Saturday, November 8, 2008

Blood Thirsty Fly !!!

Found the fly sitting on the resort's elephant !!! Whacked it , stunned it , removed it from the poor pachyderm's skin and lo!!! what a proboscis !!! This fly was was a blood sucker!!! I had seen this fly earlier on one of the documentaries on T.V. but had never seen one live and up-close till date. I learnt that this fly regularly visits elephants and other large mammals especially large herbivores and drinks blood. This fly also has another habit... it lays eggs in holes of ground nesting insects like bees. but the first one to emerge out are the fly larvae !!! Thus making this fly a REALLY WICKED insect.To keep the bees attacking the fly while raiding the nest, the fly mimics the colour patterns of the bee. The amazing part is that the fly does not enter the nest, instead it hovers over the entrance and literally SHOOTS the eggs into the hole !!! Now I know the usefulness of those BIG EYES !!!

But what really takes the cake is the proboscis !!! Such a saber like mouth part IS required if you have to drink blood through the hide of an ELEPHANT !!!

Diwali- The meaning is dying out

I know its a bit late, but i had to show this.... the true meaning of " DIWALI" or "DEEPAVALI" is dying out. Ask any of the grandparent generation the meaning of diwali and they will tell you [ with a great sense of pride] that it is to celebrate the win of good over evil. They will also take great efforts to tell you the story behind it too [ great effort because they have to make you sit in front of them for that long !!! ] But the later generations seem to have lost the whole concept of celebrating diwali. All they can think of is how many crackers to buy and to burst and enjoy the evening at someone elses agony. No one ever thinks of the pain and effort taken to make those crackers or how much damaging it will to one's health even, and of course to the environment too.
This photo of the candle taken on the night of diwali depicts its dying meaning.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Elliots Shield tail

The day began with a lot of running around... I was off on a safari early in the morning. the moment I returned someone hastened me to a corner of the resort and pointed at a worm like creature kept on a newspaper. A good friend of mine confirmed this to be an Elliots Shield Tail snake. Shield tails are small blind snakes which usually live under the surface of the soil, and have worms and earthworms as food. This snake was like an overgrown and colourful earthworm rather than a snake !!! But after a couple of photos it was decided that the snake has had enough and it should be on it way to safety. So a little handling by me and the snake was off foraging under some bush at a distance... away from all those busy feet that could kill it. What a way to start my day !!!

Malabar Pied Hornbills !!!

During the boat safaris I never fail to spot at least one of these magnificent birds. They are invariably out sitting on the bamboo and looking at us like they are telling us to go back to where we came from. They usually emerge out at the time of sunset and they do so in large numbers. The largest number I counted are 16 hornbills all sitting almost in a row on a bamboo clump. This one of the photos I happen to get, courtesy Mr. Vikram Nanjappa.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Morning Dew during winter @ Kabini

I go for bird watching in the mornings [every now and then]. The first thing that catches my eye are the pearl laced cobwebs strewn all over the ground. some of them extend from one shrub to another and blocking the path that i usually take to the river side. so i take some time and indulge in observing the pearls... however i always wonder.... where does the architect of the web disappear when it becomes cold and dewy??? i have never located a single spider close to the web... hmmm... till maybe mid day.