Backyard Sky

I am so addicted to doing the Sky Watch Friday posts that if I do not have sky pictures I try to create pictures of the backyard sky. There is one balcony in my home from where I can see the evening sky. It was a weekend and I had some time to spare. There was a nice glow in the evening sky but on it own it was too flat to be of any interest.

Backyard Sky
Backyard Sky

Then I stumbled upon this old lamp that Chhavi had taken to the balcony. Now if she could play with it, so could I. Started by clicking the lamp against the sky and the effect was pleasing. But then I wanted to play more and I lit the lamp. To do so, I had to make a wick from an old cloth and I poured some coconut hair oil over it so it would burn easily.

There is No Smoke Without Fire!
There is No Smoke Without Fire!

Then when the flame went out, out came the smoke. I was now interested in clicking the swirling smoke instead of the burning lamp. So, down I went again to bring more old cloth and the hair oil bottle, so that I could play some more! All this while Chhavi was busy with her friends and I was left in peace to do all these experiments.

A Smokey Evening!
A Smokey Evening!

It was not that easy for me to click the smoke. After many trials and errors I realized I got the best pictures immediately after the flame went out as there was a lot of smoke then. As it thinned out, I could not capture it as well! I was using my SLR with a 50mm prime lens to capture the backyard sky. I so wanted to click more pictures the next evening but I never got time!

PS. This post is part of Sky Watch Friday, a great community of sky watchers across the globe!

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Dear Mountain Gods,

You know how I worship your domain. Every little holiday I can scrape through, I try to run to your highest adobe, the Himalayas. Do you remember the days when I used to be your favorite child, when you would let me see so much beauty on my various treks and trips?

I would particularly like to draw your attention to the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal in 2012. How kind you were to me. Due to my work commitments I could only take the pilgrimage in May, not the ideal month for walking in that sacred region! And yet you showered me with abundant blessings. On all those 11 days of walking you did not let a single drop of rain fall on my head. Agreed there was a bit of snow but then, it came at night, made everything look even more pretty at Dignboche and it caused no trouble while walking.

There were treks when I walked in hail for about two hours but then you produced a magnificent rainbow the next day!

Dusk at Kareri Village
Dusk at Kareri Village #Canon550D

Now I am sure I have done something to irk you, but for the life of me I cannot figure out what. When I went to trek through the Annapurna Circuit in 2013 you made it rain for four days, out of which two days started in a raincoat and ended in a raincoat as well! Now you also know what misery it is to trek so. Then at Letdar you made it snow, not the beautiful half inch but the kind that makes you give up the trek and walk back. I would not have been desolate but for the dense cloud cover which hid all the peaks on all the days I was there. I barely got a glance, a poor one at that, of the magnificence that surrounds the region. That was in 2013.

It is now 2015 Gods and I still get the same treatment. Last year even at Charndratal, Spiti I got rains! When I went to Kareri recently I got one absolutely sunny day out of the six that I was there, it was the day when I was leaving for home. It has been the same story with some minor changes on all my trips to the mountains from 2013 to 2015.

kareri-village
Beautiful Kareri Village #Lumia1020

Now Gods I am not complaining, because I am sure have done something wrong to invoke your ire. But whatever I did, don’t you think it is enough? Can you please take me back in your favor? I know you are only miffed because you have always let me come back one more time, but please can we go back to the Everest Base Camp days once again?

Your’s Truly

Mridula Dwivedi

PS. Since you were so reluctant, I just have these two watery sunsets to show for my six days of stay at Kareri Village.

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Greetings from Srinanagr! I am here with J&K Tourism to attend their Summer Festival. I arrived here today, slept flat through the flight, woke up only close to landing. I must be really tired because as a rule I don’t sleep in flights! It was quite cloudy. I am staying in a house boat today! Even though I have been to Kashmir before in March 2013, this is my first stay in Srinagar. Last time I just got out of the airport and went to Gulmarg. And I have seen some traffic at Srinagar even on my first day!

Like most of the places in the hills, Srinagar roads have long outgrown the traffic they see these days. Traffic jam was the norm. I have seen the same in so many hill stations and of course in plains too. Every evening in Shillong (and I love the place) I would see a clogged city center. We almost missed our flight from Guwahati because of the evening traffic. I hear that the approach road to Manali on a long weekend can be a complete nightmare! I wonder what is the solution?

Dal Lake, Srinagar
Dal Lake, Srinagar

We visited Pari Mahal today, which was indeed beautiful for the views it provided of the city. A narrow road leads to the bagh and it gets clogged with cars of all sizes and shapes within no time! The drive from the airport to the Dal Lake was not too bad though. Getting back from Pari Mahal to the Dal Lake was another story though.

However for this lazy Sunday (well it was not really lazy) I picked this evening shot of the Dal Lake as we were passing by. Actually it was the traffic jam that gave me the opportunity to click this picture.

I am here till Wednesday so not much blogging will get done! But I will have loads to share once I get back.

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I cannot count the number of times I have been using Maldives pictures for sky watch. Well, I am going to do so one more time. After that if everything goes according to the plan, the next Thursday I should be in Jordan, where I get to attend the mass by the pope. This is on invitation from Jordan Tourism. But before I wander that far, it is time to get back to to the Sky Watch.

Maafushi Island
Where the Earth Meets the Sky!

Now let me declare, this is the place where the earth meets the sky! It is Maafushi Island at Maldives. See I have told you the place too. Now all you have to do is to go and verify. My hunch is that it is a common phenomenon all over Maldives. Well, even if it is not true, the illusion was really beautiful.

Maafushi Dusk
The Blue Hour

I have been aware of the golden hour (an hour or so after sunrise and an hour or so before sunset) but I caught on the beauty of the blue hour a little late. It is basically the dawn and the dusk. I tell you what, that means I can sleep even less in the morning. And I don’t like it one bit. I mean no one can stop me from sleeping through the dawn and sunrise, but the doubt about what I missed when I slept through the sunrise is not a good feeling to wake up to.

Maafushi Beach
Anything for a Foreground!

While I was busy photographing the dainty slipper as a foreground, I heard its owner scream. For a moment I thought I did something to offend her but she was upset because the other one was gone from the shore. She too was going around with a camera!

PS. This post is part of Skywatch Friday, the super community of sky watchers.

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