Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sky transforms from azure to tangerine

My neighborhood sky...same area, so different shades..
Azure..

Tangerine..

San Diego zoo residents on Christmaa eve....

San Diego zoo, with its amazing fauna and flora, never ceases to charm us...yesterday, we visited it yet again...to view the holiday lights of 'Jungle bell' theme...
Sky was overcast, weather was chilly and closing time was extended up to 8 PM...All these factors led to an altogether facet of the captives there...most of they were awake and in playful mood...we got to see some of the most elusive creatures...

Otter guy showed its unique swimming talents...

This Andean bear was extraordinarily vivacious today, jumping into the pool, running around, standing erect with the trees as prop, ...never ever seen bears so agile!

The Francois langur baby was honing acrobatic skills...

Lion-tailed macaque was in the spirit to pose for shutterbugs...

Super-mom Bai Yun settles down to chew on the bamboos...

 The crouching Malayan tiger watches the antics of the raucous people..

The ever-sleeping Malayan tapir was taking a stroll, even standing upright...

Babirusa playing with the hay...

 Klipspringer in Africal kopje...

Two-month old Serval kitten....

 Sleeping jaguar was creating a picture of bliss..

Malay great argus pheasant displaying its stunning plumage...

A pair of amorous imperial-green pigeon....

Inquisitive Andean-cock-of-the-rock.....

A scary-looking, bulky tarantula......

Hope, you loved the wildlife pictures...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Date palms in South California....

Except the meager rain and lackluster autumn, I love most of the things about California....
The diversity of landscapes, abundance of birds, specially hummingbirds and profusion of exotic tropical fruits are the top attractions for me....

I had not tasted that much variety of fruits in my 28 years of life, as much I relished in the last 4 years of California living...kumquat, strawberry guava, lemon guava, arbutus, loquat, jocote, prickly pear, silverberry, cherimoya, blueberry, strawberry, Surinam cherry, carissa, feijoa, longan, fig, lang jujube, avocado, peach, nectarine, dragon fruit, persimmon fuyu, American persimmon, rose hip, lily pilly, nectarine, apricot, Buddha's hand, raspberry.......... yes, that's a long list..and it keeps growing.. 

Date palm was not new to me, in fact, these palms grew luxuriantly in the village I grew up in India...but getting to see them in the vicinity of house in South California and being able to pluck them by self on way back to home from campus was an exciting experience...

 


Rivers of the USA West....

Some major river traversing the Western part of the nation, that I got to see during my trips to the near-by national parks....

Snake river in Idaho...................

Flathead river in Montana...........

Yellowstone river in Wyoming............

Kaweah river in California...

Merced river in California....

Colorado river in Arizona........


My culinary experiments...

Just a year or two back, when I had much time in hand, had dabbled in preparing unfamiliar cuisines...with resources available within reach...most of the times, unconventional to me..like...
Nopal fry....

 Cranberry sauce...

Chicken-of-the-woods stir fry..
 Cranberry smoothie...

Silverberry jam...
 Tamale...
 Kumquat pickle...
 Pine needle tea...

Hash brown...

Sometimes, the results were appetizing, delightful, sometimes not-so....but it was fun, exiting to try hand at new recipes...
I had plans to try dandelion herbal tea, rose hip tea, loquat pickle and many more.....would love to embark on them in near future....

Holly berries..

Holly berry season has arrived....


Friday, December 12, 2014

Toyon...

How did the name 'Hollywood' arise? Well, the iconic name stemmed from this shrub toyon or 'California holly', growing luxuriantly in the chaparral-clad hills of Los Angeles..

Where ever I went hiking in South California, came across these bushes...Native Indians consumed the berries and used the foliage as herbal medicine...

These shrubs are planted in SDSU campus..and these pictures are taken in our apartment garden....evidence enough for their prolific abundance...

Pineapple Express pours down in San Diego...

Pineapple Express brought some much-needed rain to San Diego...

The sky heralds the imminent storm..

Early morning gust of  wind swaying the palms,,,

Fresh-fallen sycamore leaf on the soaked pavement...

A bower vine strung with drops of water against the cloudy sky...

Aloe inflorescence with embedded  water drops...

The lawn looked rejuvenated...

View towards the East...clouds have cloaked the distant blue hills...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014