June 19th, 2009


Floating Lights...

Remember my post about fireflies ? Well, here's the video version...

We are getting the fireflies every day right in front of our own home; a couple of days ago, we were all sitting on our front porch, and the "lightful" and delightful feast started....

Here's a single firefly, on our front porch in the dusk, lighting up now and then, floating past:

I know that's very grainy, but I was in a great hurry to catch the little firefly and didn't even think of changing my settings!

Do fireflies keep getting bright ideas? :)

That put me in mind of the 1973 Hindi movie, Jugnu (Firefly)...and I tried getting a video of a favourite song of mine, but couldn't find any...here's an audio-only version, not very clear, but good enough:


And here are the lyrics:


That's really BADLY written, will get down to writing the words out properly, but Biddly is calling right now, so "badly" will have to wait!...

Motherhood...and Motherfood....

I realize that half of humanity will not empathize with this post; but "parenthood" is NOT the same as motherhood.

Motherhood..is such an intense state of being. From the minute one becomes a mother, one realizes that one is so totally responsible for another (or several, as the case may be) living being, and its survival depends entirely on the care one gives.

The tie of the flesh is something incredible. My daughter says, "My body is telling me that the baby will wake in a few minutes and ask to be fed...." and so it is. Within minutes, the little almond eyes are open, and the mouth forms a hungry O and emits wails which mean "Feed me! Now!"

Sometimes fiction is better than reality...here's fiction by home-naturalist inspirethoughtsabout what she thought was a couple but which were, actually, a mother sparrow and its little one!

And here's a really beautiful (as always) sequence from yathin on the same subject .

Now that you've seen those fabulous photographs, here's a mother-and-child (this time, it's the COMMON GRACKLE .

mother and child grackle 170609

"Feed me! Now!" says that open beak, and the urgent fluttering....

One year ago...

My thoughts are, more than ever, back home today...because in Chennai it is tomorrow... and a year ago, I drove down to see a bundle of clothes .

My sister-in-law has coped incredibly with her loss and grief, and the thousand mundane things that act as little daggers to a sorrowing heart. And she is alone there. Yes, surrounded by friends, but we aren't there with her.

Do I hope that my brother will be somewhere around? Do I believe in that, at all? I have no answers.

With his death, I lost all the people of the immediate family I was born into. I didn't expect him to die at the age of fifty....

Am I feeling miserable? Or guilty that I didn't know that he would die, and I went to Thattekkad? I am so mixed up, I don't know what I feel. Unusual...

Another unusual thing...I have never been able to have photographs of my parents or my brother or of Mohan's parents to look at. I just cannot look at them. I carry my memories in my heart.

A few more lousy shots of birds in Forest Park

I got what I thought was another Black-Crowned Night Heron, but no...it was the YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON .

yellow-crowned night heron fp 1600609

If that's a yellow crown the bird has, I'm the Queen of England, see you all in Windsor Castle...

And then, in their usual fashion, this MALE KESTREL and HOUSE FINCH (and another bird that not even Dave Pierce can id) showed me nothing but bundles of feathers:

male kestrel housefinch 160609

I ask you...is this any way to pose for an eager birder who's come halfway around the world?


Incredible, the way technology allowed us, sitting in the porch of a house in St Louis, to watch, live, the annual ceremony for my brother...we saw the puja, the food being served on plantain leaves, several of the guests stepped over and said hello, and they were able to see Eli, too....

How can the human mind, which has wrought such technology that's for the common good, also think of murder,terror, and other bestialities?