Category Archives: Photography

Doors and windows of Europe – Segona Part

In Gandesa, Catalunya, Spain

In Gandesa, Catalunya, Spain

Horta de Sant Juan, Catalunya, Spain

Horta de Sant Juan, Catalunya, Spain

Arnes, Catalunya, Spain

Arnes, Catalunya, Spain

Poblet Monastery, Catalunya, Spain

Poblet Monastery, Catalunya, Spain

Poblet Monastery, Catalunya, Spain

Poblet Monastery, Catalunya, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Brugge, Belgium

Brugge, Belgium

Brugge, Belgium

Brugge, Belgium

Brugge, Belgium

Brugge, Belgium

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Doors and windows of Europe – First Part

Cardiff City Hall

Cardiff City Hall

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Oxford. Don't remember which college this was.

Oxford. Don't remember which college this was.

Also Oxford

Also Oxford

Some church in Oxford

Some church in Oxford

Oxford, again

Oxford, again

The windows are behind her

Undergraduate humour in Oxford

Undergraduate humour in Oxford

On bees dying

Yesterday, our neighbours smoked out a bee hive that had come up on one of their window shades. They had some pest control people hired for the purpose. Kerosene was sprayed on the bees and then smoke of some sort used to drive the more persistent insects from the hive.

Within a few seconds of the operation, our balcony, which is located right below the hive, was covered with writhing bees. When they die, bees do a strange thing – they spit out honey. While thrashing about, they also manage to get stuck in their own sticky spit. Watching them do this fills me with a sort of horrified fascination – purging honey in their dying moments seems like a final renunciation of everything they have lived for. Almost as if they were saying: this honey is what defined me all this while. But I don’t need it where I am going.

Stranger still was what I found this morning. Bees that had managed to escape the kerosene were hovering around, flying from dead bee to dead bee. I wondered if this was an apian homage of some sort, but suddenly I saw what they were doing. They were collecting honey. Did this qualify as stealing from the departed? I think not – bees are unlikely to be weighed down by the same false morals we burden ourselves with. They were probably making the best of a bad thing. No more.

Here are some pictures.

Birds from my balcony

Come winter, the mango-tree in the old, crumbling house behind our apartment building becomes a very interesting place. White-browed Fantails, Brown Flycatchers, Orioles and on one occasion, an Indian Pitta, turn up either for season-long stays or just for one evening.

Other birds regularly seen on the tree include Purple-rumped Sunbirds, Great Tits, Pale-billed Flowerpeckers, Common Tailorbirds, Red-vented Bulbuls, Coppersmith and White-cheeked Barbets, Rose-ringed Parakeets, White-breasted Kingfishers, Brahminy Kites, Black Drongos, Common Koels, Jungle and Common Crows and Common Mynas. There are surely more, but these are the ones I can recall off the top of my head.

I haven’t made more than a couple of very lazy attempts to photograph the birds. But here are two pictures, both taken about two months ago. The yellow one is the Black-naped Oriole and the other is the Brahminy Kite.

Black-naped Oriole
Brahminy Kite

Tawang in pictures

My last post triggered a small bout of nostalgia and I went climbing over hillocks of unorganised photographs and scans on the storage disk, looking for old pictures from Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. Here are some that I found. (Bad scans, poor color correction, please excuse!)

Pangkang Teng Tso

Ei (grandmother) at Thrillum village, Tawang

Chorten at Gorsam

Man and child at Gorsam

Chestnut-headed sparrows, Zemithang

More as and when I find them.