Saturday, July 30, 2016

Passion: My gardenscape in July......

Summer is in full swing...........
Other parts of the country, where it snows...it might be great time for gardening...
For South West, the heat is too much for the plants...my Arabian jasmine and coleus are complaining with burnt leaves...
Leaves are getting bleached...pots are perpetually dehydrated...blooming has bolted...
Yet, I am excited for the development in my tiny patio container garden.......
Kalanchoe is  a gorgeous fixture for months now...

Hibiscus, mandevilla, rose, portulaca, coreopsis, Arabian jasmine are the current blooming plants...





the coreopis which once was on the verge of dying months back...is again alive and blooming......


Collected seeds from shriveled petunias...

Some of the oldest members of the garden..the yucca and dracaena add the much-needed greenery ...also shade the tiny plants from harsh sunlight...

Kumquat is blooming for the second time...sadly, the first batch tiny fruits dropped......any mineral deficiency?  May be too much sunlight..

Blueberry  has 10-15 berries....I hope in a year, it will bear its multiple times...

Perhaps, the edible plants are the more exciting developments in the garden....
Mustard..

Sweet pea......

Friday, July 29, 2016

Plant: Calla lily.......

Call lily.........they are one of the most beautiful flowers...
They come in many colors.........




For their exquisiteness, they make good addition to vases for flower arrangements.......
There are valleys of calla lily in some of the California coasts....
Here is a shot of lush bed of calla......

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thought: Let's work on extinguishing the fire of terrorism.....

Terrorism is one of the biggest curse of current times...
I say one, because we have other banes like polluted, fragile world.....melting ice cap...depleting resources...drug resistance...rising cancer and other metabolic diseases to manage too..
However, terrorism is something that can be easily vanquished if all of we opened our eyes....
I wish, everyone knew, all organisms are more related than they know....
Yes, being a bioinformatician has given me the skill to test homology or identity between living organisms........and, we do share gene similarity with virus, bacteria, plants, monkeys and everything in between.....in fact, the  inflammation, allergies, autoimmunity and many other diseases arise from the similarity of structure, which immune system fails to discriminate and harms own tissue...

Any way, this similarity conservation underlines the theory of origin of life by 'chemical evolution'...by reactions between components when the right conditions prevailed...different forms of stress led to diversification and the myriad forms of life populating the world...
I mean to say, when we origin from same organic molecule, is not it senseless to fight over superiority of race and greatness of their GODS...religious crusades and all such factors driving wedges between us...
We needed GOD and devised faith to lead a serene path of life...not to shed blood of others...unfortunately, the latter has taken over........
A person with humanly conscience will never be lured by this bullshit, rubbish....All those involved in terrorism are brainwashed people with monetary interests and drug-addicted, disoriented brains...

I am a Hindu by birth, but that do not prevent me from visiting Buddhist monastery, or Sikh Gurudwara, Catholic chruches or accepting a Quran gift from a muslim neighbor...I consider those as scope to know culture of others and respect  by all means....I am sure most of you share my view...

But a few radical minds can usher in catastrophe..as we have witnessed myriad mayhems in recent times...
Student visiting foreign country for semester, never comes back.........
Employee travelling the metro to work gets exploded, leaving behind infant child and grieving wife..

A minute of silence for the families who lost kins to terrorism.......no one deserves such senseless act..

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Information: Shun those deadly pesticides for your health and that of the Earth...

I believe all of you know how dangerous pesticides can be..
If they kill bugs...they do hamper our immune, hormonal and neural system also.......
They are enzyme inhibitors.....which can have deadly consequences.......
More and more neural diseases are linked to pesticides....yes, evidences are strong....
We were watching a documentary on farmers some days back.....a young farmer in Midwest was narrating how his father, a corn grower died of prostate cancer...
It was sad......but did they know the cause of the disease? Most likely the excessive pesticides used in the field........
The pesticides when exposed to, in any form, recurrently.....perturbs hormones...which lead to signalling disturbance....the result is cancer..
Indian farmers committing suicide has become a regular happening.......is the cause only crop failure and financial burden?? No. The cause is their neural problems caused by pesticide exposure.........anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, loss of orientation...
And the poor, ignorant folks blame it on ghosts and spirits....

More and more rural women are developing breast cancer? Pesticides mimicking estrogen and starting carcinogenesis...
I strongly believe the Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)/ mad cow disease that killed cattle in masses in the 1990's......leading to scavenger population fall as well, is due to foresight-less usage of pesticides and hormones...
Aquatic species are queuing for extinction........it will ravage food chain...
It's high time the manufacturing companies should take action.......their profit features nowhere compared to health of the Earth........
I urge all readers to spread the word...
Your kids and family do not need palatial house, and swanky vehicles.........they need clean air and water..
We have evolved in nature, in the woods........lets pledge for a chemical pesticide-free word.........

Yeah,  rather non-toxic compounds can deter the bugs as well.....
My rose and hibiscus buds were aphid-infected...


..I squirted dish wash detergent solution.........they were gone the next day......appreciate and search for such milder and organic bug-repellents...

We have got only one Earth...Don't let the Terra Farma annihilate....

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Place: Hiking in Santiago oaks regional park..........

Recently, we hiked in Santiago oaks regional park.........situated near Irvine regional park....though the former is much wild....with unpaved paths and unruly vegetation....
The trail head starts with citrus grove.....a tiny part of once flourishing orange orchard...which gave this county its name...

Lots of matilija poppy were in bloom by the fence....along with some California poppy...

The sycamore-shaded area with an arbor serves as wedding venue...


Soon the real wilderness starts......

Hollyleaf redberry bush and wild grapes vine..



The path leads to an old dam.....built on Santiago creek..this creek is one of the many creeks that emanates from the Santa Ana mountain....

The jagged hillocks and hills...covered with mosaic of stunted chaparral plants...

From the plaques, I learnt that this place has been scarred by fire as well as flood in recent past...

Lots of woodpeckers could be sighted......busy carving for nests or acorn pantries...

Also, butterflies....

Invasive umbels have encroached the meadows....

These exotic species along with dried annuals as shown in picture below add fuel to the flammability of the chaparral....

Steep trails winds round the hills....avid hikers and horse-riders navigate it....we ditched it for the burning sun was too hostile for us...

We spotted a juvenile California condor on a pine tree....what a treat to behold an endangered species from so close...for as long as you want...it held its perch....good, that it was not perturbed by our presence... 

We saw half a dozen of other birds, including Turkey vulture, red-shouldered hawk...
The oak-lined trail....

Wooden staircase leads into another trail......

Here we encountered a gopher....sun basking by the path...

We saw some cottontail rabbits and ground squirrels as well....
The visitor center was informative with a variety of taxidermy animals and birds...and brochures...

The only thing bothered me was this park located just below the avian flying path was exposed to frequent and annoying noises...wilderness is supposed to be free of such anthropogenic disturbance isn't it? I felt for the critters calling it home...

We will come back again in another season.........

Monday, July 25, 2016

Plant: Olives...

Due to the Mediterranean climate of coastal California, olive thrives here...
Large plantations of olive can be seen in certain parts of the state....
This is a shot of olive-lined street in agricultural bowl San Joaquin valley........

Also, they are a common part of landscaping..

Many housing and market complexes in South California have abundant olive trees..
Recently, I learned that olive pollen is a major aero-allergen....inducing rhinitis, sinusitis, conjuctivitis etc....

The tender fruits in early summer...........



The old, crooked-trunked trees..........

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