together.

creeper
Watch out for The Rope Like Creeper

Several  Healing Creepers wind themselves over the Indian Gooseberry tree making it hard to discern one from another.

Initially I assumed the Round Ball Like Fruits were Gooseberries ( a natural storehouse of Vitamin C and antioxidants) , then I realized they were the fruits of a creeper planted  in a Herbal Garden.

on the roof
Hanging over the Terracotta Roofs

My confusion is further confounded as the fruits are not of the Heart Leaved Moonseed ( English Name) Creeper,  Giloy or Gurach ( Hindi Name) ,Tinospora cordifolia ( Scientific Name) either as the leaves and fruits you see in the picture below are entirely different.

The  Ayurvedic Giloy Herbs are used to cure Cancer and Heart Diseases ( remember they have  heart shaped leaves ) besides many other ailments.

hanging balls
Medicinal  decorations

While you are enchanted with the pictures and the natural Terracotta Roofs ( a hallmark of homes in Kerala) I must get to work and discern the third member of the Trinity of these Natural Healers.