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Birding at Bhigwan : January 2020

Birding at Bhigwan : January 2020

Bhigwan has been my most visited destination since last few years for birding. Come November and migratory birds arrive here in thousands. There are two villages neat Bhigwan which you can visit for bird watching namely Diksal and Kumbhargaon. There are boats avaiable here for hire. Kumbhargaon is more organised commercially however I prefer Diksal which is more suited for birding.

You can expect to spot Flamingos, Northern Shovellers, Ruddy Shellducks, Spotbill Ducks, Godwits, Sandpipers, Grey Heron, purple Heron, Ibis, Osprey, Marsh Harrier, Sea Gulls, River Terns, Great Egrets and Pintail Ducks here. Occasionally you may be able to spot Barheaded Geese too.

Sharing few snaps taken during our recent visit (14 Jan 2020).

Northern Shoveller
Pond Heron
Purple Sunbird
Green Bee Eaters
Black Winged Stilt
Black Winged Stilt
Black Winged Stilt
Black Tailed Godwit
White Ibis among Godwits
Grey Heron
Northern Shovellers
Painted Stork
Ruddy Shellduck
Spoon Billed Stork
River Tern
Indian Cormorant
Grey Heron
Greater Flamingo
Purple Heron
A day at Atlanta Botanic Garden

A day at Atlanta Botanic Garden

A very good thing about US Cities is that almost each one of them has a botanic garden which bring its citizens close to nature. Taxpayers money well spent. Recently we visited the Atlanta Botanic Garden and were awed by its beauty and green sculptures created by using plants and ferns. While here do keep your eyes open for frogs, butterflies and dragon flies. Sharing few photos taken during our visit.

Here you get to see many sculptures made using plants and ferns, a unique idea indeed.

A great place to snap family and friends photos.

My wife and daughter
Wife, daughter and grand daughter
Wife, daughter and grand daughter

While here you have great opportunity to get close and photograph nature. Be on a look out for bees, frogs and dragon flies.

Visiting New Orleans

Visiting New Orleans

The saying goes “There are only three cities in USA, New York, SanFransisco and New Orleans rest are Cleveland”. This prompted us to make a visit to New Orleans having seen the rest earlier.

We were on a visit to Houston in September 2019 and my brother Ratan Bhagat obliged by taking us on a road trip to this lovely town.

New Orleans has a multi cultural history which combines the shades of French, Spanish, Italians, Germans and more…

The heart and soul of this unique city are the French Quarters. This place has some unique old age architecture well preserved to date. Most of the buildings here are decorated with Wrought Iron Filigree work which gives the place its unique charm.

While here do walk the streets of French Quarters to enjoy its unique ambience.

There is more here then just French Quarters. This place is famous for its night life. As the sun sets get on to the Bourban Street to enjoy it’s night life, every night is party time here. Sharing few photos of my experience.

…the place has 1400 restaurants to choose from
This place is all about eat, drink and be merry

The streets remain agog with curio and gift shops selling some funky stuff celebrating Voodoo and the dead.

This place is musically inclined, Jazz being predominant.You can hear many bands performing on the streets.

If you are into street photography then this place has a lot to offer.

To get around use the street cars, hire a bike, ride a rickshaw or horse carriage or even get onto a skate board.

Do not forget to take a walk along the river front in the evening. If you have time do go for the sunset river cruise.

Do make a visit to the Jackson Square to view the magnificent St. Louis Church.

Another place you may consider visiting while here is the Garden District. You can view some historic cottages here. While here you may also consider making a visit to the historic Lafayette Cemetery. The dead here are buried overground due to the water table being very high.

While in New Orleans you may also consider visiting one of the plantations here which tell tales of the cotton kings of yester years and their slaves.

Self, Jo, Ratan and Nimmo at Destrehan Manor House.

Your trip here cannot be considered complete till you visit the famous Café Du Monde and indulge in the delicious Benigits  and coffee served here. A visit here also provides opportunity for some candid people photography.

May be someday we will visit again for few more street shots.

Trip to Helen, Georgia

Trip to Helen, Georgia

Helen a small mountain town is about one and half hours drive from Atlanta. Once a town of lumber jacks, it is now a tourist destination. Its quaint bavarian architecture, curio and wine shops are great attractions for tourists.

Being just an hours drive from my daughters home we made few trips to this amazing place. Sharing few photos taken during our visit.

Bars and restaurants overlooking the Chathoochee River are major attractions.

Once here, do visit the winery outlets to have a taste of some local fine. Feel free to carry some home.

Once here you can also enjoy tubing in the Chatahoochee River or take a roller coaster ride.

For those less adventorous there are buggies to ride. A nice place to spend a week end.

A nice place for people watching.

There are many waterfalls and forest parks just few minutes drive from this place.

……and this is part of my family on a visit to this place.

Road Trip Florida : Key West

Road Trip Florida : Key West

Our last leg of the road trip was Key West, the last town at the tip of Florida Keys. A quaint little town were people come to celebrate the sunset. You can literally walk the length and breadth of this town. This is the southern tip of Continental USA.

We reached late in the evening so we headed straight for the Malory Square were all the visitors congregate to celebrate the sunset.

 You can watch street performers keeping the visitors engaged prior to the sunset. This is also a nice place to watch people and engage in street photography.

As the sunset approached, the entire mood around here got vibrant. People were out in the sea positioning themselves for the sunset.

Those at shore also maneuvered themselves into advantageous position to witness the sunset. There was anticipation and excitement in the air awaiting the sunset.

During your visit, do make it a point to walk the Duval Street. This is the most happening place here,  strewn with bars, restaurants and curio & gift shops. You can also see many old time architecture around here.

If you have time to spare, do make a visit to Hemingway House and the butterfly garden. Both are unique and worth a visit.

Hemingway House, this is were the noble laureate wrote books such as “ Fare well to Arms” and “The old man and the sea”. You can also spot many decedents of famous Hemingway Cats who are well cared for.

I found this butterfly garden very exciting.

The visit here was the grand finale of our road trip across Florida. The most exciting and enduring part of our trip was driving back to Atlanta, a distance of 786 miles in one go made possible by grit, determination and stamina of my lovely daughter Shruti who drove for 18 hours to accomplish this feat.