Jan 30, 2013

Flowerscapes- A tiny flower from backyard

When I open my door I get the sight of a garden full of tiny colorful flowers and a green lawn. Instead of going out in search of subjects I thought of clicking macro shots in my backyard itself. I tried many different angles and I liked this one the most. It is Himalayan Geranium, a perennial plant and is beautiful with blue petals, white centre and the deep dark veins! Also called as Lilac Cranesbill, grows in California too!

Jan 28, 2013

Heritage- Mahals of Orchha

City of Orchha
Orchha, a 15th century village in Madhya Pradesh's Bundelkhand region, located on the banks of river Betwa 15KM from Jhansi. It was the capital city of Bundela Kings, a Rajput clan. Orchha- meaning hidden, the medieval capital city is almost in dilapidated state yet retains its original grandeur very silently. I took a bus from Khajuraho to Orchha Tigaila(170KM) and then a shared autorikshaw to Orchha village (8KM). After walking around a bit in the market and enquiring with few backpackers I got a nice and cheap place to stay right in the middle of the market! The village and the monuments are in such dilapidated state that inspired me to include pictures in monochrome!

Jan 26, 2013

Random Thoughts- Have you tried Couch Surfing?

Couch Surfing is a phrase which is gaining popularity in the community of vagabonds. Adopted by many budget travelers Couch Surfing has attracted my attention! Available Couch Surfing networks allow travelers to connect with people in different cities of different countries. People offer couches or rooms to strangers for free! Well, the point is ... offering a place to stay to a traveler who is a complete stranger and help him/her understand local culture in more friendly way. This also helps the host to know/understand the guest and guest's country and culture etc ... more of a give-and-take kind of arrangement. Stay is free but guest may have to follow some guidelines provided by host. Rest is common sense and courtesy. For this arrangement to work well, guests should be looking for a good friend in a host than a free couch.

Jan 25, 2013

Colorful Skies- Sunset at Jaisalmer sand dunes

Jaisalmer is a wild desert and vast district in the state of Rajasthan. I went on a camel ride and by the time I reached the deep inside the dunes it was sunset time! My camel decided to sit and take some rest. Hardly people were around and the sunset looked exactly like in the picture. Me, my camel and its caretaker! 

Jan 23, 2013

Birds- Cormorant Expressions

Going for a morning walk around a lake has many benefits. Fresh air, cool breeze and a lot of birdlife around. Central Park in Fremont, California was one such place where people enjoyed walks, group exercises, kids played and feed ducks. There were flocks of canada geese, common coots, families of mallards, egrets and cormorants. There were few more species of water birds which weren't in abundance. I love shooting cormorant expressions. They are very expressive birds :)

Jan 21, 2013

Heritage- Temples of Khajuraho

One of the most popular tourist destinations of India- Khajuraho is popular for the erotic sculptures on the medieval period temple walls. The large group of Hindu and Jain temples are together declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It seems originally there were 80 Hindu temples, now only 25 are standing. Like any other tourist I too was very curious to visit these temples. I took a bus from Chitrakoot to Satna (77KM), another bus to Bamitha (106KM) and then a shared ride to Khajuraho (9KM). Stayed in an expensive hotel.

Jan 18, 2013

Colorful Skies- Sunset over Stadium

When I moved to USA my first stay was in Fremont, California. The beautiful apartment complex was near BART station and the Central Park. The park has a huge lake. It was one of my favorite places to go for morning/evening walks around the lake. Adjacent to it was a stadium. One evening the stadium lights were lit, for a game may be, and the sun had left some glorious colors on the horizon while he left for the day. Very carelessly I took this picture, looks interesting to me!

Jan 16, 2013

Birds- Egret Portrait

Egrets are beautiful birds. Their spotless white color, and the delicate neck and those mean expressions in the big eyes make them very interesting! I went for a morning jog in Palo Alto Baylands park and was amazed to see the bird life there.

Palo Alto Baylands park is a great place with long running tracks along the sea-marsh where one can see shore birds, like stilts, plovers, egrets and herons. It has a spacious parking place which makes it easier to visit frequently. After running a couple of KMs I thought of going back to the car without completing my planned running.

I ran back to the parking to get my camera gear. At one corner this egret was patiently waiting for its prey. There was little bright light on its eyes and rest was under the shade. With my movements the egret rolled its eyes to look at me and I clicked this picture. At times egrets have very mean expressions that make me laugh :) Their blemish-less white feathers make it so hard to get right exposure. 


Jan 14, 2013

Museums- Asian Art Musuem, San Francisco

San Francisco is densely populated city of northern California and is a leading financial and cultural center. It is one of the top tourist destinations of USA. Cool, cloudy city filled with glamour has much to offer for every tourist! During my stay here I visited most of the beaches, heritage buildings and museums.

Jan 11, 2013

Colorful Skies- Dramatic Sunset at Natural Bridges

I have mentioned in earlier posts that beaches in Santa Cruz were my favorites. Natural Bridges State Beach is one of the most beautiful! Once, there was an explosion of red-orange colors during sunset which made the whole landscape very dramatic. In my opinion, the sailing boat and the lighthouse in the distant land  add to the beauty. I love the horizontal pattern in the sky!

Jan 9, 2013

Yatra- Chitrakoot, Proof of Ramayana

Chitrakoot a village of religious importance interestingly half lies in Madhya Pradesh and half in Uttar Pradesh. Chitrakoot is one of the most important place mentioned in the great Hindu Epic Ramayana. I have always been interested in knowing Hindu Mythology and so thought of visiting the places on the route of Lord Rama's journey from Ayodhya to Lanka during his exile and rescuing his wife Sita Devi.

Jan 7, 2013

Call of the Wild- Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh National Park, popular for the tiger tourism in India, was a must see for me even after I had visited Kanha and Pench in the same month. Reaching the place using public transport took little too long. From Jabalpur I took a bus to Katni, then to Umaria and then to Tala. It was too very hectic in the old noisy buses which were filled with humans. Believe me there wasn't even an inch of free space. I felt world is so big when I disembarked at Tala gate :) Took a room for two nights in forest rest-house paying Rs. 3000 and extra for food. My plan was to go for safari and next day to the fort. It is a clean accommodation with no TV right at the national park gate at Tala.

Jan 5, 2013

Photography- I wish I had a better camera!

I wish I had a better camera ... I have heard this from many. Yes! It is everyone's wish to have a cool camera in hand which takes great pictures. But, the reality is- good pictures are the result of good use of the camera than a 'good' camera!

Jan 4, 2013

Oceanscapes- Hazy Horizon

Redwood National Park, in northern California coast is very diverse. Not only the coast redwoods, but plenty of wildlife, birdlife, ocean views are also speciality here. Only you should be ready to drive on a steep winding roads, at times on unpaved roads too! This is a view from Klamath River Overlook which is about 650ft above the ocean. You see the mouth of Klamath River where it merges with Pacific Ocean after a journey of about 250miles from Cascade mountains in Oregon.

Jan 1, 2013

The Blooms- HAPPY NEW YEAR and Iris abstracts!!!

Happy New Year to ALL the readers of my blog! May this year bring loads of happiness and peace to the world ... and the world be free of nature's fury and manmade crimes. May God bless every living being on this Mother Earth with enough food, respectful life and peaceful sleep.