Tag Archives: summer

RIP CASSINI 

Cassini probe finally plunged in the rings of Saturn at a speed of 120000 kilometres/hour to say goodbye. But before its glorious end, it help in demystifying so many secrets of the most beautiful planet Saturn.

Some of the milestones:

Launched in 1997, Cassini arrived at an orbit around the planet in 2004. Ended on 15 September 2017. During this time from 2004 to 2017, it took hundreds of thousands pictures. Here are salient achievements:

Distance traveled: 7.9 billion kilometres

Orbits around Saturn: 284

Images sent: 453048

Data compiled: 635 GB

Scientists associated: 5000 from 27 countries

 

 

 

 

 

 

Findings:

  1. Discovered 6 out of 60 moons of the planet. Some look like potatoes and others have colourful streaks. Different textures, composition and shapes.
  2. Discovered Global ocean of salty water beneath ice surface on one of its moons called ENCELADUS. These are pointers towards possibilities of life.
  3. One season on the planet is of 7 years duration of earth. It entered in winter, spring and summer.
  4. In one of its moons called Titan , discovered hidden oceans of water and liquid methane.
  5. Beautiful rings are made of ice. Moons and moonlets interact with rings and feed them with required material to maintain the shape.

Soirée of birds

It finally seems that winter is over. The days have become longer and time seems to be lingering. The light seems to be blinding the eyes. Poplars which were bald during the winter have acquired the sparkling green leaves hiding their skeletons. Every other plant and tree has stirred to life.

There is a large increase in the numbers of birds like pigeons, parrots, mynas and others whose names are not known. This is due to the maturing of wheat crops. Many birds can be seen making nests frantically to lay eggs and continue their future generations to gain immortality of their genes by passing them on to coming generations.

In front of our home, there are meadows and water bodies around which the tall grasses and other bushes and vegetation abounds. Ducks and bittern can be seen in these waters. The tall bushes and grasses also provide the roosting place to many kinds of birds except pigeons which have colonised the buildings along with human beings.

Everyday when evening approaches, I sit in the balcony to watch the sky in the west getting coppery red with the sun going down until it dips behind the buildings in the west. Eagles roam the sky. Once in a while a hawk can be seen hovering steadily in a point in the sky pinpointing its prey on the land and descending with blinding fury.

But most beautiful scene is when small groups of birds fly in patterns sometimes going up, then down, left and right. Another group starts from another location and after graceful flight in the sky separate gtoups coalesce and become a single group. Then another and another groups come and join them. 

Why they do it every evening? Is it a sort of get together and show to bonding? Must be they share their experiences during the day and take stock of their flock. After meeting again they get separated to find their roosting places for the night. God only knows. 

This goes on and as it becomes more and more dark, these groups break and settle in the bushes around the water bodies, trees in the fields. Although it is very difficult to photograph them because of their sheer mobility and unpredictable changes in the direction still some photographs I have taken and shown below.





Resolution is not to the point but still the observation is proved.

Dove

Dove is the symbol of peace. It is a very gentle bird. Although it resembles pigeon but unlike pigeons, it lives in the wild. During hot summer days here in North india, you can hear its voice among the trees. It comes down to search the seeds and prefers to sit on the branches of trees with sparse foliage.
I located some of these sitting on one tree and using the newly purchased Canon SX60 hs camera, zoomed on them. Very difficult to still the hand during zoom but somehow managed to capture these pics. Hope you will like them.

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