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.

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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.

 

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

Tiger Caves – rock cut temple:-

Tiger caves is one of the oldest monumental places near Mahaballipuram, East coast road, Chennai India belongs to the period between 7th century AD and 9th century AD.

Tiger cave’s is a perfect picnic spot and ideal place for nature photography. You can laze around, climb small rocks and enjoy a breath of fresh air over here. It is an ideal destination for nature lovers and art lovers. If you visit Mamallapuram to see the popular Pallava sculptures belonging to 7thcentury AD, ensure that you visit Tiger’s Cave too. Tiger’s Cave has got its name from a cave set apart among the rocks with a crown of carved tiger heads around the temple. In fact, it is a misnomer as you cannot find tiger’s figures but massive Yazhis (a mythological animal).

You cannot find any deity in this temple which is believed to be dedicated to the goddess Durga. There are large and impressive figures of yazhis located in front of the caves. The rock has carvings which tell some events related to the goddess Durga, and hence it is believed to be a temple of Durga. It is photographer’s delight to climb up this rock and pose for photographs.

This historical place is believed to be one among the sculptures and temples in Mamallapuram built by Pallava kings Narasimhavarman and Rajasimhavarman. The complex also houses a rock cut Shiva temple and an ancient Muruga temple unearthed by Tsunami in 2004 AD. Another attraction of the place is calm, serene and neat beach. The complex, which is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India, is dotted by palm, casuarinas and other trees.

 

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