Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Putty Tat

We found this furry rascal at a relative's place. It was very difficult to keep him in one place to take a pic so we were forced to use physical restrain

We decided to put it down after it threw a tantrum trying to scratch its way out of the photoshoot.

Then it was the biting time! It was enjoying the delight of sinking its needle sharp teeth in to our ankles and its victims had to keep their feet up. Exhaust from mutilating the innocent humans it bundled up on patch of grass for a few minutes to device its next evil plan against whoever that would dare to come close.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Confessions of a dreamer

Rain… fascinated me always, even when it trickled through a leaky roof tile soaking the kittie’s cushion or when it seeped in to my shoes and sloshed along to school.

Because for me, rain symbolized washing the pains and mistakes of the past and soaking the soil of opportunity for new hopes to germinate. As I learnt with time, most saplings would wilt away before the next rains arrive, but the prospect of a clean slate is something I would cherish till it lasts.

I feel happier when rain goes wild with trillions of drops of water threatening to bring down the world. The roar of the rain surrounds me cutting off the existence of the rest of the world at least for a brief moment of bliss.

Just me and the rain…. The feeling is that of a detached calmness as I look on at the sheets of rain dancing in the wind.

I sneak out of the door; sit on the porch step to meet the refreshing cold mist brought on by the unruly wind. (I want to invite them in but mom thinks otherwise)

Then I wish this would last forever….

When getting wet is not an option (especially like now, where we have it 24/7) it’s equally gratifying to forget everything else with a nice book and a hot cup of coffee while the rain plays havoc outside. I think that’s how Nero felt when he played his violin over the blazing city of Rome. That evil sense of serenity over chaos….I love it ;)

PS; Meet teddy, the model for my story :)
And excuse the metamorphosis of my photoblog in to something else

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Great Flood

The rain started pouring one night and the sky was glowing with lightening. I woke up the next morning to realize that we were surrounded by water several feet deep. Trying to feel bad about not being able to go to work I couldn't mask my happiness despite a tinge of guilt. It seems weird to feel happy when people are stranded in submerged houses, but I guess still it’s ok to feel happy for no reason when you are flooded. With this god sent break I thought I would put a post in my blog before people forgot of my existence ; )

Flood brings happiness to many others too and particularly those who don’t mind getting their fur/feather coats soaked.This is a rather wet Asian Koel ( doesn't look too happy either).Does anyone know if its a male or a female?

We saw a nice story of canine and human companionship unfolding in the midst of the flood. This man came to get his ponies who were grazing in a grassy patch in our lane. He was closely followed by his doggy who was swimming in the water as it was too deep for it to walk. He told us that she left her pups to come with him and did not go when he tried to chase her knowing that the water will be too deep.

On his way back with the ponies we observed the doggy to be too tired to swim and was clinging on to a bush. The man left the ponies and came back for the doggy and he had to carry it while the ponies followed obligingly. Once he tried to keep the doggy on one of the ponys' back but it shook the poor dog off quite unceremoniously. The pony seemed to be thinking… "ugh….these dogs always mean trouble”

We were waiting for Noah to bring his Ark but seems he opted for a better specimen of the fairer sex…

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Back to butterflies

I feel the leathargy creeping over me. This happens all the time when I try my hand at something new. Does anyone have a can of spinach to spare? :D

And my folks are like..."there goes the new hobby"... ;)

Fortunately these enthusiastic butterflies were practically rubbing on me insisting to be taken a pic of. And I had to get out of my cozy coccoon of lazyness, dust up my disappointed cam and capture the pretty volunteers.

This one is called the Chocolate Soldier (Junonia iphita)a common resident butterfly. It was basking in the early morning sun which is meant to regulate its body temperature. It looks a bit like a dried leaf when wings are held together. This particular fellow was thoroughly enjoying its sun bath and did not allow me that view.

It's not only the winged beauties that were catching the eye...

Araliya (Plumeria spp.) is a common tropical flower seen in a number of shades and sometimes even in bicolour. White is the commonest (my fav) and usually represents purity, innocence and simplicity on Sri Lankan literature.

And then I find this one adamently clasping its wings together like a celebrity hiding from the much dreaded media. My guess is it is a Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites) trying to minimise the absorption of heat as the sun was quite high in the sky when this was taken. Being "cold blooded" they are highly dependant on the environment to regulate the body heat. If you look carefully, you will notice that it has adopted a position that has the least effect from the sun.

I will be gone for a while ....hoping to be back as soon as things permit.. : )

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunny side up !

The few days we were in Jaffna it was overcast with a drizzle here and there. The climate was cool in contrast to the image I had in mind, a city of harsh sun, heat and dust. Most of my pics turned out to be quite pale and colorless (blame it on the weather…. lol). Despite the disruption of my “photography” I was quite happy that we didn’t have to scorch ourselves in the hot sun.

Even the sunflowers were out inquiring the whereabouts of their mentor…

After a disappearing act of several hours it showed itself beyond the walls of the Jaffna Fort just before calling it a day.If they weren’t so adamant about the fact that we see the same sun despite ones location, I would have sworn that Jaffna had its own sun. Captured around 6 p.m, It looked like a bluish white disc unlike the crimson setting sun seen elsewhere.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A tear of happiness

If one look at a world map, Sri Lanka looks like a tear drop being shed from Asia. I always felt it symbolized the sorrows of its inhabitants as the relentless conflicts tore it apart. Almost two thirds of the beautiful beaches were out of bounds to the majority.

Being the children of war, we could only imagine the beauty of the forbidden land. The irony of the situation was that I could have easily travelled to the north pole but not the northern province of my own country.

Everything comes to an end….and one fine morning we woke up to a country with only one boundary....the beautiful coast line

Each person was free to travel its length and breadth with no restriction. The new found freedom was overwhelming and that’s how I ended up travelling up north to the tip of the tear drop.

The northern end of Sri Lanka tapers in to a peninsula which makes up the Jaffna district. It’s a land nestled in water, with many extensions of sea creating a unique landscape and eco system. The low elevation from sea level makes the distinction between the sea and land obscure. There are vast areas of bare land contemplating on its geographical status “to be (sea) or not to be…”.

Around the tip are numerous islands sitting on a sea bed so shallow that fishermen can be seen walking miles in to the sea with their nets and poles and water reaching only up to their hips. Some of the islands are connected to the mainland and each others with manmade strips of land called causeways extending a kilometer or two.

And the journey continues ....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Random thoughts

Slow stride to serenity

This was captured in Wanamandawa Temple in Hamangalla, Kurunegala. I will not go in to details as I would like to know what you think about it.... : )

Purity born of dirt

Eagle's ego

The credit of the idea of posting randoms with abstract titles goes to SACHIRA and I loved the idea so much that I had to do it myself with some of my naive pics :D

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wings of beauty

If someone wants to talk about the Kandian Dancers, now would be the best time. The “Esala Perahara” the most majestic procession in Sri Lanka proud of its unique dancers was held only a few days back.

One can go on talking about its breathtaking splendor for days. It’s a cultural bouquet of centuries old music, choreography and many other performing arts. One gets mystified as the beat of the many drums take over the beat of the heart and even the pachyderms can’t escape the bewitching urge to dance.

See Enchanting Paradise Isle by Harumi for information about the procession and anjanaon photography for some beautiful pics of a similar pageant.

This Orchid is called the “Kandian Dancer” and if one looks closely at a single flower it looks like a dancer in the traditional dancing costume in one of the famous postures. See here for a pic of a dancer.

I found these blossoms in my home garden dancing in the wind as if wanting to join the upcoming procession. The red pattern in and around the center of the flower closely mimic the elaborate traditional jewelry worn by the dancers and there are even two tiny petals to represent the ornate head dress.

There was someone else fluttering around the flowers as if to steal the attention it was being given. It was flying in a very unique manner where it would flutter its wings a few times and then glide a few inches. It was going flutter-glide-flutter-glide for a while and then landed on a nearby leaf exhaust by the show off and was quite bold as it let me take some (relative) close ups.

This is the Common Sailor (Neptis hylas) with a wing span of 5-6 cm.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fauna Vs Flora

Got the writers cramp (not in my hand but in my mind). I'm drained of my brain power with so much demands and deadlines at work and my brain simply refuses to think anymore :).

bear with me for not posting my usual ramblings today :)

Here are some of the characters I promised to share with you...

This is the White throated Kingfisher which is commonly seen even in Colombo and to my knowledge is the commonest type of Kingfisher in Sri Lanka.

This flowering plant caught my eye as it was full of bloom and the ground was covered with a layer of petals. Somehow I like this pic very much but I really dont know why.... :)

Its a real stress buster to post stuff for you guys here....thanks for following my blog :))

Friday, August 27, 2010

Butterflies Galore!

I’m not a morning person and at this rate I don’t expect a miracle any soon. The only exception for my night owl behavior is when the morning has many promises and surprises in store for me like when I am in the countryside.

The morning calls of the myriad of birds taking sanctuary of the nearby thicket pinches me out of my sleep. I am out of the door with my trusted sidekick (happens to be my cam) in no time. My father throws a bewildered glance at me over his steaming cup of tea and seeing the cam, goes back to sipping the tea with a knowing look.

Although birds are very enthusiastic on getting me out of bed they have other ideas about posing for my cam. There were of course a few who didn’t mind letting me capture a few shots of their morning life.

Trying to capture the feathered friends I was forgetting the smaller critters of flight hovering closer to the ground till I stumbled on a small bush in full bloom with purple flowers. It is called “balu nakuta” (the dogs tail) and the flowers rich with nectar attracts many butterflies. The undergrowth was splashed purple with many bushes of the same species and it was like a miniature eco system buzzing with life.

This one is called the Common Rose (Pachilopta aristolochiae) and it had to keep flying even when sipping nectar as the flower was too small to bear its weight. That is how I ended up with this action shot!

Then I saw this tiny and quite unimpressive looking butterfly having its share of the breakfast without much ado while our Ms Rose was making a spectacle of herself. As I quite expected my index did not contain this little fellow. But with due respect to the constitution of the butterflies which says “however uncolourful or minute, all butterflies should be treated equally” I am posting It’s pic too :D suggestions of its name are always welcome!

The sun was slowly rising warming up the cool morning air and I was getting hungry as I watched the feeding frenzy of my friends. On my way back home I met several interesting characters. Await the next post…. ; )

Monday, August 23, 2010

Shades of Blue

The sun was colouring the west sky pink before he retired to his oceanic bed and the moon peeped through the coconut trees and lingered behind the palms for a while. She knew sun would depart soon leaving the sky all to herself. Sun was always good to her whenever they met and she knew she wouldn’t look so pretty if not for his presence. But she would rather avoid the encounters if possible as she felt afraid of his ways at times.

She loved it when the sky was empty and dark with maybe a few giggling stars that always made nice companions. They would get together and share the gossips of the day and sometimes a few stray clouds will also join in to catch up. Sometimes they would just look on as the wind sang its songs from its many journeys around the world.

The world beneath looked prettier as the night approached, the lights twinkled with hope in porches waiting for their loved ones to return or the smoke escaped chimneys where mothers were cooking dinner. Then as the night progressed the lights went off one by one and world slept oblivious to her loneliness.

How she wished she had a family to come home to…

When the last rays faded from the westward skies she slowly drifted from her hiding looking around for the flicker of her mischievous friends. The sky was bare except for an occasional bat who was too busy going for its night duty, to notice her. She just waited wishing it was a cloudy day so she could have hidden behind a thick fluffy cloud and wept silently.

It was then she heard his voice…

”looking for someone?” the dark stranger asked as he glided towards her. It was a kite flying high in the sky with its frills fluttering in the wind. The darkness almost merged him with the night but she could make out the silhouette against the sky.

“I don’t have anyone to speak to today….would you care to hang around for a while?”.

He told her about children and their families and she told him about the sky and the ocean and they didn’t feel the time pass by.

“I have to go now…” he told her suddenly.

“But why?...don’t you like talking to me?” she uttered as her eyes welled with tears.

“I have a string attached and its pulling me back to earth…I have to return home to my master”.
“Can’t you cut it loose and fly to me?” her heart fluttered with hope.

“I would love to….but it will only make me crash to the ground” she heard him say as he slowly descended towards the unseen child who was tugging at the string of his kite.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Journey to origins...

Journey to my father’s home town some 150 Km from Colombo brought me to this peaceful and quiet village with the only sounds that broke the silence were the constant chatter of birds.

A short hike in the early morning when the golden rays were peeping through the canopy took me to this paddy field bordered by a brook. It was turning golden from its lush green indicating that the harvesting is near and the leaves were glistening with the dew drops which shone like diamonds in the morning sun.

I thought I was alone till I saw this handsome stranger. He was apparently mesmerized by the beauty that surrounded and I was able to creep quite close without startling him.

This one is commonly known as the “Nigger” ….The politically incorrect butterfly ; ) (Orsotriaena medus)

Then someone who was particularly sensitive on racism has coined the term “Smooth-eyed Brush brown” which is rather self explanatory, given the appearance of the creature. But for some unknown human psychological inclination the previous term is being used in preference to the new one. (or it’s just the fact that it is short and simple). Too much psychology seems to be making me paranoid…. : )

Monday, August 16, 2010

Till death do us part

I saw this couple of birds perched on a dead tree on a high branch. There were a lot of branches spanning a wide area and the two birds were huddled together as if they were being charged for using the tree on the basis of length of branch used :)

This was taken in an early morning and it appeared as if they were grooming themselves to start the day. The grooming process of birds is called Preening where the bird runs its beak through its feathers to remove debris, realign the the feathers that are out of place and distribute a special oil produced at the base of its tail to ensure a smooth flight !

They were captured in a home garden in Kuliyapitiya and I still could not identify the type of the bird.

Can anyone help ?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Colours of India

When I think of India the first thing that come to my mind are the pretty women clad in brilliant coloured sarees.
I see India as the most exquisite bouquet of colours the world has to offer.
Indians simply celebrate life through their colourful culture of food, art, cloths and even flowers.

Would it still look fascinating if I took all the colours out...?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Land of the Dragons

Dragonflies always intrigued me starting from their name. They do not at all look like a dragon (well...I cant recall when I last saw a dragon anyway :D) or could never be passed as a fly unless one was stark blind and the dragonfly decided to keep well away from their touch!

Yet someone decided to call these fellas Dragonflies and here we are following the tradition : ) And I'm guessing they are more than happy to have such a majestic name!

The thing I like about them the most is they are not as busy as butterflies and do not mind even to strike a few poses while they are at it.

This one is called the Pied Parasol (Neurothemis tullia) which is a common resident dragonfly.

It was resting on a dried palm leaf deep in contemplation (probably about global warming) in a hot sunny afternoon and could not care less of the clumsy humanoid hovering around with an apparatus that kept clicking.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blue Moon

What the woman with depression scribbled on paper...

Each night,
dawns a blue moon...
Casting long, grey shadows
of the wilted flowers.

Each day,
sun shines cold on my skin...
While tears freeze a trail
down the cheeks.

Then I ask;
(but no one cares to listen)
who robbed the colours
leaving my world all blue and grey?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The secret garden

The secret garden was one of the books that fascinated me as a child and fueled my unrelenting thirst to read. I still remember myself huddled in bed with the book reading like the world did not exist anymore.

Those memories were stirred from the depth of my mind when I saw this antique wrought iron gate left open wide inviting the curious visitors in. The ornate gate pillars added a sense of mystery and fear as to what laid beyond. The statute resting on the pillar had a pot overgrown with an ornamental grass resembling it to the head of the Medusa.

And the looks were not deceiving…..It was hiding a wonderful world behind the towering wall of palms just like it did in the book….I was reliving my childhood fantasy this time, for real !!!
Pls. excuse the mist like quality as this was taken through a rather dusty windshield : )

As with all good things there was yet another gate before I got to feast my eyes on the beauty . The tolling of the bell brought the caretaker who let us in.

Walking a few feet through the thick growth of ferns in to the garden I turned back to see the little gate almost hidden by the foliage giving the sense of being trapped in another world.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bug's life

The pink wild lilies always catch my eyes although they are trespassers in the flower beds. Today I met an even more attractive intruder who was resting on a soft petal and I was wishing I was small enough to sit on the next flower and listen to my friend's adventures... :)

The butterfly is known as the Common Grass Dart (Taractrocera maevius)...Yea, he seemed a bit confused to me
What struck me most were the two pairs of wings that were held at right angles to each other and the striped antennae....

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Terror in the grass

I was walking in the garden when I felt that I was being watched. I looked at a patch of grass to see a pair of wide eyes glinting with anger staring at me. The angry face was complete with a nose and a snarl showing white teeth.For a moment I was held by those eyes when the wind rustled the grass and the illusion dissolved in to an innocent butterfly...

This is how I met my fluttery friend known as the "White Four-ring" (Ypthima ceylonica) which probably gets its name from the white dots representing the glint of the "eye".

The wing span is about 2cm and they are mostly seen hovering close to the ground taking short flights frequently interrupted by stops. The larvae feed on grass and it is known to be endemic to south India and Sri Lanka.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Blue blossoms

Being housebound opens eyes to the beauty in ones own garden.. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Konda Kurulla couple

Looking from my bedroom widow in the morning I saw this couple of "Red Vented Bulbul"s a.k.a "Konda Kurulla" meaning "the bird with scalp hair" perched on the tree nearby. They have a crown of black feathers resembling a short cropped funky hairstyle :)

I thought they were not aware of the spy pulling out a camera and clicking away till he bent towards her and whispered "I feel like celebrity today".... ;)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Panadura Port

The river meets the sea while the sky looks on...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Like father, like son.

Reminded me of a verse of Phil Collins' song..

Sometimes you may feel you're the only one
Cos all the things you thought were safe, now they're gone
But you won't be alone, I'll be here to carry you along
Watching you 'til all your work is done