Arunachala, Southwest Monsoon Starts

by

Usually in June rains come to Arunachala, with the Southwest Monsoon in South India. Tiruvannamalai is not in the main wind pattern for the monsoon branch that flows through Kerala, being blocked by the Western Ghats. So the rain that gets here is just in storms, usually lasting for no more than about one hour. These storms drop a lot of rain, though. The storms also come with much wind: during, before and after, from the southwest. When they built the thatched roof for my new house, they did not brace enough for these winds, and after the whole roof was leaning (to the northeast), the builders had to bring a crew back, strip the roof apart, move the frame back, add bracing against the wind, and relay the leaf. 

I posted a few weeks ago about ‘waiting for the monsoon.’ Well, now the rain has started and you can see some of the effects of the water. The photos below were taken on June 21st and June 24th. The night before the 21st there was a good rain storm. There have been several evening thunderstorms for the last two weeks. Looking at some of the photos you can see the green leaves starting to explode out of what seemed like dry dead wood. In the two series of pictures, three days apart, you can see the progression in growth.

It is about 6 in the morning. We are on the north side of Arunachala, under  The Elephant.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The rising sun is behind the clouds above Arunachala. The peak is in the center of the photo.

HPIM5021

Now from branches that seemed dry and dead last week, new growth can be seen.

HPIM5011 crop

HPIM5012 crop

This sage plant seemed all dried out the last time we saw it. Now there are lush leaves and soon there will be new flowers.

HPIM5013 crop

Besides the green leaves that have pushed out, here are new flowers, too!

HPIM5015 crop

The new leaves are a light translucent green.

HPIM5018

HPIM5019 crop

HPIM5022 crop

HPIM5023 crop

This is the plant that a week ago had dried  leaves, many of which were shrunken into green cylinders. Now they are plump and there are green balls. New flower pods?

HPIM5024 crop

Near the Frog Pond, work has been going on for the last few months. One thing they did was to dig out a path to and from the Frog Pond.

HPIM5031

Now with the rain, there is water. This tank was dug out as part of the work so it is deeper and will hold more water. 

HPIM5037

HPIM5039

Some dogs usually go with us on the walk. One is them is taking a cooling bath in the tank.

HPIM5035

Now near the tank, the ground is cleared, and gray stone fence posts are piled all around. What is happening here? What is going on? This is right next to the Inner Path.

HPIM5046

Carol is ahead. The route that the path has taken for many years is dug up from the work that is going on.

HPIM5045

We are entering the area of the Northside Basin. The dog on the right was been walking the Inner Path with us for more than one year. We call her Tigger. We first met her on the way to Skandashram. Now we usually meet her near Kannappa Temple. (Today it looked like she was ordering a chai from the chai stand before we caught her attention.)

HPIM5049

Some water has collected in the basin.

HPIM5054

A tree here, like the smaller bushes, is breaking out in new small growing leaves. A week ago it was bare wood.

HPIM5059 crop

See the small flowers on on this bush. These have been out for the last few weeks.

HPIM5061 crop     

Three days later, June 24, 2009

Now lush leaves can be seen, and more flowers. These plants have just been waiting for enough rain to start their growth cycle for the year. And water is so precious, that they have flowers immediately, to make the most use of the rainy season.

HPIM5085 crop

HPIM5087 crop

Another small plant with many small green leaves starting to cover the gray branches. This plant is about 18 inches high.

HPIM5093 crop

These bushes are covered now with green leaves, glowing in the early morning light.

HPIM5096

HPIM5097 crop

Below is the plant that three days ago had small green balls growing above the leaves. Now they are starting to bloom with small white flowers.

HPIM5099     

Another bush with new flowers.

HPIM5103 crop

Below is the same plant as two photos above. This is the one that had leaves that were all dried up and curled up into tubes. Now the leaves are lush, healthy and shiny.

HPIM5105 crop

This tree is starting into bloom with yellow ‘puff-ball’ flowers.

HPIM5108 crop

Here is Parvati Hill in the early morning light before the sun has hit it. This is looking from the dirt berm that creates the Northside Basin.

HPIM5110

Here is the trail over the berm, looking towards Arunachala and The Elephant.

HPIM5112

With the coming of rain, life is growing again after the long months of dormancy to survive the hot dry months of the Indian summer. It feels like there is a rush to growth, flowers, and the year’s crops of seeds to propagate the species. The wheel of life turns. The plant life of Arunachala is coming back for a new year.    

Related Posts:

Waiting for the Monsoon
Inner Path, The Elephant

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: