Category: Tree


When

Usha Rajagopalan

asked me to take several people around the 1km perimeter of Puttenahalli Lake, I was very happy indeed to conduct the nature trail.

We all assembled there at 6am:

L sign 131111 ptnhli lake

The sun also decided to come up and join us:

L 131111 ptnhli lake snrrse

There were about 50 people altogether, including old friends like Shashi and Shalini.

Obviously, I wasn’t able to take too many photographs, but with Poornima and Srini along, we sighted quite a few interesting things, such as this

SPOTTED OWLET

on top of a dead palm trunk:

L owlt 131111 ptnhli lake

and this

PURPLE HERON

which seems to be a regular resident:

L prpl hrn 131111 ptnhli lake

It was enjoyable having children on the walk, asking lots of questions and ticking off what they saw on their checklists, or (as with the Spotted Owlet) adding to them:

rwti prnv 131111 ptnhli lake

At the end of the walk, a nice breakfast of IVC (Iddli, Vada, Coffee) was served to all the participants, and Usha talked to some of them:

L usha 131111 ptnhli lake

The children sat down to draw their impressions of the walk:

L art 131111 ptnhli lake

They produced some lovely artwork!

To see the rest of the photographs..including the food!…

click here

I am planning to take the children of Magic Puddles and Desire Society there this Saturday….

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We are going to Gunjurpalya forest for Tree Plantation tomorrow 23/09/2011. Tree Plantation will start by 8:30AM.

Location on Google Maps

Leave a comment here, or write a mail to sushil.katre@gmail.com and mr.mynk@gmail.com if you want to join.

Detailed information here – http://mynk.posterous.com/tree-planting-at-gunnjurpalya-urban-forest-on

For the people living in Bangalore, its almost rare that someone has not passed by Cubbon park. A wide spreaded forest area, located in the heart of the city. There are small big trees all around, contributing to the name of the city as Garden City. Roads running all around and across the park. There are 5 entrances to this big forest area.

photo is not loaded for some reason

During night, its gets a beautiful look with lights on. Intentionally or unintentionally I always try to divert my route through this place to have some cool fresh air.

In the central part, there is a round shaped grass land, roads running around. Especially Sunday evening is a good time to see a huge crowd there. Mostly the families with kids, spending time together, sitting, relaxing on the grass, playing some games etc.

District Library:
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The red color building is a good attraction obviously for the people landing there for the first time. I never got a chance to go inside this District Library. Needless to menton, the building draws attention for its rich architecture. In the night, the red color of the building gets more brighter with the focusing of bright light on it.

A closer view of the building.

I went to attend a wildlife photography workshop by Rathika Ramaswamy, for Pixetra…but that’s not what this post is about. As I walked to the venue, I saw this old house…

old house stm rd 050811

I mused on when the house was built, how proud the owner (Mr Vaz) must have been to see this bungalow coming up in the beautiful city of Bangalore….here, you can see his name in the gate-post, and the name of the present owner…

vera vaz 050811 stm rd

I can say, “It Vas a nice house, once!”

Today, the house is taken over by weeds, and in the grip of Strangler Figs:

strnglr fig stm rod 050811

The old order changeth, yielding place to new….I wonder what has kept this house from disappearing, too, with a multi-storied glass-and-chrome building taking its place…litigation, is the most likely answer.

A little torn page out of Bangalore’s history; no doubt, it will soon flutter into oblivion.

St.Mark’s Road, Bangalore, 050811.

I received the following email from R Sheshadri:

We cordially invite you for our project presentation at ATREE, tomorrow, 22nd July,2011.
It has been a very interesting study and we like to share our thoughts with you all.

We have combed most forests, all around Bengalur to study interdepandance of flora and fauna, and for selection of biologically important native trees and shrubs for planting projects.
Introduction to our native trees will be followed by interdependance and then selection of candidate species for planting spaces(and reasons why).
All data has been classified into several tables like e.g – Native Trees for planting under overhead electric wires, Highways,Woodlots,Gardens,Parks,Beautiful flowers of Bengalur,Trees for birds,ornamentals etc.

Title – Interdependance of bees, birds and butterflies on forest trees and shrubs in the forests around Bengaluru.(Project no 5 – Arun.N.K )
Selection of candidate species of indigenous trees and shrubs for planting in urban spaces and afforestation programs at Bengaluru.

Project guides-
Dr Subramanya,GKVK- (Bees, Birds,Butterflies,Insects)
Sheshadri.R- (Forest Trees and Shrubs)
Project team-
Arun N.K – ornithologist.
Prashanth.S – Socioeconomist.

Warm Regards.
Sheshadri.R
94482 59194.

Here is the ATREE route map:

http://maps.atree.org/atree_route_map.php

http://maps.atree.org/atree_route_map.php

As usual Vaibhav is quick with the posts of our trips and I like to sit on the photographs. Finally when I was done with the photographs, I wanted to write a post as I have not done it for some time, but I was wondering what to write after Vaibhav’s post on Valley School.

While returning after the wonderful birding, Mohan was talking to the person at security check at the entrance of the school while I was drinking water. I was listening to them trying to understand what there were talking. I got a leaflet and a book called Rta09.

After coming back I thought we have never written about the school itself. So I though I’ll write about the school and then my account of the birding there 🙂

I must warn you that this will be a lengthy post.

I have picked up the content from their website and from that leaflet and book which I got.

The Valley School was established in 1978 [when I was -5 (minus five) years old]. It is run by Krishnamurti Foundation India. The Valley School is based on the teachings of the eminent philosopher and a great thinker, Jiddu Krishnamurti. It is located at Thatguni, about 17 km to the south of Bangalore, capital of the state of Karnataka, in a picturesque valley with undulating hills and farms and with a reserve forest on the fringe. It has about 104 acres of dense vegetation, with a  lake on one side and a running stream.

It is a coeducational, English medium day-school affiliated to CISCE (Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations), New Delhi. It has  a student strength of about 365 and teacher strength of about 60.

 You enter in that area and greenery is all over the place. Only 2% of the land is being used for buildings and structures. Over the last 33 years, thousands of tree saplings of native species have been planted by students and staff.  These trees have now grown to provide a forest cover and a canopy that covers almost the entire campus.

Shrubs, herbs and grasses have grown at their natural pace, with minimal efforts at weeding and control.  The water bodies in the campus- the lake, the stream and the pond – act as effective water recharging sources besides serving as a habitat for a variety of flora and fauna.  The people at the Valley share their home with at least 250 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles, scores of insects, and a number of small and large mammals. The Valley is a treasure trove of a variety of medicinal herbs and endangered species of plants.

Flowering trees like Bauhinia, Tahbubia, Palash, Gulmohar, Jacaranda and Amaltash add spectacular beauty to this serene place.

The leaflet has got photograph of young J. Krishnamurti. It states –

What is sacred?…

That can be understood only when there is complete freedom – from fear, from sorrow – and when there is this sense of love, and compassion with its own intelligence. Then, when the mind is utterly still, that which is sacred can take place.

J. Krishnamurti was born on 11 May 1895in a small town of Andhra Pradesh. He was adopted in his youth by Dr Annie Besant, the president of Theosophical Society. Mrs Besant and others proclaimed that Krishnamurti was to be the world Teacher. A World Teacher, according to various scriptures, takes a human form from time to time to bring salvation to mankind. To prepare the world for his coming, an organization called the Order of the Star in the East was formed in 1911 with the young Krishnamurti as it head.

in 1922,  Krishnamurti underwent certain mystical experienced which, as he said, made him touch that ‘compassion that heals all sorrow and suffering’. Some years later he dissolved the Order with its huge following and gave up all the money and property collected for the work. In a historic speech in 1929 he explained why religious organizations cannot lead man to truth and declared that his only concern was ‘to set man absolutely, unconditionally free’.

The for more than sixty years, till his passing away in 1986, he travelled round the world talking to people and holding discussions with them, not as a guru but as a friend. His talks and discussions were based not on book knowledge and scholarship but on his insight into the human condition and his vision of the sacred. He did not expound any philosophy, but rather talked of the things that concern all of us in our everyday life – the problems of living in modern society with its corruption and violence; the individual’s search for security and happiness; and the need for man to free himself from his inner burdens of fear, anger, envy, sorrow, and so on.

Although he is recognized in both the East and the West as one of the greatest religious teachers of all times, Krishnamurti himself belonged to no religion, sect or country. Nor did he subscribe to any school of political or ideological thought. On the very contrary he maintained that these are the very factors that divide man from man and brings about conflict and war. He emphasized time and again that we are first and foremost human beings that we are like the rest of humanity and are not different. He asked that e tread lightly on this earth without destroying ourselves or the environment. He communicated to his listeners a deep sense of reverence for nature and all its creations.

Krishnamurti Foundation India –

The Krishnamurti Foundation India (KFI), recognized as a religious, charitable and educational institution, is one of four Krishnamurti Foundation in the world, the others being located in England, USA< and Latin America. KFI is engaged in educational and humanitarian work in the light of the teaching. It runs five schools: Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh Rajghat Besant School in Varanasi, The Valley School in Bangalore, The School-KFI in Chennai, and Shyadri School in Pune.

One of the chief concerns of the Foundation is preserving, publishing and disseminating Krishnamurti’s teachings in the form of books, audio an video recordings. KFI also runs Study Centers where people can stay for short periods in order to explore his teachings. It holds annual gatherings which enable serious people to come together for dialogues, arrange video-screenings in various places, and interacts with other schools, colleges, and religious and cultural institutions.

There is a Football Field, Pottery Shed, Small Jungle, Gym, Amphitheater, Damball Court in the school. on Rta 09 – Rta is a Sanskrit word from the Vedas meaning the natural order or course of things. Simply put, rta is truth. Rta09 is filled with articles, poems, stories and artwork by the students and teachers of the school.

Now on the birding experience this time. This was a very different trip. We spotted lots of birds, lots of butterflies, talking to Prashant (PK) was also wonderful.

It has become a tradition to come back with some dog photographs on my birding trips.

Stray Dog

Stray Dog

 

 

Stray Dog

Stray Dog

Beautifyl Ashy Prinia and a group of Greater Cormorants flying.

Ashy Prinia

Ashy Prinia

 

Greater Cormorant Flying

Greater Cormorant Flying

There were lots of Hoverflies and a lot of Rose-ringed Parakeets.

Hoverfly

Hoverfly

 

Rose-ringed Parakeet

Rose-ringed Parakeet

There was a tree on which a cactus was growing. It was full of cactus. Mouth watering Custard Apples!

Cactus on a tree

Cactus on a tree

 

Custard Apple

Custard Apple

 

Beautiful House Swifts. We were observing them. There were a lot of House Swift there and there were two big nests on the walls of abandoned house. These swifts were flying and just ging near the nest and coming back. They were not even touching the nest. While some of them were actually landing on the nest and guess feeding to the young ones, majority of theem seem to be just visiting the nest from a distance. This is a very beautifyl black and white bird.

House Swift

House Swift

 

 

House Swift

House Swift

 

We spotted many White Cheek and Coppersmith barbets. We spotted Asian Koel, Black Drongos, White Browed Bulbul, Small Minivet, Purple Rumped Sunbirds, White Browed Fantail Flycature, Silver Bill, Baya Weaver, Scaly Breasted Munia, Red Wattled Lapwing as well.

Scaly Breasted Munia

Scaly Breasted Munia

 

Red Wattled Lapwing

Red Wattled Lapwing

Now lets look at some of the beautiful buterflies. I’ll not even attempt to ID them, so please let me know the ID and I’ll make the changes. One of the most beautiful ones which I have seen till now, this black and white beauty. It has got two tentacles on the other side (opposite side of mouth on its wings) and it keeps moving these tentacles. Why? To distract and save it self from predators?

Common Pierrot

Common Pierrot

 

Crimson Rose

Crimson Rose

 

Butterfly 3

Butterfly 3

 

Common Indian Crow

Common Indian Crow

 

Yellow Orange Tip

Yellow Orange Tip

 

Butterfly 6

Butterfly 6

 

Three-spot Grass Yellow

Three-spot Grass Yellow

 

Butterfly 8

Butterfly 8

 

To be Butterfly

To be Butterfly

This one was interesting. It was all over the plant. I woder what this is.

Yes talking about this

Yes talking about this

There were also interesting.

Edible?

Edible?

 

Eating the leaf?

Eating the leaf?

 

Giant Wood Spider?

Giant Wood Spider

Giant Wood Spider

 

And now the most awaited one, Mottled Wood Owl. Oh what a beauty. Kannan and Vaibhav spotted this owl. And we followed them to see it. It was in deep sleep and was not at all disturbed by our presence.

Mottled Wood Owl

Mottled Wood Owl

 

Mottled Wood Owl

Mottled Wood Owl

 

After some time we left it and went ahead. After abut 45 mins while returning we heard a lot of noise coming out from the same area where we spotted this owl. After going there what we saw was unbelivable and amazing. There were a group of babblers who were shouting and hitting this owl. I asked Prashant the reason for this behavior and he told that these birds do not want a predator to be present in their area and want to chase this owl out of their territory. The owl was repeatedly attacked by these babblers. At times it used to half open one of its eye, at times it used to just ignore the birds. It was not at all worried about the babblers hitting it. Do what ever you want to do I am going to continue sleeping is what it was saying. This would have went around for about 15- 20 minutes I guess after which babblers left the owl and went awal. In the mean while we spotted a Blue-faced Malkoha on the same tree. Here are some of the photographs of the owl during that time. What a grip this guy had, he was not even falling down after getting hit by those babblers.

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

 

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

 

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

 

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

 

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

 

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

 

Now you will see some amazing wing display!

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

 

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

 

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

Mottled Wood Owl being attacked by Babblers

That is it. What a day this was. The Valley School!

Taking a day off and watching the gift of nature is always an awesome experience. The day was cloudy and i was getting impatient for those birds who were just wow to watch. Finally the count started and sun gave enough for camera to work.

Sun around 7.00, which was not a good sign :(.

Sun around 7, not a good sign

Sun around 7, not a good sign

Brahminy Starling fighting on a tree full of summer flowers. I have noticed a common feature in these birds like starling or parakeets, they are very specific towards some flowers, so even they will be in the ocean of flowers they will fight for that particular one. Any justification ?

Brahminy Starling

Brahminy Starling

Moving forward, I saw some scaly breasted Munia’s in the water pool. I guess they were searching some food at that watery land.

Scaly Breasted Munia

Scaly Breasted Munia

And at the same place, little separated from the crowd, here goes Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark(my first shot):

Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark

Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark

Finally finishing the visit of a small ground, me and Chandu( a class 10th student, all excited after finishing his exam) decided to move forward. As we came outside on road, we saw bushchats, a common beautiful bird with a whistling sound.

Pied bushchat (Male)

Pied bushchat (Male)

Indian Robin(Female) ?

Indian Robin(Female) ? (A baby Indian Robin ?)

In the meanwhile, I also got my fav. House Sparrow. sitting nicely, calmly as they always do.

House Sparrow(Male)

House Sparrow(Male)

and a matching, Jerdon’s Bushlark:

Jerdon's Bushlark

paddyfield pipit

Very interesting to watch that some oriental white eyes were hiding themselves in a leaf of a tree. Thank God to 400 mm lens, I saw that they were protecting their nest. So, this is just one shot of this lovely bird as I decided to move forward.

Oriental White eye

Oriental White eye

Many treats were there for me on the midway. Where I saw Pied Cuckoo a winter migrant but doing something in Summers(thanks to Deepa for this knowledge). Here goes:

Pied Cuckoo -- Winter Migrant

Pied Cuckoo -- Winter Migrant

Soon followed by Flycatchers and Bee eaters.

White browed flycatcher

White-browed FANTAIL Flycatcher

A out of focus shot (please adjust)

Asian Paradise Flycatcher(Female)

Asian Paradise Flycatcher(Female)

White cheeked Barbet

White cheeked Barbet

Small Green bee-eater

Small Green bee-eater

White packing for the day and coming back to sweet home. Here went some more shots:

Pair of Laughing Dove

Pair of Laughing Dove

Barn Swallow

Red Rumped Swallow

Ashy Prinia

Ashy Prinia

Black Kite ?

Black Kite

Black Drongo

Ashy Drongo

Celebrating World Sparrow Day

20th March is celebrated as World Sparrow Day.

Mohammed Dilawar has set up Nature Forever Society, which raises awareness about the issue on the decreasing count of house sparrow. They also distribute nest boxes to encourage people to attract House Sparrow and provide them with a regular source of feed.

Nature Forever Society (NFS)  launched World Sparrow Day in 2010 on 20th of March, along with Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France) and Avon Wildlife Trust (UK), and other national and international organizations.

Sparrows are important for the eco-system because of its ease to spread and helping in making a complete life cycle. It has been seen a drastic decrease in Sparrows count.

House Sparrow at House :P. Male Sparrow at Focus

house sparrow male

house sparrow male in farmland

Sparrows at roof

As you go around the city, don’t forget to see the flowers of spring and summer, in all their glory…..here they are:

Albizia saman, the Rain Tree:

backlit rain tree flower bg 280209

Tabebuia argentea (or Tacoma argentea), the Golden Bell or Trumpet:

tabebuia argentea

Couroupita guianensis, the Cannonball tree (Nagalinga):

nAgallinga marA

The flower has a faint and lovely smell:

Cannonball(Couroupita guianensis)

 

Milletia ovalifolia, Moulmein Rosewood:

Milletia ovalifolia (Moulmein Rosewood)

Grevillea robusta, Silver Oak:

silver oak 150311

Ceiba pentandra, a variety of Silk-Cotton:

ceiba pentandra 150311

In this tree,the silk-cotton has burst through the pods:

slk ctn pds brst 130311

This one’s the flower of the Bombax (or Ceiba) malabaricum:

bombax malabaricum flower

Kigelia pinnata, the Sausage tree:

The flowers and leaves look like this:

sausage tree flowers on stalks

and the fruits look like this:

sausage tree fruits

Anthocephalus cadamba, the Kadamba:

kadamba flower with bee Anthocephalus cadamba and Nauclea cadamba of the Rubiaceae family

Cassia fistula, the Indian Laburnum, or Golden Shower :

indian laburnum in flower

Butea monosperma , the Flame of the Forest (Palash):

Palash (lac)  (Kumkum tree)flowers, Lalbagh 7 Mar 07

Saraca asoca, the Sita Ashoka:

Unknown flower, Lalbagh 7 Mar 07

Tabebuia rosea, the Pink Poui:

T rosea 150311

Delonix regia, the Mayflower (Gulmohar):

gulmohar vs 150409

Carea arborea (I don’t know the common name):

carea arborea flower lalbagh 290309

Erythrina indica, the Indian Coral Tree:

coral tre flwr 130311 vs

Jacaranda mimosaefolia, the Jacaranda:

jcrnda 130311

Firmiana colorata, Coloured Sterculia (this is not a very common tree though)

Firmiana colourata (Coloured sterculea)

Plumeria species, Frangipani:

frngpni llbg 050311

Colvillea racemosa, Colville’s Glory:

colville's glory lalbagh 160910

Spathodea campanulata, the African Tulip:

african tulip 160910

Here’s a closer shot:

IMG_0038

Dillenia indica,the Elephant Apple:

Flower of the Elephant Apple Tree (a variety of magnolia)

Peltophorum pterocarpum ,the Copper Pod or Copper Shield Bearer:

In this picture, the yellow flowers that carpet the ground have not yet appeared, but you can see why the tree gets its common name:

Copper Pod or Copper Shield Bearer

Here, the yellow flowers have appeared:

copper pod tree 200311

Brassaia actinophylla, the Umbrella (or Octopus) Tree:

octopus tree 200311

Check out my Nature Guru (S.Karthikeyan)’s list

here

and

here

Mark the majesty of the trees, which absorb carbon dioxide, and release oxygen into the air….

tree shrrm rdha 150311

Enjoy the serial flowering (flowering of different trees all through the year) that was made possible by the botanist,

Gustav Krumbiegel

 

Sometimes, just the emerging new leaves look as beautiful as flowers….

new lvs cbn pk 150311

See these leaves of a tree of the Terminalia species!

terminalia new lvs 130311

The best lists of all are Karthik’s,

here

and

here

Some snaps from Lalbagh..

Bar headed Goose and Little Egret

I guess so, this is called Bar headed Goose only.

Spotted Owlet

We find him in such a way, that he got angry.. I never wanted to make a bird angry.

Bangalore is getting hotter - Black kites queued up for water

I never seen many kites sitting at same place, most of the time they keep on flying or sit alone. But here they queued up for water. Off-course a prey will make the water more tasty :).

White throated Kingfisher

Black kite again - normal pose

Finding a small bird like Common Tailorbird is always nice :).

Common Tailorbird

Little cormorant in its typical wing open style.

Little Cormorants

Little Cormorants

And then fight for ashy/black drongo. Initially I thought its black one, but it came out ashy in viewing from camera.

Ashy Drongo

Ashy Drongo

A beautiful summer flower, I don’t know the name.

Summer flower

And then jungle myna – deadly eyes :).

Jungle Myna

Jungle Myna

Its still indeed one of my best places for bird watching. Though we have seen a reduction in bird as the time for winter birds to move away.

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