The Butterfly Bush ( Scientific name :Buddleja davidii) is a beautiful flowering shrub with its origins in the mountains of China.
Bushels of flowers adorn the bush and it forms a splendid natural boundary to the gardens of the JW Marriott Hotel in Mussoorie, located in the lap of the Himalayas.
The sweet fragrance of the abundant flowers attract bees and butterflies in droves and hence the name BUTTERFLY BUSH.
The lavender coloured flowers also give it an alias, THE LILAC BUSH.
A basque missionary of the 19th century Father Arthur David lends his name to this profusely flowering bush. ( scientific name Buddleja davidii)
Found naturally in the mountainous zones of China the butterfly bush has flowers in several colours , however I was witness to two colours, lilac and white.
On close observation you will see the flowers have an orange centre and hence the shrub is also called ORANGE EYE.
With drop dead looks and the sweetest of fragrances, the deceptive Butterfly Bush is now classified as a NOXIOUS WEED in many countries where it was introduced in the 19th century.
The rapidly growing bush spreads quickly and the profuse number of flowers ensures the plant a steady supply of seeds for self propagation.
The shrub grows back quickly even if cut from the stump and the seeds can lie dormant in the ground for several years. The shrub further ensures it’s survival as the male and female flowers occur on the same plant.
It has become an Invasive weed in countries like New Zealand and United Kingdom where they have been compelled to introduce a leaf-chewing beetle Cleopus japonicus as a biological control agent.
Recalling an old saying ” LOOKS ARE DECEPTIVE”, we should be careful what plants we introduce in our gardens as unknowngly we can upset a delicate ecosystem.
If we plant trees and plants ENDEMIC to the region it will ensure the survival of native species as well.
The Qutab Minar ( Minar is a tower in Hindi) is the symbol Of New Delhi and marks the Rise and Fall of dynasties and empires over 11 centuries.
As I was arching my neck and attempting to frame ( photographers will get it) the magnificent Qutab Minar , the corners of my eyes detect specks of green on this gateway to the Iron Pillar ( 2nd Century BC) .
On a closer look , the specks of green turn into parakeets adorning the beautiful stone carvings.
Am overawed and pleasantly surprised, they are none other than Alexandrine Parakeets. Psittacula eupatria.
The red shoulder patch reveals the identity of the largest bird in the family of Parakeets .
The male is distinctively identified by its red nape and black ring around the neck .
This couple had found a gorgeous 1100 year old Penthouse .
An alert female member of the Alexandrine parakeet looks at all from the rooftop perch of the Penthouse.
Do notice the black ring and red nape are absent. It is also distinctively smaller than the male.
Whenever I see the THICK KNEE am reminded of the fairy tale RED RIDING HOOD and her remarks “what big eyes you have grandmother”. ( authors are permitted to spice up the story by giving the originals a little twist )
A nocturnal bird it prefers to hang around bushes , shrubs and trees during the day.
Thick Knee, Indian Stone Curlew,Burhinus indicus ( scientific)
This one was spotted Ogling at the lake under a TREE.
A combination of large goggle eyes and the above mentioned habit of hanging around gives the appearance of this bird OGLING.
A resident bird to the dry deciduous forests of India it can be spotted even in the stunted forests of Delhi. I did see one in Asola Forest Reserve in New Delhi.
The little knot around the knee give it another uncomplimentary name, THICK KNEE.
Sleeping or preening itself , Goggle eyes also has a large characteristic beak.
It is also called Indian Stone Curlew because of the characteristic wailing sound associated with Curlews.
Almost all pictures in books and sources on the net show the plumage as brown or shades thereof.
However the pictures I have taken near a lake in Rajasthan show up the THICK KNEE more greyish or STONE coloured.
The THICK knee or Stone Curlew finds a place in many stories, poems and even a movie.
Similar birds can be Spotted in Europe ( Eurasian Stone Curlew) and Africa as well.