Indradhanusha

Rainbows_Processed.jpg

After an evening when the rain came down in sheets, we woke up the next morning to a thin belt of rainbow curving over the mountains around, already disappearing with the morning sun. Indian mythology holds that rainbows are in fact indradanusha, the bow of Indra, the god of heaven. That morning with the world washed clean, the hills in the distance glowing with wildflowers, one could almost believe it.

Of course, by the time I got my camera out it had nearly disappeared. Go figure.

When I opened this picture up on my computer a few months ago, I played around a bit – trying to capture the wonder that tinged the moment. It felt, almost, that the god of heavens had touched this place so high in the sky – so close to eternity.

Wildflower Wednesdays: Louseworts Aren’t Lousy

Rattle Lousewort_ProcessedLogo.jpg

The name louseworts share really isn’t deserved.

Continue reading “Wildflower Wednesdays: Louseworts Aren’t Lousy”

Wildflower Wednesdays: Forget Me the Flowers

Alpine Forget Me Nots.jpg

Ne m’oubilez pas?

Continue reading “Wildflower Wednesdays: Forget Me the Flowers”

Wildflower Wednesdays: Anemones in the Air

Wildflowers_ProcessedLogo.jpg

For this week’s Wildflower Wednesday, I present: a flower of whose identity I am not at all certain.

Continue reading “Wildflower Wednesdays: Anemones in the Air”

Wildflower Wednesdays: Clusters of Color

ClusteredRhodiola_ProcessedLogo.jpg

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you the clustered rhodiola.

It isn’t the standard wildflower: hasn’t got a visible pollen center, not strictly defined petals. It survives all year round, favoring rock crevices, where it can grow easily, but flowers from June till August.

This one was spotted at Tarsar Pass, overlooking the beautiful blue Tarsar lake and after nearly an hour of hard trekking up a slope far too steep to look back down. The red is striking in a world of grey and blue and green, a little clump of fire at the top of the world.

Lady of the Flowers

PaintedLady-ProcessedLogo.jpg

Painted Ladies are the most widely distributed butterfly: found on every continent except for Antarctica and Australia, they’re so ubiquitous even halfway across the world, in a continent I was totally unfamiliar with, they were the sole butterfly I managed to identify in Jordan. This individual was spotted at the other end of the continental plate, in the Himalayas; you can see its long, thin proboscis feeding on the orange flower that just happens to complement the subtle colors on its wings. Sometimes Nature selects her palette perfectly.

Wildflower Wednesdays

Our hike in the Himalayas last August was not defined by its birds, surprisingly enough. Rather, it was defined by its flowers.

I tend to avoid flowers, except when as an attraction for butterflies, as a photography subject: stationary plants seem too easy, too facile. But the sheer range we saw in the mountains made me a convert, at least for the duration of the trip. The sheer range! The colors! The fields upon fields of them! (The fact I had no birds to distract me only helped matters.) And I found myself taking my camera out more and more in an endeavor to capture them. Over the next few weeks(? Months? Years? Centuries?) I’m going to be sharing my photographs with you every other Wednesday.

First up: the Cutleaf Buttercup. Not having access to a field guide (or the Internet) for that week, however, made us have to make up our own names. Thus, we named this, instead, the Kashmir Sun-glory. It’s a much better name, I think. 😛

Considering the amount we saw it, we needed a name for it. Meadows were blanketed with them – endless stretches of yellow, forever and ever, brushing the horizon, varnishing the slopes in gold. They brought a humanity to the vistas we confronted every step we took – took it down to the level of a single bee, humming its way from plant to plant; formed the ranges in the microcosm of a single petal drifting to the ground.

CutleafButtercup_ProcessedLogo.jpg

Red

RedFungi_ProcessedLogoIt has been raining in Singapore lately. Not, of course, as much as Chennai – but enough that the patch of grass outside our home is filled with a different fungi each day, and that we can set our clock to the 3:00 monsoon.

These red pinwheel fungi are one of the results of the rain, seen on a rotting log in Lower Pierce Reservoir. Often the most beautiful, delicate things can come from the most crass.

The Light Rising

LightRising_ProcessedLogo

i call this –

a salt-stained, Midas-rimmed

kiss. it fingers the horizon,

caresses the waves. disappears

with nothing but a facsimile

of hope in its ash-ringed

wake.

*waves nervously* I’m back!

I was away the past week, travelling, mostly: not many birds to show for it, or photographs – still, enjoyable (though a trip sans those two seems hard to believe).

This is a photograph I took only three weeks back. Not in Singapore, unfortunately; if one found the space for the sea to begin with, obtaining a sun not dulled by the haze would be quite an achievement. It’s in the Maldives, where I was reminded why I love the ocean. There were no dolphins, still more unfortunately, but fish aplenty, in colors scarcely imaginable; sharks swam by our villa with insouciance. (The underwater nature of it all made my camera regrettably redundant.)

The sea is – is so many things to me. It is a starter, for once; it is an other-world, a place to breathe, a place to be – and when highlighted gold by what you understand more clearly than ever to be a ball of flaming gas, why then, it is best of all.