Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Help Puttenahalli Lake this weekend

I hope many of you are going to volunteer to work at our lake this weekend! Please email your availability by tomorrow, Thursday, so that we can coordinate the activities better. We have pushed back the timings by a half hour. It will now be from 7.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. 

Since I will be travelling from tomorrow for a week, please email confirmation of your participation to <>, marking a copy to "Ramaswamy OP" <>, "Nupur Jain" <>.

Volunteers at the lake, 30-Jun-2013 (Pic: OP Ramaswamy)

Thank you for supporting our neighbourhood lake!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Flutterfly Post

With so many butterflies flocking to the lake of late, it seems appropriate to get experts to identify them and take good pix of these fleeting, flighty beauties.     

In June came Ms. Chinmayi, a lepidopterist from Banashankari and she photographed and identified quite a few of the butterflies. Read about her visit here.

Last week Dr. Kunal Angola and Naveen, research scholars from the Butterfly Park at Bannerghatta spent a good two hours at the lake. Their visit opened our eyes to more of these pretties. 

Butterflies don't really need exotic plants. The common weed Tridax (Coat Button) will do very nicely, thank you. This is the daisy like flower which like most kids, we have once held tightly between the thumb and forefinger and snapped off its head. 

The giant milkweed being another favourite of a large number of butterflies, we have let it grow lush and wild at the lake. We have one white flower variety and the rest are the more common lavender colour. As mentioned on Wikipedia, it has a host of medicinal uses; is a revered plant and has been mentioned in the Mahabharata as well.

Till it was pointed out, we never noticed butterflies on the trunks of certain trees. Apparently, the sap of the Cassia trees is food for the Common Castor butterflies. It got its name from the Wild Castor (growing literally wild at some parts of the lake bund!) Several small birds like the Prinias and Bulbuls are fond of the Castor. 

Common Castors

Common Castors with green insects

More Common Castors

Common Grass Yellow

Wild Castor jungle

Our excitement with butterflies is not only because they are so pretty but also because they are supposed to be good environmental bio-indicators.

Shutterbugs, do visit the lake and see if you can do better with your high zoom cameras!


Photos: Nupur Jain, Usha 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Scheduling volunteering activities at the Lake

Over the last few weeks, we've been having enough volunteers visit the lake on weekends, so we've been able to get some of our gardeners' work done, in their absence. However, no volunteer came today until 7:20 a.m. and hence it was decided to call off work. Karthik from Marathahalli reached the venue around 7:25 a.m. As he is also collecting clothes for Uttarakhand relief, we did that work instead and his long drive was not entirely wasted. 

We've now decided to do some pre-planning for the volunteer weekends, so that in future we won't have to cancel any sessions. We request volunteers to inform us by the Thursday of the week if they will be giving their time on Saturday/Sunday. The weekend activity will depend on the number of people available. By Friday we will confirm individually to all those who responded so that you may also make your weekend plans accordingly.

Tomorrow's session (Sunday 28th July 2013) stands cancelled. 

Best wishes

Friday, July 19, 2013

An evening of rain

Usha writes:
Just when we were getting worried about scanty rain in our area, today's shower gave us some hope of the level rising in our lake. The evening rain would have caused a great deal of inconvenience to people returning home from work but the lake filling up in the monsoon means water during the dry summer months.

Take a look at the photos Nupur and Usha took today. 

Aerial view

Water from Nataraja Layout

Water from South City

Flooded walking track 

Beauty in wilderness - please help the lake this weekend

With our two gardeners still on leave, the weeds are growing really rampant everywhere smothering our carefully selected and planted flowering shrubs. Depending on the number of volunteers who turn up, we can begin with clearing the garden on either side of the picket gate at South City end. The weed growth is not too bad in the side we'd filled with red soil but the other half is looking quite bad with wild castor, alligator weed and parthenium among other weeds.

Another place to be cleared is the Viewing Deck. On 2nd June a large number of residents had come and planted very many shrubs. That day the child in the pic had planted a shrub which has not grown much but thanks to the rain, has already begun flowering.  The weeds around this and elsewhere in the deck need to be removed. 

2nd June 2013

19th July, in bloom

SC side garden needs some attention

Bamboo shooting up


All lake volunteers and those of you who have not volunteered any time - please come. Our volunteer V.P. Karthik is joining the relief team at Uttarakhand along with members of "Youth for Seva". If you would like to donate money, medicine or clothes, please bring them to the lake when you come.

This weekend at Puttenahalli Lake, Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st July 2013. Time 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Help the lake, support PNLIT!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Grating for rain water diversion at Brigade Millennium archway

Over the weekend and last night, BBMP has been installing a heavy duty metal grating below the Brigade Millennium arch to divert rain water into the lake. This was to have been done during the summer, while the neighbouring Brigade School was closed, but for various reasons it was not possible to do it then.

This afternoon, along with the BBMP contractor we inspected the traffic movement for a while. One half of the road has been made out of bounds and vehicles have the other half to move on. This has slowed the pace somewhat but not affected it in a major way. For smoother movement, the traffic police has been requested to post a constable at this point at least during the school hours. Avoid the archway if possible.  

Proper curing will ensure that the grating is fixed well.

Traffic policeman directing traffic

Contractor inspecting the site

Grating in place on one half of the road

No work would be carried out this weekend due to a function in the adjoining coconut grove. So the placement of the grating in the other half of the road is likely to take place on Saturday 20th July. 

Please bear with the inconvenience. 
Thank you!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bonding over gardening at Puttenahalli Lake

We have been inviting you to bring your family along for "weekend gardening" at the lake. Some of the volunteers this past weekend did just that! 

Our regular volunteers Mithilesh and Chandrika, a young couple from 24th Main came with the former's mother and sister. Balakrishnan and his 10 year old son Girish; Regu and youngster Sanjay from Brigade Millennium, Shubha, son Sharad and daughter Ashraya from South City, Nagalakshmi and nephew Gautham from Puttenahalli joined other individual volunteers and together did a lot of work at the lake last Saturday and Sunday. 

The tone was set on Saturday early morning with a little girl and her father,  visitors to the lake, sitting on a bench and watching Chandrika at work outside the Security Cabin. Chandrika called the five year old over and taught her the basics - which end of the cutting must go under the ground and how to press the soil around the new plant, etc. The child was delighted and wanted to join her new tutor and other volunteers but they were headed to the trickier place within the inner grill. 

Volunteers both

The rain may be sparse in our part of the city but the drizzle is enough for the weeds to grow lush. The Ixoras, Tecomas, Plumbagos and Murayas planted within the inner grill are completely swamped by weeds. In just over an hour, however, a number of them were freed and given their rightful places in the sun. See the before and after pix below.

Before clean-up              After clean-up

Guidance from mother-in-law

On Day Two the location shifted to the garden near the Gazebo. Once again there was no mistaking the strengthening of family ties. Shubha taught 7 year old Ashraya how to pluck out the weed along with the root. Her son Sharad was  busy plying the wheelbarrow loaded with Parthenium which he had helped to uproot. 

Mother and daughter

Sharad, carting the waste

Girish a 10 year old who visits his aunt Nagalakshmi every weekend was watching her closely as she showed him how to clear the soil around the base of a plant and raise a small ridge to retain water. It turned out that her family once had a nursery at Jayanagar 4th Block. She has a wealth of native knowledge about the medicinal properties of several plants that she was happy to share with us as much as with her nephew.

Gautham and his aunt

And to think that we had been worried about both our gardeners taking a fortnight off at the same time!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Join us this weekend at the lake

Volunteers last weekend, 30-Jun-2013 (Pic: OP Ramaswamy)

Yes, it's that exciting, exerting time of the week! Weekend gardening at the lake!

You can make such a difference to our neighbourhood lake with just a couple of hours of deweeding and cleaning. Make those two hours even more special by getting your family to work with you.
Bond with your family. Bond with your lake.

See you tomorrow and on Sunday at 7 a.m. 

Don't forget to bring a cap and drinking water. Gloves and gardening tools optional.