Sunday, March 15, 2009

Phantoms' Visit

Last Friday, like any other calm evening after sunset.

I had given our little girl a bottle of milk.
After that, she woke up from her afternoon nap and started playing with her grandpa out there in the balcony.

I decided to go for a bath, but before that, I sat down for my habitual daily crossword puzzle.
I was trying hard to catch the eight letter word for "detective story" .....
Suddenly, I heard my husband calling me with excitement...
and in the midst of his excitement I heard my little girl joining in
" come, come! see ..."
Woh... I heard lots of "Caw...Caw.." the Crows and the Kites'..."Eeek..."

"What's this going on in our backyard? Someone trying to harm the birds? The cats? Snakes? Human?....?" I was musing.
Anyway, when I rushed out to the backyard balcony, my husband had the camera ready for me!!! And he said "There is something in the bush..the crows are attacking it..."

YES! I see some light!

Again my husband excitedly said "Look there is something up on that pipal you see it?!"

Yes! I see it, it went off in such a Phantom!!

More noise from the crows ...
Our little girl was excited like the crows,
"Big eyes... big eyes..." she was saying.

And I was trying my best to catch a perfect picture of this "big eyes"

My husband was prompting me..." Sandy. there are three of them! Here... there...!"

'Wait!! give me a second...' I was desperate to capture them with the camera .. but, it was too dark... 'I need flash...' and the flashlights took such long time to be recharged...! 'I better try without the flash!'

I don't know who were more excited that evening?
The "big eyes"? My husband? Our little girl? me? The Crows ? The Kites?

I had no time to notice whether our neighbours were watching all these commotions going on at the backyard and were excited like us?!

Whew!! Very soon the night came, these "big eyes" took shelter in the dark Money plant

I went on clicking till I no longer was able to get any sight of them in the darkness.

Actually, both my husband and our little girl were trying to flash torchlight on them to help me get the pictures of these three "Big eyes"

[ honestly, though none of these torchlights are good at all!!
but thank you, my sweeties.. these are the results of your great help!!]

Anyway, it had become dark in the balcony, the mosquitoes started swarming around us.. So we decided to give up looking for those "big eyes" and came inside the room.

We were still excited... but with no clue as to what those three animals were..
My husband guessed those three must be of one family.. parents and the baby.

Are they Koate? Loris? Panda?...
I went on asking my husband "... suggest more names please!!!"

He came up with "What about Civets?"
Yes!! He is right again!! They are Palm Civets!!

When Allan and Mahua came home, our little girl excitedly told her parents
"Papa.. mummy...Mmm, big eyes!!"
She would insist me to show her favorite picture of this "big eyes" to her parents!

Till the other day, I thought I was happy to have this backyard with all my songbirds ... with a few lazy cats and the noisy crows...

Never thought we would have these "Phantom Civets" in and around here at this metro city of Kolkata!

Wonder where they move about during the daytime?

And whether we should feel good that, although Kolkata is such a congested city with so many humans, we are still able to find such wild animals like these civets?

Next morning, I asked the watchman about these civets.
He said "They are notorious. They come almost every evening... They enter the flats and eat whatever food are there in the house. They like fish and meat-mutton... they catch birds..etc.,... they are pest actually..!"

Sounds scary.... Must remember to lock the windows and the doors well after dark!!

What an experience for us... and what an amazing phantoms visit for us.
Through this backyard we learnt so many things which, otherwise,
we, in our wildest dream would never have thought of knowing , espeically, about Civets!

Exciting yet scary...

Well, I guess, I better take this whole episode to be a fairy tale...and see through the whole thing from our little girl's point of view....
" Wow! Big eyes!!.. they have all gone to sleep.." she says.

P.S. I could not think of that eight letter word for"Detective story"
after all the excitement... but my husband filled it up for me- " Whodunit"!Thank you... Bendang... you are always there for me!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I love birds and their beautiful songs.

I have been so out of touch with Sandy's Backyard...

Actually, I am so enchanted by all the birds, insects, trees and few cats... that are in the backyard around the complex where Allan

In between baby sitting our little Ayin, I would click a few pictures of hers and the birds/cat and what not that are in the backyard...

There are quite a number of birds around the backyard.

Some common ones I can identify, the rest I have no knowledge of their names...

Nevertheless, the songs these birds sing, especailly early in the morning and during dusk... can bring so much of joy and comfort to the mind.

I love birds, not only for the reason they have wings to fly up in the air ..they are so free while gliding in the breeze , and I love the talents for their melodious singing.... Which reminds me of this interesting link:

I found watching birds flying..hoping .. and listening to their songs very de-stressing.

Especially in a nosiy city like Kokalta, where everyone loves to honk their horns...

the sweet songs form the birds are indeed a rare treat for a change!

Well, do come and share this feeling in this video

Though this may not be a very good video but I must say there was thrill while finding myself able to record this bird singing without being disturbed!

(By the way I have no idea which species this bird is, will be very happy if some one can tell me the name of this bird)

As you know, in Kolkata, crows
are the only birds that hate any human holding anything in hand while looking upward!
They are so clever and defensive.. they think we human are holding sling/stick/or even gun to aim at the birds to harm them!
They will make so much of noise and sometimes will swoop down to attack us human.

Aside the crows, the rest of the birds enjoy the space and the harmony in this small backyard.
Sometimes I see a flock of Indian Minah birds picking the red berries ( arecanut)

while the cat taking a nap on the roof with soft sunlight and cool breeze under the leaves and... it has forgotteen to try to catch any birds!

This particular picture of the Indian Minah bird is projected with some beautiful stories by Julie Ardery in her wonderful Humanflowerproject!

I remember the days during my stay in Kohima
There is a bird which will sing joyful song all around the hills after the rain... sometimes, when we had weeks and weeks of rain, suddenly, I would hear this bird singing, and I would feel so good to know there would sunny days again.

I do not know the name of this bird, and I have never seen this bird too.
My husband told me that it is a small bird. But the song it sings fills the whole valley...

I can still remember the tune this bird sings... Oh it does make me home sick!

But in the meanwhile, I must say I am not missing too many good feeling around this backyard too, while baby sitting our little darling girl...

and along with her, my fond songs by the birds....