May 2020

Leipziger Lerche or Songbird Pastry

While doing a crossword, I came across this word Leipziger. It is in Germany. Lerche actually means Lark in German language. The hint was the famed Pie which used actual Lark as one of the ingredients. It was a very popular delicacy.  I was shocked that humans didn’t leave alone even the smaller birds for using them in their food. Man in his initial days was a hunter and hunted in groups the big game. Slowly he discovered that many plants- like grasses contain the seeds like precursors of wheat are edible. This diverted them from hunting towards farming but… Read More »Leipziger Lerche or Songbird Pastry

Indian Pitta: Most Colourful Bird

Indian Pitta is a small bird. It is the most colourful bird. There are nine different colours on it. Due to this fact, it is called Navranga (meaning nine coloured). It is a very shy bird and often keeps to the ground under the bushes. Most of the times, it is spotted by its calls. Pitta comes to North India under Himalayan foothills for breeding. The bird migrates to south India or western India during winters. Initially it was named “Ponnunky Pitta“. In fact the name is derived from Telugu language in which it means a “small bird “. Based… Read More »Indian Pitta: Most Colourful Bird

Indian Monitor Lizard

Also called Bengal monitor (Varanus bengalensis) or common Indian monitor. Large or adult lizards generally dwell on the soil but smaller or juveniles also use tree cavities to dwell. Many are found inside the crevices in the hill rocks. These have a very shy nature as well as keen eye sight and can detect human presence from a considerable distance. They look ferocious but are generally harmless. They eat eggs of birds and small animals like fish, small lizards. They are very common in the South East Asia and Indian subcontinent. They are called by different names in various parts of India.… Read More »Indian Monitor Lizard

Yellow Sand Wasps

Mention of a wasp is enough to make you fear. They deliver painful stings. One of the species of wasps is Sand Wasps or Bembix. They nest in the ground preferably in the sand. These live in urban areas, forests and woodlands. Adult sand wasps feed on nectar but most hunt for flies to feed to their larvae in the nest. They are excellent hunters, capturing flies on the wing, paralysing them with venom in mid-air and carrying them back to the waiting larvae. Sand wasps can deliver painful stings only when they are disturbed. I spotted these wasps many… Read More »Yellow Sand Wasps

RO Water Purification Systems

Potable Water in many places contains undesirable impurities like suspended solids and harmful organisms like bacteria and viruses. On the other hand, its chemical composition depends upon its source. RO water purification systems claim to do remove the suspended impurities. This is done using sand filters also called the pre filters, and killing the harmful organisms by UV light. Next these bring down the total dissolved salts TDS to desirable levels if the water under treatment has excess TDS. Why TDS ? Why not adjust the concentration of individual ions present to the desirable levels? This they can’t do. These… Read More »RO Water Purification Systems

Ghaggar River: The Lost Glory

Introduction The rivers in India are of two types. The ones like Ganga and Indus are perennial in nature because they originate in Himalayas and are fed by melting ice. Others are intermittent in nature. Their catchment area is foothills of Himalayas and these flow in full glory only during monsoons in the catchment area in hills. River Description One such river is Ghaggar. It originates in the village of Dagshai in the Shivalik Hills of Himachal Pradesh at an elevation of 1,927 metres (6,322 ft) above mean sea level and flows through Punjab and Haryana states into Rajasthan just southwest… Read More »Ghaggar River: The Lost Glory

Indian Golden Oriole

Many migrant birds which migrate towards moderate climates of West and South India to escape the severe winter and shortage of food in North India. As the winter season comes to an end, they return back. One such birds is Indian Golden Oriole (Oriolus kundoo). It is a species of orioles. Earlier it was considered a subspecies of Eurasian Golden Orioles but now has been recognised as a separate species. In the North India harsh summers start. There are many trees that bear fruit not eaten by human beings don’t eat but many birds like them. Orioles like these berries… Read More »Indian Golden Oriole

Giloye or Tinospora cordifolia: A wonderful Herbal Vine!!

Giloye as its called in India is a vine. Its scientific name is “Tinospora cordifolia”. Common names are Heart-leaved moon seed, guduchi. It is an herbaceous vine of the family Menispermaceae indigenous to the tropical areas of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. If you happen to see a Giloye vine climbed on a tree and claiming the branches, you will think that ropes are entwined over the branches. No leaves. But these are beautiful ripe fruits on it. Most of the time it shows no leaves. Usually it entwines the trees and creeps up. It grows up abundantly in… Read More »Giloye or Tinospora cordifolia: A wonderful Herbal Vine!!

A Symbol of Hope

During intense winters, plants and trees go into a dormancy a period of stagnation. They withdraw the chlorophyll -a pigment responsible for green colour and a must for photosynthesis– from the leaves because they know that Sun is not going to come up strongly for photosynthesis to happen and food making process to start. The leaves change color to yellow, orange and mixture of these colors. Because besides chlorophyll which overpowers the colors of other pigments there are Xanthophylls which are yellow pigments, and carotenoids (the pigment which imparts the beautiful color to carrots, papaya, and mangoes and so on) which… Read More »A Symbol of Hope

Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier!!!

Sounds strange title!! This is the name of the most expensive still life painting. Since the artist Paul Cezanne was from France which was the heart of the world famous art and paintings, the name is in French language. It translates to Jug, Curtain and Fruit Bowl which aptly described the painting. A curtain hangs from top on left side of painting and partially rests on a wooden table. There is a large jug and fruits like apples and oranges are scattered on the cloth. Paul Cezanne was the master of still life painting. He also created another version of… Read More »Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier!!!