Keukenhof Gardens: Tulips Overdose

pic of tulips at Keukenhof Gardens Lisse Netherlands by Arun Shanbhag
When we were planning a trip to The Netherlands, I was thinking of immersing myself at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, while M was dreaming of the tulips, i.e. the Keukenhof gardens in Lisse, a quick bus ride from Schiphol Airport. Of course we did both, and much more.

It was a bright, cool day in early May. Apparently they have more than 7 million tulips over ~80 acres of well maintained grounds, and they were all in bloom! The colors and fragrances were simply overwhelming. I was close to getting a “Tulip induced migraine!” For a break, we stepped into the gift shop(s) and of course, more tulips.
Continue reading “Keukenhof Gardens: Tulips Overdose”

Kini Hotel, Kumta

pics of chai and breakfast at Kini Hotel Kumta by Arun Shanbhag

This tiny tea shop in Kumta is my main eating and meeting place in Kumta. It’s in the main paent (market) and only a few steps from the Shanteri Kamakshi Devasthan and the Venkatraman Muth/Devasthan. Continue reading “Kini Hotel, Kumta”

Owl and a Winter Flower

photo of Eurasian Eagle Owl basking in the winter sun in Boston by Arun Shanbhag
Eurasian Eagle Owl basking in the winter sun

We have had so much snow in Boston, I’ve stopped complaining. After an early morning snow removal workout, we (sa kutumb) went for a much needed walk, … to see an owl. This Eurasian Eagle Owl (?) had found a cozy hole in a tree and was enjoying the sun. Continue reading “Owl and a Winter Flower”

Tulip Season

sketch of Tulips by Arun Shanbhag

Usually, I take pics of tulips in my garden (see here, here and here). This year I have been impressed at how easy it was to draw them on the iPad with Paper. I use this app often at work to sketch key concepts.

11 Secrets to Success

pics of colorful roses in a vase at home by Arun Shanbhag

Decades ago when I subscribed to the Investor’s Business Daily, they had an inside section called IBD’s 10 Secrets to Success. I clipped out that section, and every so often would go over the list to make sure I was following it. I am sharing it with you all, and archiving this valuable, yellowing scrap of newsprint.

Here the authors do not provide any philosophies or elitist quotes, but simple gems. Not to write in your diary with flourishes, or share on twitter or Facebook, but to apply to your life, every day. This is the real stuff. My pithy comments in parentheses. And could not resist adding a 11th.

  1. How you think is everything:
    Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment. (Avoid gossip and don’t believe it.)
  2. Continue reading “11 Secrets to Success”

Meera and Sleeping Phlox

Pics of Meera posing in front of a phlox garden flowers by Arun Shanbhag

I have the good fortune to walk Meera to her pre-school every morning. We walk by our neighborhood and cross a park on her way to school. It’s Meera’s field trip (picnic) everyday, and I am her lucky guide. Continue reading “Meera and Sleeping Phlox”

Flower Sellers at Dadar

pictures of Young girls selling roses at the Dadar Flower Market, Mumbai by Arun Shanbhag

Few years ago I wrote about the Dadar Flower Market, in Mumbai. Tucked under the bridge next to the Dadar train Station, like alien slime it oozes into adjoining alleys and walkways, filling every doorway and cranny. So jam-packed, my cousin cautioned, “don’t even try to put your hand in your pocket, it will go in someone else’s.” Aaargh! Only in Mumbai. Continue reading “Flower Sellers at Dadar”

Spring in Boston

spring crocus Boston

The days that used to lie
curled up,
by penetrating frost,
bit by bit
stretch out
their limbs
now that winter’s past.

~ Sri Dharanidhara

from Vidyadhara’s Subhaashita Ratnakosha
Translated from the Sanskrit by Daniel HH Ingalls, Harvard University Press

The original verses were composed between the 8th and 10th century. Vidyadhara probably compiled these before the year 1100, when he had access to the library housed in the ancient monastery of Jagaddala.
Continue reading “Spring in Boston”

Tulip Mania

pictures of Tulips by Arun Shanbhag
It was a dreary weekend; overcast, drizzly and cold. Perfect time to snuggle under the goose down and sip warm almond milk.

After putzing around the house for a few hours, I realized the rains had stopped – whatdayaknow. An overcast day is perfect to take flower pics. In the diffuse light, the subtle colors get well saturated. So what the rains over the last weeks had washed out the sakura blossoms. So what all the daffodils wilted in this cold blanketing us. So what we haven’t see the shiny orb in the sky since …whenevah. The tulips cloaked in misty droplets, swayed proud. Enjoy this parade. Continue reading “Tulip Mania”

Azaleas Blooms: Pink Madness!

Azalea blooms pics by Arun Shanbhag

Its the long Memorial Day weekend and we are at home!!! The last three years, we were always away on holidays at this time.

This was a great time to work in the garden. Many bushes are blooming and others are just sprouting. A good time to clean, trim, add compost, de-weed and general maintenance. This morning was very overcast with an intermittent light drizzle; perfect weather to shoot pics of these blooming azaleas. This one must be a variant, coz the blooms on the others are very different. This one looks more like tiny roses. Verily, pink madness! Oh, the droplets on the flowers are from the drizzle.
Azalea blooms pics by Arun Shanbhag

Enjoy the week!

My Flower posts:

A few Tulips

pics of tulips in Boston Public Garden by Arun Shanbhag
I promised a few tulips from the Public Gardens here. But work, and life in general, have been exceptionally busy. A major deadline looms at the end of the month, delaying even my India trip. M leaves a week earlier and I complete the project and join the festivities later.

When I finally made it to the gardens on monday, the blooms had already started to wilt. 😦 So, here is Plan B: Tulip pics from last year. … and when I arrive in Mumbai in june, the mangoes better not all be gone.

Pics of our tulips from previous years here and here; and a recent ipad sketch of tulips.

pics of tulips in Boston Public Garden by Arun Shanbhag

Spring Flowers: Hyacinths and Tulips

pics of grape hyacinths in our garden by Arun Shanbhag

These tiny grape hyacinths are the most abundant in my yard, and pop up in every nook and cranny. With blooms only a couple of inches tall, they get overlooked amongst the brilliantly proud tulips. Also because they are so tiny, they pose a particular challenge to photograph. I planned this composition for weeks, even before the tulips had started to bud, and crossed my fingers that by the time the tulips bloomed, the hyacinths would still be around. Continue reading “Spring Flowers: Hyacinths and Tulips”

Crocuses: Blush of Spring

Last week, winter's icy claws loosened. The frozen ground yielded; and like butterflies from an underground vault, these golden crocuses burst forth! Passing strangers paused and held their breath. Kids pointed to this burst of color, in an otherwise forlorn landscape, and their eyes gleamed in joy.

For how much longer will dogwoods, cherries and maples hold their blooms. How much longer before blue jays dance on japanese maple boughs? How much longer before freshly painted toes grace open sandals, and mini-skirts rim slender legs? The blush of spring is spreading!

Continue reading “Crocuses: Blush of Spring”

From Montreal – Bouquets of Joy

Bouquets of flowers from Montreal pics by Arun Shanbhag
(click image for larger version)

A couple of weeks ago we drove up to Montreal, Canada for a short holiday. What a beautiful city and a beautiful people! Oh, those restaurants! Certainly more about those in a separate post. Strolling on the heavily walked, St Catherine's Ave, we saw a little stall surrounded by buckets of flowers for sale. The guy had very simple, yet colorful bouquets in his bucket and gladly agreed to let me shoot. There was no rearrangement of the flowers. I just pointed to the bunches he had placed in the bucket and shot! Spectacular! Spectacular!

Merci Montreal!
Bouquets of flowers from Montreal pics by Arun Shanbhag

Bouquets of flowers from Montreal pics by Arun Shanbhag

My Other Montreal Related Posts:

My Flower Posts:

On Flower Sellers:

Mumbai coming, LJ on hiatus

Trying out this new lens for my India trip. Its a beauty. Very sharp, but a bit bulky. The second pic is a closer crop and you may notice the slightest shake. Hand held, of course.

We leave for Mumbai in a few hours. Panicking and packing till the last minute. If anyone wants to get together in Mumbai, send me an e-mail. Traveling out of Mumbai till June 10th. Heard its sweltering! Limcaaaaaaah!

Swan in the Boston Public Garden!

Planted this rhododendron in our garden last year. WoW! Never looked closely at the blooms. So pretty! I cut a bunch and placed them in a vase in my kitchen. A swarm of ants followed 😦 The ants completely ate the nectarine base of each flower :-(( Next time I see these rascals on the road, I'm gonna run them over.

Nikon D70, Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8;
© Arun Shanbhag

Cherry Blossoms

Boston Public Garden Arun ShanbhagCherry Blossoms in the Boston Public Garden; click image for larger version
This is a variant of the cherry tree and the Japanese call it kanzan yaezakura. Here it is called the double-blossomed cherry. While the common cherry flower has only five petals, these have more than 20.

Previous pics from the Boston Public Garden:


It's not often that I will provide a link to another's journal. But 's spectacular photography compels me to share this with you.

In your spare time, browse through her previous photographs, particularly of the rose she posted for Valentines. Not understanding one word on her posts does not hinder by enjoyment. Actually, the Ukranian script itself looks like a piece of art.

After seeing the work of such a talented photographer, I feel like packing away my cameras and living life through her lens.

Blossoms of Joy

Rising from the earth,
A life takes birth
From seeds sown
by loving hands,

In sun it flowers
Kissed by dew,
Caressed by wind,
Blossoms of joy!

In a collaborative effort, Shri graciously agreed to pen these lines to go with the flowers from my garden. The delicate mango color of the petals, combined with the deep purple of the center, needed her words to do justice. Here is Shri's corresponding post.

My Flower Posts:

On Flower Sellers:

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