My Love Affair with Gardening- II

The only time that I am not scared of those creepy crawlies around me is when I am in my Garden. Those humongous Lizards who qualify to be called as Baby Dynos; some of them may even be cousins of Iguanas (!!); how I chase them through the shrubs. They hang suspended on leaf blades & shut their eyes as if that was a perfect place for them to be. They keep waiting for me to get real close & move the branchlet for them to crawl off & let me pluck that red tomato.

How I run after those pastel yellowish green butterflies that would sit from one flower onto another & pollinate them. When was the last time you saw the butterflies in the act other than on The National Geographic Channel? Wait, that’s not a pervert headed question. Those Black & mustard colored common butterflies; 2 of them were on the Onion Leaf Blade mating.

It happens to be one of my best experiences, sad I don’t own a good camera yet so couldn’t capture the serenity. How rare it is in a city or township like that of ours. At the onset of spring i.e., in February the whole coriander plants area looked red & black- Lady Bird. Linda Goodman says its Leo’s Lucky Talisman-I am one; & I am sure there were more than hundreds of them that I would shake from the small plantlets everyday. Never been in a village; but the 2 small patches of Flower Garden & Veggie Garden have just made me live in a Countryside House. The whole Garden would be covered of Dew Drops- I saw them last in Dilshad Garden when I was 7 years of age.

I have froglets too; hopping around everywhere. I wish, I tie a small bell on few of them & let them jingle around the whole place. The last time I thought of this, I actually encountered one of them sitting on my Washroom Tile to catch me & let me have my Way!! Poor thing, they get stuck inside the ground floor door leading to the Building staircase & keep watching through the Glass Window beside it thinking perhaps that why weren’t they able to jump on. I try to “pick” them up without terrorizing & place them in the Garden, where they croak in delight the moment they touch the ground loud enough for me to hear them even inside my 2nd floor flat.

My entire daring act lasts till there. The moment I spot any of these in my flat, the act reverses. They chase me down to the last corner of the house, I screaming, crying (really) & silently praying that they notice the exit, make use of it & make my Life a little less adventurous in the process.

The place where I stay has those big Peacocks around- the males; & the females too (of course). In the middle of the night they’ll go crying flocking together in the Garden & rustling the tree leaves till they perch upon the highest branch & may or not decide to be quiet for the rest of the night. Any passing by vehicle or siren would break the silence following the cries of the bird. In the daylight, they would all romance in the Garden Shade- 1 male in the centre with its wings held up high & all the ladies with their muted feathers also help up high encircling him. What a sight..!

The mornings, even in this blasted Summer Heat happens to be the best time of the Day. The sparrows, Pigeons, Mynas (both common & desi version), parrots, woodpeckers, robins & many more; the names of which I ignorantly don’t know of would call & chirp, flocking from veranda sills to the nearest tree & then back to the Water Bath; I have them placed in all the verandas. They seem to take turns & even queue up for the Morning Wash & sharpen their beaks against the wall while waiting.  A few of them would hop on the Pots & pull out a worm or two & munch on their breakfast before the elaborate cereal & biscuit mix meal. I watch them in awe as they carry on marking the start of the day. The best part, the creepy crawlies would have all vanished inside the crannies by now 🙂 . I watch the sparrow look-alike green bird, the Woodpecker- Robin cross- like & a miniature version of humming bird, actually two of those. One of them tweets- Twitter? They all wake up in the morning rejoicing the beginning of yet another day, ending the darkness & hence no fear of predator, just to spend the whole day looking for food & water. The evening would again see them mobbing but this time its noisy; wonder, do they discuss about their daily affairs when the elders chatter to them that need to be looking for a safe place & discuss the skip-hop-jump sessions the next day? So many of those wings would fly across the Golden Bluish sky; wonder where do they fly to?

They possess wings & fly off; we don’t.  We communicate; we can’t fly off from a situation (alas!) What I am getting at is the Silent Beauty that I watch every day whenever I happen to go to my Garden, stand by the Verandah Window Glass or wake up a little early in the morning. They all live, eat, sleep & …; like us they can’t talk. They can’t express; or maybe they do; we don’t understand.

How some of us cage the parrot & make him say our names..  Ouch that was a perfect stone throw creating ripples on otherwise still water! Let’s rewind. The parrots; they perch the Cable Wire & swing constantly squawking, The Mynas would soon tie in & perform a duet of what could called as screaming, clicking, chirping, growling, buzzing, whistling,  or gurgling. The Stilts live here in their own claimed spaces (fields, parks, barren spaces) Have you ever noticed that all Birds wear shorts? Check out the next time you see one.

I read the Save Sparrow Initiative the other day & was surprised. In Palam Vihar, they are plenty; would keep pecking on the window till I refill their water bath. That’s right, no late mornings anymore. The Pigeons would keep flapping their wings against the Window. Dare I not refill their Drinks!!

While the “Wild Life” is pretty dominant here, I have noticed them to be hopping around my space more often than not. Is it Water, seeds or flowers?? What calls them around? What makes them feel so safe that they won’t fly off watching me go near them?

Why do they take so much pride in snoozing off on my verandah sills?

The Cranes have marked their presence now & would soon be everywhere. How I fancy “catching” one of them & tell them they are so lovely!

  • All Birds happen to be so lovely..
  • The Gossamer that shone on my fingers when I caught that pastel butterfly, was shimmerier than the best of the Eyeshades available.
  • The joy of watching the Mute, Colorful and Flying Creatures in their activities i.e., flying, mobbing, pollinating, is simply priceless.

I feel blessed to be able to watch them all.

To be able to appreciate them; I feel INDEBTED..

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My Love Affair with Gardening

(Disclaimer: The pics are of the actual species gracing up my Home..)

About Olivia

Corporate worker, textile designer, writer.
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