27 Feb 2007

Jones Gap State Park

Saturday morning hike in Jones Gap State Park, South Carolina.

Hiking in the deep woods with dense foliage, narrow trails, sound of the little stream gurgling and myriad other sights and sounds of the jungle is, for me, deeply rewarding. A and I went on one such soul satisfying and sole hurting hike on Saturday, 24 Feb.

We were enthralled with the nature surrounding us in this state park. The little wooden bridge, the tall-tall trees and the clear water of the brook were all so inviting. After registering at the trailhead, we set off. At first, we were ambling along stopping frequently to take pictures of things, which we thought made interesting subjects to post on flickr! But we quickly got over the hangover and increased our pace a bit, frequently checking the HR monitor to make sure we were within the fat-burning range (whole 'nother story!)

After about two hours of serious hiking punctured with a few photo sessions we stopped for a quick lunch of tuna salad and crackers and a snicker bar.
We set off again after this short break aiming to finish off the rest of the trek quickly. With a bit of irritated snapping at each other (read on his part) for no specific reason, A and I landed at the parking lot to head back home.

Invigorated by this walk in the lap of nature, we soon made up on the two and half hour ride home and were friends again. Another mini highlight of the trip was that we did not stop on the way to refuel our system with junk food; we came home and like good children ate palak dal and aloo subjee instead. Yippee!

Total trek time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Distance: 5.5 miles (8.8 kms!)

25 Feb 2007

Flower Fest - L for Lagerstroemia Indica

Lagerstroemia Indica, commonly called Crape Myrtle
Photographed in June last year.

The delicate flowers of the crape myrtle appear in clusters and come in shades of white, pink, purple or lavender. They also go by the name Crepe Myrtle (the petals resemble crinkly crepe paper, that's why) and are popular because they are easy to grow, withstand drought and are long living.
The striking flowers in summer, the brilliant foliage in fall and the stark, attractively gnarled look of the tree in winter provide year-round beauty to gardens and parks.

The Crape myrtles are planted everywhere in the city I live in now and it is a joy to watch them burst into color in spring and summer. It is also special to me because it reminds me of Bangalore so much.

This is how the tree looks in full bloom.

This is my second entry for the letter L at
Flower Fest - The A - Z of Flowers

Flower Fest is an enjoyable way to learn more about your favorite flowers. If you are into photographing or painting flowers, or an avid gardener, then Flower Fest is for you. Peek in there and join the party!

22 Feb 2007

Flower Fest - L for Lenten Rose

Common Name: Lenten Rose
Scientific name: Helleborus Orientalis

I recently went on a short day hike to a state park and found this plant growing at the entrance to the park office. I was surprised that this was blooming in the middle of winter and had such bright green leaves when everything around it was bare and brown. I took the picture with Flower Fest in mind and looked it up when I got back.

Despite its common name, this flower is not a rose and gets its name because some flowers resemble roses. This is an evergreen garden perennial plant that belongs to the Buttercup family. The flowers bloom in winter, come in shades of white, pink or purple, and can last up to two months! The plant itself is sturdy, can endure harsh winters, and is deer proof!

This is my entry for the letter L at
Flower Fest - The A - Z of Flowers

18 Feb 2007


Bossy bird famed for its beautiful voice.

16 Feb 2007

American Robin

Familiar sight in my neighborhood!

Mr. Cardinal

Flash of color on a cold winter morning.