A couple of weeks ago, we revisited Nandi Hills. It is the perfect place for the lazy birder. If waking up at unearthly hours is not for you, this is where you want to go.
Morning comes late to Nandi Hills, and on lazy weekends one can reach there comfortably at 10am and the dense cover and higher altitude will fool you and the birds that it is but 7am.
On this particular occasion, we didn't really go for any serious birding, more for a lazy stroll. The crisp cool air and gentle mist is wonderfully refreshing.
With the festive season approaching, offices and malls are all decked up with lights, wooden reindeer, Snow men and snow flakes of the styrofoam variety and plastic wreaths and trees.
Mother Nature, it must be said is not one to be left behind. The park was festooned with these glorious red fluffy flowers. ( To see the pink variety - head to Hebbal Lake )
These are Albizia julibrissin (red variety), also called the Persian Silk Tree.
Something new, that I had not seen on previous visits, most likely because I was concentrating on birding, was this flower. Growing in tall dense bushes, they hung down like tiny delicate Chinese lanterns.
Thanks to Arvind for helping to Id this for me as - Abutilon pictum. It is a native of South America and common as an ornamental plant in gardens.
Near the Nehru statue, along the walking path, I came upon a perfect spider web hanging on a low tree branch. Nearly invisible, unless viewed from a particular angle; it swayed gently in the breeze.
After waiting for 10 odd minutes and praying for the breeze to cease, I decided to just try a few shots. This isn't a good shot, but I assure you it looked so much better when I was there. Taken hand held, while Keshav attempted the impossible with the tripod. The two of us trying to photograph this nearly invisible thing must have looked strange, for we attracted a few curious onlookers who nudged each other wondering what the object of our interest was.
The variety of flowering plants is wonderful at nandi hills, and if you stop to ask the gardeners, you will find they are very knowledgeable too. No plants or gardening equipment is for sale though.
This little plant I really liked, more sober than most, growing under the shade of towering giants, it was a humble little plant. I liked it at once. Hypoestes phyllostachya, (polka dot plant). The muted colours and the greyish background reminded me of a Japanese painting.
With Christmas round the corner, one mustn't forget the all important tree. Christmas lights as nature intended - 100% eco friendly :) If you look closely, you can see the tiny decorator as well. There were dozens of these, and all the trees were covered. With the sun shining directly on them, the effect was dazzling.
The only birds of the day were a yellow wagtail, a small green barbet and a host of white-eyes. A chocolate pansy also stopped to be photographed.
The monkey population of nandi hills have grown in number and in courage. They now boldly approach people and snatch bags of food. Please do exercise caution. I also thought the butterfly population has come down, or perhaps it was just that I only saw one.
On our way back to the Car, this little beauty caught my attention, a small wild flower ( i wont call it a weed), growing among the grass, untended and ignored, it was elegant in its simplicity.
This will be the last post for the year, Im off on holiday. Should be back with some interesting photos in the new year. I shall leave you with my attempt at rhymes.
Greetings People, it is time to cheer,
We are heading off for the new year.
With bags packed full like Santa Claus,
praying we don't violate the baggage clause!
It is the season to be jolly,
Of Styrofoam snow and plastic holly.
A time of beautiful misty morning sights,
and people stranded by fog delayed flights!
The prices are high, the markets low,
But if you looked around, you'd never know.
It is the time to keep the spirits high,
to look at winter wonders and let out a sigh.
While at work, a sudden idea shone,
I quickly typed this on my phone,
A desire to wish my near and dear -
a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
If cold winter mornings leave you feeling like this, not to worry, you are not alone. :)