Am on a visit to the UK to my older son David's home. He has a brand new home which is in dire need of the garden being done up. The first thing I was keen on was to grow hanging baskets. So off we went to a garden centre and bought a couple of baskets from there. We also bought a bag of compost, little realising that at the end of the garden there was a lot of old composted grass!
Each basket needed a fair bit of soil, so I dug out some compost from the back and filled the base of the baskets. Then I poured in both baskets and equal amount of compost from the bag. It looked pretty much like ours except that it was sieved!
We had bought trays of Petunias which we put down into the baskets. Both trays were identical so that we got both baskets looking pretty much the same. Take a look at the initial picture.
In no time the little plants that I put down grew double their size and began to peep out of the baskets. Have a look, its fun to make baskets but I agree you need the British summer weather to maintain them!
The green had splotches of white streaked across like some giant painter had decided to show off his skills. The Dogwood were in bloom across the Smoky Mountains in Knoxville Tennessee and we were driving through to enjoy them.
Every now and then we stopped the car to admire the streams gushing down the mountains making pictures that could be framed on any formal wall.
The Dogwood are pure white and looked amazing against the green of the new spring foliage of the trees. All that came out of us were gasps at the beauty of the scene. Take a look at the picture and you can see what I mean.
There were Cayote and a couple of deer and to our amazement three Black bear that everyone who visited that day were able to view.
It was an amazing experience to go to the Crane Trust in Grand Island, Nebraska, to see the migration of the Sandhill Cranes. Sometimes we humans are so caught up with the pressure of life and living that we do not pay enough attention to the beauty of nature around us.
At the centre the displays of the birds were marvelous as you can see from the pictures.
Even the notes put up for us to read up on the birds were so educative.
Then we went out into the field in minus temps and actually saw the cranes. Our pics do not do justice to the birds as I had not brought my Canon SLR unfortunately. Anyway seeing them take off from the fields and into the sky was amazing.
As we walked down town in Austin there were these flocks of black birds all around making the most weird sounds.They were not unpleasant sounds, but still they made us stop and stare. Andy thought it might be a squirrel as we do have squeaky squirrels that trill like these birds back in India. But I was sure they were sounds coming from the birds.
There were a more buiscuit coloured variety as well and I think they are females. Take a look--
Their droppings were all over the pavements, splattered across the old brick roads and under the avenue trees along with the rock pigeons.
Apparently they are called Great Tailed Grackles and they have becom a sort of invasive pest across the state of Texas. Very interesting for me a Science and Environment journalist -- great story idea.
Look at that picture! Milk is so much cheaper here in the US. In India milk is now Rs 30 a litre and I wondered how the poor manage in our country straight away.
Even chicken is way cheaper than India over here and I am really surprised.
Fruit which I live on is also quite reasonable and I literally live on apples and pears.
Why is food so expensive in India I wonder? It really is hard for me to understand.
We left for 2 days to Pasco, Washington State for Andy and Annika to interview there. It was definitely warmer in Pasco and I was quite happy staying in the hotel room with Alaina as we were opposite the Columbia River and the bend infront of the hotel Marriott was full of ducks and geese.
I enjoyed watching them when Aliana slept and even though it was too cold to go out, watching them swim around in groups was pretty interesting. Above large sea gulls coasted the wind currents and several cyclists and people walking dogs mossied around making it interesting for me.
Coming back to Omaha, we were surprised to see snow everywhere. Infact little Alainas car seat was full of snow when it came off the carousel. I took a while dusting it down while Andy and Annika went to get the car which had been parked by us in the car lot. I dont like the snow. The view looks pretty, but beyond that its treacherous and scary walking on it. Even driving home from the airport one could feel the tyres skid slightly on it.
When we were kids, Dad had a great collection of orchids on one of the large mango trees in the Hayes Road garden. Those were the variety that cling to trees and are quite different from the ones being grown and sold in pots today across Bangalore. Those we could only get from Singapore.
Then two years ago we bought Mum a plant from Home Stop for her 80th Birthday. It has flowered once every year ever since! We live off the busy Richmond Road and it was such a great feeling to see a fresh spray come out and last for over a month before it died.
Now all FOUR of our orchids have thrown sprays in the balcony and I think its because of the unseasonal rain and wet conditions. Let it rain and pour if we can have these beauties (see pic) bloom on the balcony!