26 Jul 2007

Flower Fest - V for Vicia sativa (Common Vetch)

Another flower that I found growing, un-welcomed, on the sidewalk outside my house, is my entry for V. Common vetch, as Vicia sativa is commonly called, is a weed that grows on roadsides and fields. It is a small plant with attractive purple-pink flowers from the pea family.

I find the delicate plant beautiful to look at and love the tiny flowers. The leaves are a lovely shade of green growing on stems that taper off into tendrils. The flowers bloom from April to August and are very attractive to bees and butterflies.

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

21 Jul 2007

Somethings Blue

Pacific Ocean near Big Sur
A Western Scrub Jay, in California

Pal Payasam -followed the step by step guide from Manisha!

14 Jul 2007

Sunset on Lake Calhoun

I recently had the opportunity to go sailing in an old sailboat on Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. I got a brief sailing lesson and did pretty well i.e. the sailboat stayed afloat and went in the general direction of land. That's enough achievement for a day, for me!

It was magical to watch the sun. It painted the sky in vivid colours as it slowly disappeared out of sight. My pictures don't do justice at all to the wonderful sunset I witnessed.
It was a glorious end to a beautiful day. Sigh!

13 Jul 2007

Rhyming Road Signs in Sikkim

As it has happened with me before, my previous post triggered memories of a different set of pictures. I was reminded of a motor-bike trip I went on a couple of years ago. So, I went trawling through my folders and found some pictures taken from the back of a motorcycle while riding to Gangtok from Kalimpong. This was with a simple point and shoot camera before I owned a digital camera and a tripod. A few of them give a sneak peak of me in the bike's rear view mirror!

These pictures of road signs bring back a flood of memories. The wet roads, parts of it washed into the roaring Teesta River; the two of us on a motorcycle in the pouring rain; the vibrant green of the hills. I remember I was both anxious and excited. I was terrified that we would be caught in a landslide, fall into the roaring river and nobody would know what happened to us. Excited at the same time about the grand adventure I was having in the beautiful hills. I was thankful and amazed at how hard BRO (Border Roads Organisation) was working to maintain these roads.

This was a common sight with warning signs posted everywhere. The side of the road sliding into the river is know as sinking road. (part of Teesta River visible in the photo)

The road signs we came across kept us entertained on that treacherous ride.

Oh we tested the roads alright!

12 Jul 2007

Sign(s) of the Times

Some random pictures of signboards taken while travelling around in the US.

On top of Chimney Rock. The parking lot was directly below.

In Las Vegas

Hmnn, I wonder how the food is.

Downtown Chicago

In New York City

11 Jul 2007

Audubon Swamp Garden

Audubon Swamp Garden in Charleston, South Carolina, is a unique nature and wildlife preserve. It boasts of a variety of plant life, birds and water-loving creatures. The beautiful area can be explored from the many boardwalks, bridges and dikes. I had a grand time exploring the place and could easily have spent the whole day there.

A Great Egret greets us as we enter the swamp

A paddling of ducks in the swamp

An Anole gives us a baleful look

Ah! Now that's a comforting sign!

Anhinga and Yellow-bellied Sliders enjoying the sunny day

This was a common sight in the swamp. An American Alligator and Sliders enjoying a nap