Sunday, May 16, 2010

To help or not to help....

When I photographed this plump larva on the small lime plant, I had visions of it metamorphosing into a beautiful lime butterfly.

Two days later I saw that a group of babblers had entered the garden and were busy scouting for food with their sharp eyes focused on plants like a search light. Watching from the kitchen, my first thought was "should I drive them away, because I could see that there is little chance of the lime larvae escaping attention.

Then the thought came "Who am I to play God, after all the babbler has as much of a right to live as the larva. So I watched.

Sure enough, within minutes, the loudest and and biggest babbler had got his prize-a plump green larva in his beak- the very same one which I was waiting to see the transformation into a lime butterfly. All visions of the flitting butterfly crushed in a moment!

Few days later

This white eye chick has just fallen from its nest. It is so motionless, yet a mild quiver of the body says it is alive. I resist an urge to pick it up and put it on a nearby tree. Soon I hear the frantic parents on another tree.

White eyes are usually very muted in their songs-one has to strain the ears to hear them while they are foraging. But just now the parent birds were ballistic- flying about and chirping continuously. Again I watched from a distance.

As if motivated by the coaxing of the parents, the chick flew a short distance. The coaxing continued and the chirping shriller.

About half hour later, I found the chick had managed reaching the nearest bush-a jasmine plant. It kept sitting there while the parents came with morsels of food.

So this story ended happily- it was clear that the chick had overcome the fall and was on its way to start life again.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It is hot 40 degrees plus in May

garden lizard

Weather has been rather unpredictable-with temperatures going up almost every day with brief preludes of showers. Much like the chameleon who is half rusty and half brown, we have got used to the hot and hotter days interspersed with mild showers.

The butterfly population has been low, with the rare specimens making a brief appearance immediately after a shower. I was surprised to see the striped tiger resting on my chinese orange plant one day. Last year I had spotted plain tiger butterflies but not the striped one. Nature never fails to amaze in my small back garden!

Striped tiger butterfly

The newly born (?) butterfly also appeared immediately after a rain

unidentified butterfly

The blue jays are not yet seen here though I am sure they are just waiting in the wings for the right temperature in the environment.

The cackling babblers appear in large numbers every morning and I have a vague suspicion that many larvae are ending up as food for these sharp eyed birds.