Asian Koel:

Asian Koel birds photographed in natural Habitat. Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, the Cuculiformes. The name koel is echoic in origin with several language variants. The bird is a widely used symbol in Indian poetry.

Asian Koel male & female

The word “Koel” is derived from the Hindi word which is onomatopoeic in origin. The Sanskrit root is “Kokila” and the words in various Indian languages are similar. It is traditionally held in high regard for its song and held in reverence with the Manusmriti, an ancient decree protecting them from harm. The Vedas, Sanskrit literature dated to about 2000 BC referred to it as Anya-Vapa which meant “that was raised by others”. This has been interpreted as the earliest knowledge of brood parasitism. Being familiar birds with loud calls, references to them are common in folklore, myth and poetry. It has been chosen as the state bird by the southern Indian state of Puducherry or Pondicherry.

Asian Koel2

Asian koel3

The male of the nominate race is glossy bluish-black, with a pale greenish grey bill, the iris is crimson, and it has grey legs and feet. The female of the nominate race is brownish on the crown and has rufous streaks on the head. The back, rump and wing coverts are dark brown with white and buff spots. The underparts are whitish, but are heavily striped. The other subspecies differ in coloration and size. The upper plumage of young birds is more like that of the male and they have a black beak. They are very vocal during the breeding season (March to August in South Asia), with a range of different calls. The familiar song of the male is a repeated koo-Ooo. The female makes a shrill kik-kik-kik… call. Calls vary across populations.

The less known egg fruit:

During my recent trip to Thekkady came across some rare and less known fruits. Here is one of them, the less known egg fruit.

Thekkady has one of the largest wildlife sanctuary in India is a dream destination. The Country’s sole Tiger reserve, Periyar, with its bountiful treasures of tropical flora and fauna is the ultimate reservoir of many an endangered species and a rich tribal culture. Thekkady is situated in Idukki district of Kerala, India.

Egg fruit1

The fruits are yellowish to orange with somewhat meaty pulp resembling a cooked egg yolk. EGG FRUIT (Pautaria campechiana), belonging to the family sapotaceae, is a large, symmetrical, bushy, much branched, evergreen tree. The taste of the fruit is unique, rich, sweet and highly nutritive with about 2000 IU/100g of carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.

Egg fruit2

After photographing had one bite, tastes exactly as that of boiled egg ;-)., Taken at Thekkady woods,Idukki,Kerala,India.

 

Antlers & Horns of Deer:

The terms horns and antlers are often used interchangeably, but in reality, they refer to quite different structures. Antlers are a pair of bony, branched structures that protrude from the frontals of the skull of animals and are shed annually; horns are also paired and protrude from the frontal, but they are permanent, unbranched, and made up of a bony core and a keratinized sheath.

Antlers are one of the most easily recognized characteristics of the family Cervidae. They are present only in males (with the exception of caribou) and are capable of growing astoundingly large.Caribou and reindeer use their antlers to clear away snow so they can eat the vegetation underneath. This is one possible reason that females of this species evolved antlers. Another possible reason is for female competition during winter foraging.

Males use their full-grown antlers during the breeding season in social interactions in competition for females. In winter, pituitary antler-growth hormone stimulation decreases as day length shortens, and androgen secretion lessens. As a result, the pedicel loses calcium, weakening the point of connection between it and the antler, and eventually the antlers are shed. Males then are without antlers for a few months in late winter until the cycle begins again. Curiously, some cervids have large canine teeth, which are used in sexual displays and fighting. Often species with large canines have small antlers or are missing antlers altogether.

As antlers near the end of the growing process, spongy bone in their outer edges is replaced by compact bone, while their centers become filled with coarse, spongy, lamellar bone and marrow spaces. The velvet dies and is removed in part by the animals rubbing and thrashing their antlers against vegetation. The antlers also are stained during this action, giving them the brown, polished, wooden look.

HORNS:

Horns occur in males of all species of Bovidae, and females often bear them too. Horns are composed of a bony core covered with a sheath of keratin. Unlike antlers, horns are never branched, but they do vary from species to species in shape and size.

 

Tiny Wonder – Hamster:

Hamsters close up from my archive.

Interesting Facts about Hamsters:

Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. Hamsters are nocturnal, sleeping during the hot days and playing in the cooler evenings. They have very poor eyesight, colorblind and can see only up to 6 Inches in front of them but have a keen sense of smell and excellent hearing. Most species of hamsters have expandable cheek pouches in which they can carry food and bedding back to their burrow where they will store food.

With potential life span of 2-3 years adult body weighs 100-150 grams (adult females are slightly larger than adult males) and Hamsters react to their names; can dig up to 3 Meters in the wild and remembers their relatives. Only a few hamster species are widely kept as pets but the hamster is the most popular of the smaller rodents kept as a pet in many countries today. So sad they are widely being used in test & research laboratories Worldwide!

Amateur and part time fishing:

No High-tech gadgets, no fishing boat, net and not even any fishermen folks around him to help. All by himself, this part time and amateur fisherman barely with a towel wrapped around his waist has amazed me with his skills. All that he had was a local hand made steel rod connected to a fishing hook and weight by a long nylon rope of about 100 ft in length. At first sight I didn’t realize what he was up to while I was shooting blue sky, waves, fishing boats & sea at East Coast road Beach at Chennai TN, India. I have seen people with professional fishing kits at lakes, rivers and ponds but he was an eye opener for me as I didn’t know before that fishes can be caught at sea shore even, where tides and waves are so strong and fishes do ever exist at this close range for fishing.

I went nearby followed his actions closely to find his amazing talent and clicked those moments in a series of images and he was too willing to pose for me and explained the process too!!

Here is the success story of a man with no family, wandering around in a fishermen hamlet, catches fish in an unique way for living and proves the point that there is always an opportunity in Life only if we see it properly!

Waiting patiently after throwing the weight & hook as far as he could into the see.

Dragging the catch

Bait in hook used is the stuff inside these shells after braking with stone.

Dragging the catch

Prize catch close up

Winding up for next try

Attitude, after all, is everything – Optimism:

Optimist: Person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness.

“The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead.”

Is there any proof that optimism leads to better results?
Walter Isaacson  says, “[Steve Jobs] taught himself to stare without blinking so he could talk people into things — they called it the reality distortion field….He would make people believe they could do the impossible, which is why he was such a charismatic business leader.”

Is Optimism detrimental?

Generally, ‘optimism’ is not detrimental but is a good positive mental attitude.

However, blind optimism, obsessively optimistic, optimism with arrogance, irrational optimism, etc. can backfire on the individual.

In philosophy, ‘optimism’ can refer to ‘optimistic’ on the existence of god and going to heaven after physical death. The non-theistic would then be taking a ‘pessimistic’ stance in contra to this sense of ‘theistic optimism’. This theistic optimism can be detrimental to humanity arising from the excesses of theism.
Further debate on this subject would be too philosophical and hence full stop here!

I took this image without any planning in mind; Just a casual shot while I was desperately looking for some creative photographic subject. Then I searched for some suitable text and came up with these inspiring quotes/words and a story to back up optimism. All credit goes to those great people who shared the original thoughts.

The story is so old that hunting peacock was legal then… Don’t skip, read on!!

Optimism – A short story:

There was a king who once went to the jungle for hunting. He was accompanied by one of his ministers. While the minister was trying to arrow down a peacock, he happens to hurt the king’s index finger unknowingly. The king turns very furious. He decides to maroon the minister deep in the forest. Doing so, he starts off to his palace. On the way, he encounters some tribal inhabitants. They immediately take custody of the king and prepare him for a ritual sacrifice. While just about to kill the king, one of them notices the king’s bleeding finger. He informs this to all his fellowmen. They then let the king go, saying that an incomplete life can not be given as a sacrifice to the God.

The king realizes that the mistake committed by the minister has now saved him. He goes back to the minister, narrates to him what had happened, apologizes and thanks him. The minister being very optimistic says that it is he who has to thank the king for marooning him. Bewildered, the king asks what for he is thanked? The minister replies that if he had not been marooned by the king, the tribal would have killed him for being perfectly healthy.

Saying so, the minister concludes that there is always something good in whatever happensLet’s look at the better part of things.

The higher a monkey climbs….

…the more you see of his behind.
I’ve always been fascinated by the monkeys, and these close-up look at their faces just captivated me. Hope I have captured their emotions and personality(Hair style) in a very effective way.
There’s never a dull moment with monkeys around. There are plenty of them around my area hence one of my favorite subject for photography and I enjoy clicking them!
Snapped while this baby monkey was looking down and busily cracking a green ground nut; there are so many of them around my house and regularly visit my place. I often bribe them with some good fruits and ground nuts; make them come closer to get a handsome shot. Here is a few of them from my archive.

Here is a Flying Kiss from a Baby Monkey:-)

Gang Leader Monkey 😉
This tongue twisted, jaw torn, ear pierced ferocious gang leader monkey was in complete control of his troop.

At Sunset, planing to return home!