Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Noiseless, Pollutionless Holiday Story, Part II - Weaver Bird!

The nests of the Weaver Birds! I took this snap from the verandah of the cottage!
Recently, we had visited Aathoor, a small town near Dindigul (Tamilnadu) and stayed in a cottage which was surrounded by greenery, facing a beautiful lake. I wrote an article/post about that.  I am continuing this post from that one which is here!  I had written there:
'We stayed in the veranda most of the time!  Watched a variety of birds flying here and there  and then, the Weaver birds, which had their nests just in front of the veranda, caught our eye!  We were hooked to the chirping sounds of these birds! They were really busy birds, building their nests.  Let me dedicate a separate post for them, who made our stay, memorable!
This post is just for the lovely birds!

As soon as we checked in and came to the verandah, we were surprised to see so much greenery and the lake at a short distance.  The whole surrounding made us very happy. We saw colourful butterflies and birds, flying here and there. The Dutch couple had many cats, some dogs too and they were roaming everywhere! Mrs.Ge said that the cats were very useful to keep the rats away! The dogs were very friendly with the visitors!  As all of you know, our whole family loves dogs and cats and birds and butterflies!  This was heaven for us! After sometime, our eyes caught the nests at some distance, from where we sat in the veranda. The loud sounds of birds flying here and there, were very interesting! All the three of us (husband, son and I!) started watching them and clicking them, sometimes fighting for the two cameras!

The birds were busy with their building work until nearly 6.15 to 6.30pm! They flew away together, collected the twigs (a lady visitor at the cottage said that the material was mostly leaf fibers!) and came back together to fix the nest with loud chirping sounds.  The male bird builds the nest and the female, if she likes, stays in the nest!  I have seen the inside of the nest long back.  They have one or two layers like rooms inside the nest.  If the female doesn't approve, the male starts building a fresh one.  The old one turns into brown colour and the new one is green! You can notice it in the picture! Most of the trees were Neem trees.  After the weaver birds left, suddenly pigeon like big birds were coming out in droves from the hollow, you see below the nests in the above picture!  Their sound was deafening but we enjoyed watching them! These activities started from very early in the morning till dusk!

I took this picture from the terrace of the cottage!
I noticed many purple rumped sunbirds flying here and there.  

It was not easy to capture them in the camera! This one is just a bit OK, I think!

I tried to google for some more cross-section pictures of the nest and a clear picture of the bird and came across Dr.Manoj's blog. He seems to be a professional photographer. He has got a beautiful picture of the weaver bird and other birds. Have a look! Very interesting blog, he has!

If you are a bird enthusiast and interested in knowing more about birds, here is a link from 'The Guardian', which explains about one bird a day! Very interesting link. Whenever you are bored, you can just watch them!

Now, to the video we took, which is quite interesting to watch. You can know why I talk so much about these birds.  The sound of the birds is heavenly:

Choosing 1080p in the above video will allow you to see the details with great clarity.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Noiseless, Pollutionless Holiday Story, Part I - Kamarajar Saagar Dam!

We had been planning to visit Munnar and other exotic places with natural wealth in Kerala, for many years now! A couple of days before Deepawali, we decided to do it!  We booked for our stays at Munnar and then my son said that we would visit a green valley like place with a Dutch cottage on our way, a lake at Aathoor, near Dindigul. Since we had planned to go by car, it was easy to divert a bit and visit this beautiful lake. I had read an article about this cottage in The Hindu, long back and wanted to visit the place!

Nobody would believe that after crossing the dusty, crowded Dindigul town, we would find this green patch with an old cottage, which was very homely to spend a couple of days (we stayed overnight, though!) peacefully.  We reached there in the afternoon after having our Deepawali oil bath, wearing our new clothes!  The road itself goes through the village and very narrow too!  No vehicles, so no noise or pollution!  First, we saw the lake which was looking beautiful and serene, with lots of colourful butterflies and moths! They were too fast and so couldn't capture them in my camera!

Kamarajar Saagar Dam, Aathoor...a small reservoir.
The GPS was finding it difficult to locate the Double Dutch cottage, which we had booked for our stay.  We asked some people for directions and reached there!
The Double Dutch Cottage, where we stayed!

Double Dutch Resort is located in the Kamaraj Valley in a small agricultural village, Aathoor, near Didigul.  This place is 300m above sea level, so the weather is quite cool, throughout the year, the owners of the cottage said. Click on the name of the cottage and you can have more details of the place, how to reach etc.  Because of our short stay, we couldn't go for scenic walks and view the greenery spread over the whole place.  Some more cottages which are run by Britishers and other foreigners, nearby, seem to be good too. The cottage looks very ordinary from outside, but is beautifully decorated inside!

The place is surrounded by trees and plants which reaches the beautiful lake with the background of the mountains!  We just sat in the veranda of the cottage and watched this beautiful view and kept on clicking the nature's beautiful gift to us:

The relaxing veranda (pic. from their brochure!)
We noticed some colourful butterflies flying here and there, here!

2-3 varieties of pigeons are found here, it seems!

I love this picture the most! Click on the pictures to have a better view!
This was taken after our walk up to the lake through the trees and bushes!

Solar lamp!

The green mountain...clouds...isn't the place beautiful?
We came across some heavy rains on the way from Chennai, but here, it was drizzling and so even some ordinary flowers were looking exotic like this:

This looks so beautiful...I remember eating this flower and seeds, when we were small! They were all over fences!

Beautiful colour combination!
You have already seen this flower and the beautiful spiders in my earlier post, here.  That picture also was taken here!  I have got more pictures of flowers which you will see in my later posts on the title, 'Wordless Wednesday' or 'Foto Friday'!

Now, I must say how we felt staying in the Dutch cottage!  The owners, Ge and Gemma, a very friendly couple, made our stay very comfortable. Read more about them here, which is very interesting! We stayed in the veranda most of the time!  Watched a variety of birds flying here and there  and then, the Weaver birds which had their nests just in front of the veranda, caught our eye!  We were hooked to the chirping sounds of these birds! They were really busy birds, building their nests.  Let me dedicate a separate post for them, who made our stay, memorable!

We had vegetarian food, which was just below average.  If it was good, then we, vegetarians can stay for long! We liked the ambiance  of the place more than anything.  The dining table was also kept in the veranda, which was the best place in the artistically decorated cottage with Indian/Netherlands' touch! Because it was Deepawali night, lots of diyas were kept in the veranda  and on the dining table too, which looked more beautiful because of the open surroundings! The hosts had arranged for a show of fireworks for the staff who stay there at the cottage. Ge said that the mosquito time in the veranda was from 5 - 7 pm.  Nobody knew where they went at other times!  Our room had a mosquito bat too! But we caught only a couple of mosquitoes because we had left the door ajar after 5 pm. for sometime!  The rooms were neat and we slept well without A/C, with the windows open to the woods! No TV in the room and we were not getting signals most of the time for our cell phones!  So, it is more peaceful to stay here and the family will come closer giving enough time to each other without the TV, cell phone distractions! Sometimes we used to get some signal in our cell phones in the veranda and used it to talk to our relatives - well, briefly!

There were only a couple of more guests when we were staying.  So it was calm without much human sounds!  We also were chatting in soft tones, which was unlike us! The Dutch guests also were very nice people and we had a happy atmosphere all the time.  The hosts, Ge and Gemma are very familiar with our India and they love our country like they love their country, Netherlands.  They help in a local school physically and monetarily too.  A lady had come from Netherlands, to teach in that school and had been staying in this cottage for more than 5 weeks, it seems.   We really felt at home there.  We must make one more visit sometime in the future and explore the other surrounding areas of the place.

We left for Munnar, the next day morning.  Ge and Gemma got up early to send us off with a happy feeling, which was a rare gesture with commercialised hotels we see everywhere! Thank you, Ge and Gemma!

P.S.: Click on the picture to have a good view!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Foto Friday!


P.S. Please click on the picture to have a better view!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!


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