Devoid of flower through the year it is like any other tree pale of trunk and green of leaf. But come March, when the Flame of the Forest burns up the landscape for far furlongs, its incendiary sight you can … Continue reading Burning Bright – In praise of the Flame of the Forest
Our quick, packed trip to Masinagudi and Ooty yielded few lifers, but it gave us plenty of top-quality sightings We stood at the junction of two worlds in Bangalore City Railway station. The arched stone buildings on Platform 6 were … Continue reading A jaunt across Mudumalai – Trip Report
If coochicooable was a word, it would fit the Indian Silverbill My first memories of fellow Ogre Sahastra are tied to a photograph he posted in the Infosys photography club. The first was of a group of tiny, brown birds … Continue reading Encounter: Indian Silverbill
Did that curious crowd know, or care, that the snake we were trying to see off to safety was a harmless albeit aggressive Checkered Keelback? Here’s how to tell a Checkered Keelback from its venomous relatives: Round eyes, checkered scale pattern, keeled scales and the oblique stripes behind and beneath the eye I didn’t really plan to make a habit of writing about snakes and the human folly of mistaken identity, but it appears that the subject seeks me out. Remember the young cobra I had written about some time ago? And the harmless rat snake that could easily have … Continue reading Would they kill the keelback?
May is just behind us, but the familiar trees that lend their signature flush to this month are still in riotous flower One reason I look forward to May, despite the sweltering heat it brings, is the blooming of Gulmohar (Delonix regia), often called ‘Mayflower’ locally. The tree is also known as Flamboyant and Royal Poinciana. The glory of red! All year, Gulmohar trees stay evergreen, providing ample shade with a thick canopy of branches that spread out in all directions like umbrellas. Though they do not grow very tall, their spreading canopies makes them ideal avenue trees. A variant … Continue reading Encounter: The darling buds of May
A fig tree in fruit is a forest in itself: every creature in the vicinity is attracted to the sprawling canopy to eat the ripe red fruits, or the fruit-eaters. Sadly, these lovely fig trees are disappearing with our appetite for wider roads Continue reading Tree or no tree, who gives a fig?