February 9, 2011

How could I let C and N go without dragging them over at least a little of Lalbagh? So off we went, as the sun rose:

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Here are Carbon and Nitrogen, at the south (Siddapura) gate of Lalbagh, with Matilda, 's cow, that goes everywhere with her: lalbagh south gate 080211 The morning light was, as usual, lovely to see through the trees: mrng lt lb 080211 As the visit was such a quick one, we weren't really looking for birds; I showed them trees like the Monkey Puzzle and the Junipers and the mango trees dating from Tipu Sultan't time, but meanwhile, I couldn't help,er,spotting this SPOTTED OWLET: sptd owlt 080211 The ancient mango trees were also full of CHESTNUT-TAILED STARLINGS high up in the canopy, feasting on the mango flowers: c t strlng 080211 lb The gnarled trunks of some trees were beautiful to see, the more so as they were festooned with bright green ROSE-RINGED PARAKEETS: 3 prkts lb 080211 some of them seemed to be actually making mangoes of themselves, too, curling in paisley shapes: prkt mngo 080211 The park,of course, is a haven for the very common birds; at one place, it was a flock of BLUE ROCK PIGEONS feeding busily on the seeds and breadcrumbs scattered for them: pgns 080211 and at the lake was a murder of crows, sipping water: crws 080211 I caught sight of this shoot from one of the Royal Palms: ryl plm shoot 080211 We found some rare blooms, too. One was the JADE VINE with its wonderfully-coloured and shaped flowers: jade vine  080211 We saw what Carolyn said might be called the Shrimp Plant and it had wonderful balloon-like blooms: un id shrimp plant 080211 I then saw what appeared to be the largest plantain flowers I'd ever seen, and stepped up close to have a better look. These plants were called "Crown of Thorns" (Euphorbia Milii)...but certainly, the wiki entry doesn't match it at I still think I was looking at some variety of plantain or banana plant. Here's the flower, it was a gigantic version of the banana flower: euphorbia milii crown of thorns 080211 Here are the infloresences inside each "petal", which, in the usual banana flower, are shorn of their pistils and used as a vegetable: crwn thrns flower 080211 We saw a few Cormorants on the lake, but had to hurry home, so we left Lalbagh to the trees and to the morning light filtering through them: </lj-cut> snlight trees lb 080211