This is one of the best times of the year to spot the local inhabitants of my garden. Especially the flying kind. The air is heavy with the unheard flutter of wings. Damselflies are always welcome. So very colourful and, even better, they have an insatiable appetite for bugs even bigger than themselves. I wonder where they pack it all away?
And, the high-fliers are loving this season too. Everywhere I look there are a zillion dragonflies on the wing, darting and swooping , like flying shards of shimmering glass. As I walk in my garden I almost feel as if I'm walking into a cloud of dragonflies but I have yet to feel even one brush against me. Mumbai could do with some drivers like these!
I bet you didn't know I had zebras in my garden! Oh yes, meet the Zebra Blue. One look at those wings and I'm sure you'll know how they got that name, right? The 'Blue' part came from its upper wing colouration.
The Brazilian Button Flower (Centratherum intermedium ) is a huge hit with the butterflies. I just have to linger near them and sure enough, there are always some of them visiting. This is one low-maintenance plant that really multi-tasks. Always filled with flowers and always thick with butterflies!
And if you see these flies hovering over your flowers, bring out the champagne! The syrphid flies are invaluable in the garden. Its larvae, you see, have a decided penchant for snacking on aphids and thrips! And just as good, the grown-ups are pollinators of several species of plants, including certain orchids.
And you thought all flies are villains? This one only has the blood-shot eyes to fit the role, everything else says 'good guy' about him!
Do you remember the Greater Banded Hornets who are regular visitors to my Pink Cassia tree at this time of the year? Well, they're back and so are the attendant hordes of flies and butterflies and other freeloaders.
I have rather mixed feelings about hornets and that's not just because of their nasty sting which can be fatal on occasion. On the plus side, they hunt bugs and many insect pests. On the other hand, they also hunt bees and that's definitely not something I'm happy about.
But again, every year at this time they descend on my poor Pink Cassia and nibble at its bark until a syrupy sap froths out, driving the butterflies crazy. Scenes like this of Common Nawabs jostling with the Common Evening Browns to get a sip of that elixir are everyday affairs.
Which is probably why little Treefrogs hop indoors to get away from all that hustle and bustle!