Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not an end ...

When I think everything is gone with no hope, a light shimmers at the end of the dark passage. Then I look around to realize that the passage itself is beautiful, I simply has not seen it !

Life is always beautiful, but the beholder chooses to see it otherwise !

This path actually lead to a person who is in deep pain....and this picture was etched in my mind. Thought I should share it with my friends.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Through coloured glasses...

They say when you look through rose colored glasses everything looks nice...

Anyone willing to lend me a pair?

I edited this picture pushing the contrast, hue and brightness to the extremes. In spite of many distortions, The picture retains it's original charm (in my view).

This seems to be one of those rare occasions where essence of nature manages to override the harsh human interference.

(If observed carefully, an inverted image of the lawn and blue sky complete with a silhouette of a palm tree can be seen in the drop of water)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lines of Wisdom

This was taken in a procession held at a temple to mark the end of the rainy season (Katina pooja). The ending of rainy season indicates that the priests can set about their endeavor of spreading the word of Lord Buddha, on their humble journey by foot.

Many decades of guidance seems have left its inscriptions of wisdom in these fine lines……

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Basking Babbler

Demalichcha /Yellow Billed Babbler (Turdoides affinis taprobanus) is a common resident bird mostly seen in home gardens and also in many other habitats but usually avoiding deep wet forest. It frequents in flocks thus the name "seven sisters". They make a huge racket of loud calls, quills and other noices when foraging for food and sometimes quarrelling with a rival group.

Demalichcha is one of the most frequent visitors to my home garden located in a costal town. They usually arrive around eight in the morning in a flock of about 15 - 20 birds. I can never ignore them even if I wanted to, because they make sure I am woken up from my Sunday morning slumber. One curious observation I have made is that there are many other kinds of birds that accompany this flock such as the Woodpecker, Brown headed barbet, Kingfisher and Black hooded oriole. They move along with the Babbler flock from one garden to another (till an irritable dog decides to break the happy gathering). Could anyone explain this phenomenon ?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Name the butterfly

Blue day moth (Dysphania palmyra)
Added later thanks to Bushana

The thicket looked white from a distance. The usual greenery was covered in a soft gossamer veil. Snow at last ! The hope lasted only a few blissful minutes till I got close enough (almost at arms length) to see the flowering vines entangled in the shrubs. (This happened to be one of the many blessings I discovered of being short sighted !) Name of this creeper with thorns is open for suggestions as I am not familiar with it.

The pair of butterflies were keenly sipping the nectar and was walking from flower to flower. The necessity of flight rarely presented as the bounty of blossoms made an uninterrupted trail.

The closest I could get on identifying this butterfly was the ‘Ceylon tree nymph’ which differed by the pattern of black blotches, the yellow marking seen on the lateral side of the thorax and the thick body. I guess I need help in identifying this one…

Monday, September 19, 2011


This one is called the Common Leopard (Phalanta phalantha). It is a common (true to it's name) butterfly known to love sun and avoid shade.

I was trying to concentrate on a white page crammed with words in boring black ink. It seemed as if the authors were strictly against having any illustrations or pictures in text books let alone a joke or two.

This fellow was not at all helping by fluttering around the Katu lovi (a tropical fruit) bush near my window. After a while of trying to concentrate I gave up the false pretense and headed out with my camera to capture this picture. The coconut palm made a peculiar background as strips of blue sky alternated with the parallel green leaves.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

After the rains...

The thunderstorm has passed and the sun is peeking through the clouds. The rays drip through the foliage on to the flowers and dance in the drops of water.

Till the next one comes.....

I'm so glad to see you all again.... hoping to recover my cramped mind soon :D

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Celebrations !

Yay ! Exams are over least for now...

Fresh strawberries can be great buddies when it comes to celebrating at home..

A couple of them tossed in with a cup of sweetened youghurt, handful of ice cubes and some sugar in the blender for one minute does the trick.

I was planning to post a pic of my smoothie...but it did a vanishing act as soon as it was poured in to the glass :D

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bee Wise

According to the theory of aerodynamics and as may be readily demonstrated by laboratory tests and wind tunnel experiments, the bumble bee is unable to fly.

This is because the size, weight and shape of his body in relation to the total wing spread makes flying impossible.

But the bumble bee being ignorant of these profound scientific truths, goes ahead and flies anyway…..
And manages to make a little honey everyday!

(Moghadam 1988)

I came across this in some text I was studying recently...It was simple but still had a very powerful and uplifting message beneath.

Moral of the story (my version); DO NOT attempt to educate bumble bees cos that would make them as flightless as the earth worm.

Thousand apologies for the unrelated pic ! (or should I rather say that the bumble bee left with it's Honey while I was focusing on the flower).
Thought of putting a post before I was dumped in the "dead and gone" category :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Green's in this season...

Plum-headed Parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala)

This pretty bird was captured in the National Zoological Gardens of Sri lanka in Dehiwala. The head closely mimicked a deliciously ripened plum with the dark magenta of the brow gradually turning to purple towards its neck. It makes me wonder what kind of an evolutionary advantage will it serve if this poor guy managed to survive without being eaten by a hungry monkey, head first !

Well, as we all know this being a male my guess is it’s nothing but plumes of vanity to attract unsuspecting females !

Plum headed Parakeet is a resident breeder in Sri Lanka and is said to be endemic to Indian sub continent. The most striking feature is the multitude of noicy calls including "oink" : )

Brown-headed Barbet or Large Green Barbet (Megalaima zeylanica)

This funny looking fellow was captured in a home garden in Panadura. Although I thought this bird to be shy, it was quite comfortable in my presence and was scanning the surrounding on an electric wire with a Rasakinda (Tinospora Cordifolia) vine entangled on it. It was bearing clusters of red, ripe berries and I was told that it frequented the place to feed on the berries.

The naked yellowish skin around the eyes and the “whiskers” around the large beak made it look as if dressed to be the clown among birds. It is a resident breeder in Sri Lanka, feeding on fruits and insects. The eggs are laid in a hollow of a tree. The gender of my specimen remains a mystery which I hope will be solved soon :)

Golden-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons)

This bird was captured in a hillock overgrown with shrubs in Kurunegala. I was taking a hike around seven in the morning when a peculiar call drew my attention to the nearby thicket. At first it wasn’t easy to spot the source as this fellow merged with its surroundings so well, staying true to its name. But the persistent striking call and the brilliant yellow brow gave away the perfect camouflage.

Golden fronted leaf-bird is a resident breeder in Sri Lanka, feeding on insects and berries. It nests in trees laying 2-3 eggs at a time. Would anyone be able to say if this is a male or a female?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mere thoughts....

Captured in National Zoological Gardens, Dehiwala, Sri Lanka

This furry mammal known as Meerkat (Suricata suricatta) is a member of the mongoose family. It is a desert dweller living in packs which can contain up to 50 members. Its iconic posture is standing on its hind legs to scan the surrounding for predators.

I found this very thoughtful creature in a cage with three other adults and a baby. It seemed to be reflecting on the free world that lay beyond the confines, inside which it was put for an uncommitted crime.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Name the Birdie

These are several species of birds I captured in my visits to Kurunegala. Can anyone identify them ?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Can Grandma !

It was an overcast, lazy afternoon and we were loitering on the comfortably warm granite surface by the village tank. Although it was crowded in the mornings with people coming to bath, collect water and wash cloths the afternoons were basically quiet.

Apart from an occasional bird song the silence ruled. I was drifting in to a siesta while watching the thick clouds sailing above. There was a high fortress with a smoking dragon hovering around and then there was a huge cat with an unusually fluffy tail (I can swear I saw it wink at me)….I was partly dreaming up a cloudy and cozy fairy tale.

“why are they sleeping on the rock grandma?” a curious voice asked. “why aren’t they washing their cloths grandma?” the next question was fired before the poor grandma could think of an answer for the first one. Without turning my head I could picture the curious little girl apparently perplexed by the funny strangers.

Not wanting to startle the little one I kept my eyes closed till they reached the shallow edge of the tank, facing away from us. With one hand on the hip and the other holding a miniature model of her grandma’s bucket she was apparently feeling very grown up.

I secretly captured this picture of her imitating the exact movements of the adult but I missed the best shot of her turning towards me to flash a shy smile as there was a thief next to me who always have other ideas with my camera !

Monday, January 24, 2011

Early bird

Captured in Kurunegala, this Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti) was seen perched in this tree for about an hour occasionally taking off to catch flying insects in mid air. It seemed to prefer this tree at the border of a small thicket which was facing a bare land with small shrubs. This preference maybe because such a location allows easier catching of its desired prey.

About 17 cm in length,it is known locally as the "kurumini kurulla" or "thalamba his binguharaya" and is a common resident bird seen in all parts of the island with preference to the wet zone. They are known to lay eggs in burrows which I thought to be quite a peculiar behaviour for a bird.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bitter Love

He glanced in to the distance looking for the much awaited appearance. But it was only the crimson rays of dawn that greeted him. Eyes paining, not with the mild morning sun but with anticipation, he did not dare to take his eyes off to check the dark figure lurking in the ground below. He has heard of those clumsy flightless creatures called humans and that they can become really nasty. Right now nothing mattered to him but his love who is getting heartbreakingly late.

Then she came over the canopy, her orange shade brilliant than ever contrasting with the jet black feathers. He chirped in delight till the next figure appeared behind her, a masculine male with even brighter feathers. He watched them fly past him not even bothering to look his way. He was a small bird, but now he felt smaller and feathers paler than ever. Love drained, he laid his head on the branch.

After a few moments of gloomy reflection he decided it’s time he left this world full of bitter betrayals. He leapt from the branch and that was how gravity claimed its first bird victim!

My sincere thanks to,
The Small Minivent (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus) who agreed to pose for the stills of my script :)

Small Minivent is a common resident bird who loves the upper canopy mainly feeding on insects. The adult is about 16 cm in length and the female has a lighter shade of black compared to the male. They are usually seen in small flocks.