Saturday, March 23, 2013

Earthworms in the yarden

The Common Earthworm in my yarden [click for link - National Geographic].  

This is a beautiful specimen I had found some time ago while digging the bed.  I have kept it on a huge almond leaf for size [first picture].  The sight and presence of these is a positive sign for gardeners.  In my yarden, they are lucky because I do not poison the earth with pesticides or use any kind of inorganic manure.     In the above link please read 'Did you know?'.  You will know about a popular legend we all talked about.  Very nicely the doubt is cleared!

Click here for more [Wiki] information on the "farmers' friend".

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bird bath mirror fun

2010 October

Above two images, December 2010. 

Those are Sunbirds I had noticed this enjoying itself in front of the scooter's mirror.  Having seen their curiosity I had wanted to place a mirror there for them.  After more than two years I implemented now.  But to have some fun with other birds - to see how they react to the mirror at the bird bath itself, which is almost at the open scooter shed.  

Red-whishered Bulbuls are regular visitors to the bath.  A couple came as usual and noticed this new object, investigated, sat on it and made sure there was no danger from it.  Both of them seemed to agree. .

Before splashing, one of them positioned itself right in front of it, on the brim of the bath, spread its wings as it made a peculiar sound a few times.  I may interpret this as a pleasure sound, which I had not observed any of these do before!  It was now seeing 'another bird'!  It was a funny reaction.  I could not photograph it.  

Splashing happily!

After the dip-splash, they sit on another twig higher up - which I have also provided - and wriggle the water from their wings. 

I will shift the mirror to the wall in the shed where the tailor birds and sunbirds like to go.  There are branches  of the Holmskioldia shrub which has its feet in the shed and 'limbs' growing outside and through a gap left between the compound and roof of the shed.  They like these branches.  So I will hang it near here and see what they do.  I have also provided a horizontal stick [which can be seen in the picture above] in front of the mirror for them to sit and look at themselves.  Let me see.  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Small tribute to Shirley

I had been posting images from my Yarden on Dave's Garden [DG], be it flowers, birds or insects, for some years before.  There was one person using the screen name as 'scooterbug' who was also taking part in the discussion forums where I had posted images.  I had come to know that the person was Shirley, the same name as that of my earliest primary school teacher of decades ago.  

One day, in September 2006, she sent me this message on the internal mail at DG: 
Hiya Dinu ,
is the address listed here in the 'Members Address Exchange' your current addie ?
~ ~ ~ S
There was a move to register all the members' addresses on DG at that time.  She had found it.  When I confirmed to her, she said she was ordering a book for me online.  So I gave my office address, surprised, delighted and moved by her gesture.  She was sitting half way round the earth in the United States and had ordered a book from an Indian supplier!  Book pictured above.  The book was delivered at my desk two weeks later and I did not know how to acknowledge her.  She had not told what it was about.  Now the book I was actually looking for, which she did not know, was sitting in my hands!  She had gauged my interest in birds from the forums. So she had decided to choose this for me!  

This is why I have held DG in high esteem also because it has members as generous, kind and helpful to others as Shirley and Ursula.  There are many others who I have heard of.   Shirley knew me only on those discussion forums and she was coming forward on her own to gift me with that!  What we receive, must be transferred to someone and this cycle must go on. Ursula, of whom I have already mentioned in my earlier posts, called this as 'pay forward'. 

Late in December 2012, I got the news that Shirley was no more.  She had left us on 18th December and the previous day was her birthday. It was really shocking news.  One member got to know that it was due to a heart attack.  I checked her facebook page and found that her last posting there was on 17th.  I had posted this screen shot image on DG in the 'Memory Garden' forum where the sad news was shared.

Some who had seen her images opined that she did not look that old, while some admired her sense of humour and kindness. There were a few images of her shared on that DG forum.  May he soul rest in peace. The book will be specially cherished.

[This post is also up at Mysorean Musings]