SHAHTOOT

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 spectacular Mulberry ( English) or Shatoot (Hindi) trees.

laden tree
Gorgeous Fruit Laden Tree

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.

in all colours
Shades of Red to Black

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.

fruit at joints
Bunch of Abbundance

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.

bunch
Juicy  Fruits

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.

FLOWERS OF GOD

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).

queens wreath
SANDPAPER VINE

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.

blurry close up
5 STAR BLOOMS

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.

INDIAN COUNTRYSIDE

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.

rural-nature
Rural Illustrations on a Country Home

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.

baya-nests
Aerial Homes of the Baya Bird

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.

temple-in-rural-setting
An Ancient temple set in the midstof  Endemic Trees

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.

WATCHFUL KITE

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.

the-muddy-terrain
The Chambal Ravines 
the-skies-and-the-tree
Watchful Kite & the Open Skies
scanning-the-terrain
Perched on a “Babool” Tree

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).

Till then readers remain Enchanted.

TREE VIEW

Am leaving you with some Images of Endemic ( Native ) trees I happened to capture during the Bird Festival held in the Chambal Sanctuary, Bah, Uttar Pradesh.

road-through-ravines
The Path through the Ravines of the Chambal

Ficus is a large Genus of Trees and Aerial roots are a feature unique to the Genus.

red-berries
Red Berries and Aerial roots

The Peepul or Bodhi tree under which Lord Buddha gained Enlightenment.

Here the Indian Honey Bees have found a wonderful home up in the midst of Tree Tops.

bee-hive
A Bee Hive

A Buzzard gazes at all that passes by in his domain as he is perched on the Top of a “Desi Babool”  tree.

Be Enchanted with the images and I will return with more interesting facts on the Flora.

SHADES OF GREY

Two earlier posts SPELLBOUND and BALLS OF SUGAR reveal the location and will thus not dwell on the same.

The Grey Pelican ( English),   Pelecanus philippensis ( Scientific name)  is a major competitor to Fisherman and I can imagine they would not be entirely pleased to find it anyone close to their domain.

This Island in the midst of the Yamuna was entirely inhabited by Cormorants and four  Pelicans.

a-bird-island
Bird Island

Swimming in solitary splendour soaking in the breathtaking Landscape in the background as a thick Fog descends on the banks of the River Yamuna in December.

The Enchanting Grey Pelican is unique to the Indian Subcontinent and parts of South East Asia.

mustard-fields
The Motorcylcle and Mustard Field as backdrop

The Grey Pelican is unfortunately  a Near Threatened Species and is usually seen in Solitude or small groups.

swimming-ashore
Swimming Ashore

I have learnt the Grey PELICAN is also called the Spot Billed Pelican, however I have no picture in which I can clearly discern the spots. I thus wonder if if I have identified the species correctly.

Yet I am happy to share the splendour of nature with all the readers across the world.

BALLS OF SUGAR

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 .

three-kinds
The White Sugar Mountain attracts all

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.

bee-on-suger-ball
All in Brown

Another species with a striped Abdomen but as engrossed as it’s cousin above donned in Brown.Both belong to the Genus Apis.

yellow-abdomen
Yellow Stripes is fully Immersed in Sugar balls

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.

wasp
Yellow Jacket

We were are all engrossed, Winged Insects, Bees & Wasps in the Balls of Sugar and the cameraman with them.

Enchanting I would say, do you agree ?