Fuschia (fyus-chia) is an attractive colour which is similar to Magenta.
These lovely pendulous flowers in the driveway of JW MARRIOTT, Mussoorie bear the name Fuchsia ( mark the correct spelling) and adorn the colour Fuschia as well.
Growing profusely in the shade I call these magnificent flowers TEAR DROPS OF JOY.
The flower is called Fuchsia ( fook-sia) in honour of the 16th Century German Botanist Fuchs. ( sorry, but that was the name of the scientist) It is rare for the scientific and common name to be same, this lovely flower shares this honour. Scientific name is Fuchsia hybridia.( there are however over a hundred species and the last name could change).
Do observe the colour of the stems as they turn Fuschia as well.
This is obviously another species of this wonderful flower within the lovely garden of Prateek’s home and part of the Brentwood Sanctuary, Mussoorie.
Very often Nature casts a spell and leaves a message or a sign.
The featured image is of toadstool mushrooms in the lush gardens of the JW Marriott WalnutGrove & Spa, Mussoorie.
It was probably the first picture I took in this beautiful Resort overlooking a stunning Himalayan Range.
It was also a sign by Mother Nature for what was to follow.
The following picture is of a signboard in the enchanting Jabarkhet Nature Reserve, Mussoorie.
( though I took this picture I realized the significance only after I began writing this article)
The J. Nature Reserve is part of a privately owned gorgeous enchanting forest .
The Nature trek around FLAG HILL ( Jaburkhet Reserve is located on the Flag Hill) was one of several memorable trips organized by JW MARRIOTT under the umbrella WALNUT TRAIL .
( do check my previous post titled THE SECRET TRAP)
This mushroom resembling a Garden Umbrella was discretely camouflaged under some dried leaves . Am positive that even our cheerful group leader Aditya ( hope you read this post) missed this specimen of the Fungi family.
As the J.Nature Reserve conscientiously guards the forests from intrusion the undergrowth in the forest has flourished.
Deadwood is neither collected or tampered with and therein lies the secret of the abundance of Fungi ( mushrooms) .
The lifeless stump of a tree had given birth to an unusual and attractive colony of mushrooms.
The shaded mountainside preserves moisture which provides a perfect home for Moss.
Moss in turn holds the topsoil of the mountain and is a reservoir for water as well.
This unique and magnificent species of Fungi thrives in this delicately balanced ecosystem.
Such glorious rare sights can be witnessed only in forests which are untouched by domesticated animals like cows and goats.
Bracket mushrooms adorn the mountainside . Homes for elves and fairies?
The largest and definitely the God Father of mushrooms photographed by me in this enchanting forest of the Himalayas.
The tiny toadstools under the Walnut tree in the gardens of the JW Marriott Resort was my sign that I would shortly be on a Mushroom trail.
Is it not ironical that I noticed the signboard read “Mushroom Trail” only whilst writing this article.
I guess Nature has its ways? ( hope the nature loving and wonderful staff of JW Marriot would discover the toadstools in their garden after reading this post )
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.