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.
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.
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.
The pictures above highlight the Enchanting Waterworld and one of the several Species of Birds that are native to the region.
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,
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.”
“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 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 upbeautifully in the Featured Image.
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 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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
Details like the procession of Elephants in stone carved at the based of the Chattrisand 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.