Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lilies: White, Orange and Pink

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn,
The humble sheep a threat'ning horn:
While the Lily white shall in love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.

- William Blake


Monday, March 28, 2011

Crimson Rose

After a Sunday afternoon nap, I was at Botanical Garden's nursery shotting flowers with a wide angle lens. I saw a big black & red butterfly fluttering around but I did not attempt to shoot it. Butterflies are active and alert at this time of the day, no chance of catching them for a picture. But I had a wish to shoot this lovely creature good shot or even a bad one would make me happy.

I was done with shooting flowers. I thought I'll try birds and switched over to zoom lens. I shot a crow. As I came close to nursery exit, my black & red friend started circling me. Something in my mind told me, it will sit close by. Yes! It landed on a plant less then 4 feet from me. That's just outside the minimum range of the lens. I caught it in my view-finder, luckily the lens was in auto-focus, click-click, I got two. As I was about to click the third time, it vanished from the frame. I waited for few minutes... no, that's it. ASHTE. I checked the pictures in the camera screen, they looked great even though I knew some portions would be blurred.

The one above is the cropped copy. Here are the original shots but reduced from '5184 pixels x 3456 pixels' to '1200 x 800'.

Notice how the wings have moved between the two shots?

Crimson Rose (Atrophaneura hector) is a large swallowtail butterfly belonging to the subgenus Pachliopta (Roses) of the Red-bodied Swallowtails (genus Atrophaneura).

Thanks to the friend who found the name of this butterfly for me.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How I sleep cool in summer?

Over the last few years I've simplified my sleeping equipment to the basics. A 7' x 4' cotton mat (jamkhana), a bedspread, pillows, a cotswool blanket, and a mosquito net. I spread the mat on the floor, the bedspread on the mat and the mosquito net hangs by it's four corners. Believe me it's bliss inside. Body heat is absorbed by the floor, the net keeps the pesky mosquitoes away and the blanket is optional. In this is set up I do not even need a fan instead I keep windows open. Simple, right?

My thoughts on conventional setup:
  • if you depend on AC or cooler or fan, a power-cut is likely to disrupt your sleep
  • noise generated by AC/cooler/fan has an effect on your sleep and also your mind
  • mattresses insulates heat and you need AC/cooler/fan to cool you down

The thought of sleeping on hard surface could be uncomfortable but once you get used to it, you may never want to sleep on a mattress. I personally believe sleeping on hard surfaces helps improve blood circulation and reduce fat accumulation to an extent. Don't ask me how, but I feel it does. Also the temptation to oversleep gets curbed.

There could be thousands of people who sleep on hard surfaces, yet I thought I should share the experience. Final thought- this setup is cool and green.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Must be Physcia millegrana, a foliose lichen.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Walking with Johnnie

Even though I stay away from alcoholic drinks, I liked this advert. Watch it, you'll like it.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vegetable and Fruit shops

The one I visit regularly for my kitchen needs.