Butterflies in the pool garden

Posted by & filed under Photography.

An advantage of Cardamom House is its rich variety of habitats and associated photographic opportunities. The variety of butterflies to be photographed changes as the day advances. In addition, the varieties change from week to week as different flowers come into bloom. It is such a luxury to be able to sit on the verandah or in the garden, camera at the ready, and have your subject visit you!    

Photography tours

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Over the last few years the beauty of the locations and the wealth of opportunities close to Cardamom House has meant that we have been visited as a part of a photographic tour. For example, Charlie Waite has brought two Light and Land Tours to Cardamom House. The participants have spent time photographing sari-clad women slipping through the palms, while discovering the intricacies of accurately capturing the vibrant colours and delicate light. With Pandi, they have explored the village. Some of their images have won prizes in competitions. Some participants have also taken… Read more »

Textile artist inspired by stay

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British textile artist, Isabelle king, has been inspired by the colours and textures that she saw while on her visit at Cardamom House. She has spent almost eighty hours designing multimedia pages, depicting kingfishers, peacocks, insects and pomegranates as well as developing designs prompted by the many colours of sari material. She has also used ink blocks to print patterns on silk, bought in SKCs in Dindigul. The knot on a wooden door led to another piece of work. Some work shows her fascination with Tamil script. The staff of… Read more »

Keen photographers.

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All the staff are keen photographers. Samy noticed that migrating butterflies had gathered on a root, possibly to feed on the rich mixture, contained in it, in preparation for the mating season. Meanwhile, Murugesan (Muggy) has been taking close-ups of sunbirds and Pandi has been pursuing mynah birds, as well as doing dawn and dusk trips to the lake, monitoring the bird life. Polpandi can boast being the only member of the team to successfully photograph a hoopoe. He and Shankar have also recorded the growth of tailor birds from hatchling… Read more »

Mangoes

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Mangoes are now in season and we are picking them fresh from the trees in the garden … and, of course, eating them! There is always a race to collect as many mangoes as we can, before other people gather our fruit. Alfonso is a favourite variety for flavour. Next on the agenda is making some sweet mango chutney. The photo shows the farm being ploughed, in August 2012. The trees are now about six feet high, but are not yet mature enough to be in production. Imagine the feast in… Read more »

Babblers

Posted by & filed under Birding.

Babblers are always around. They feed on insects, berries and seeds – and crumbs. Locally, they are known as the seven sisters, because they are usually in gangs of seven. The word ‘gang’ has been used advisedly. They are territorial and protect their patch noisily and sometimes violently. We’ve had an East Verandah Gang and a West Verandah Gang, but occasionally they change their territories. It’s almost impossible to distinguish the males and the females.

Wild Elephants at the Temple

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Five wild elephants ended up at the dam at the beginning of the month. The dam is only one kilometre away from Cardamom House.  It may be the drought that forced them to go in search of water, or it maybe that their habitat has been destroyed by increased development. Elephants are very sensitive to human presence. They are also strong and can break through metal fences and trample houses and crops. Eventually they were driven up into the hills by people drumming. More wild life is being seen in the area…. Read more »

Lettuces and maintenance

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This is now the hot season – a good time for maintenance. There’s painting to be done; paths and steps to be checked for safety; cupboards to be emptied, cleaned and sorted; and the vegetable garden to be tended. At the moment the lettuces are growing really well. The compost bin is filling rapidly. Spinach is regularly harvested for soups and as an addition to curry dishes. It  is also a time for checking and planning the different areas of the gardens and grounds.

Regular visitors to the garden

Posted by & filed under Birding.

Sunbirds are always around in the garden. They seem to focus on one flower colour and then move on to another colour when the first is in short supply. They will often come right up to the verandah, where guest are eating breakfast or reading a book. Robins are also regular visitors. They often build a nest in the gable of Valley House. Their red rump makes them different from the robins seen in Europe and in North America.         Peacocks regularly walk through the garden searching for… Read more »

The Indian Roller

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For a number of days, we have watching a flash of turquoise swooping into the trees by the volleyball court. It was too big to be a kingfisher and there was no cackling scream, so we searched the bird books, and identified it as a roller. The bird had probably been attracted to the rich pickings of insects and small reptiles on the cleared land. In addition, there had been too much debris from our prunings of the garden’s trees and shrubs for the passing goats to eat, so Pandi had been… Read more »