Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Green Bee-eater tactics are here!

At evening just before dusk I used to hear a bird's call nearby the house. When I peeped out I could see small greenish birds sitting on the electric line giving out the call, 'druee, druee, druee.' When disturbed all of them would fly away singing in chorus. They are the Green Bee-eaters (Merops orientalis , Little Green Bee-eater, 'Punchuruttaan' in Tamil).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Purple Orchid Tree, the most sought!

Orchid flowers are very beautiful. But the orchids are difficult to grow and have these flowers. There is an easily grown tropical tree that bears flowers resembling Orchid flowers! It is the Purple Orchid Tree (Bauhnia purpurea, Butterfly Tree, Purple Camel's foot, 'Iruvaatchi' in Tamil). Its flowers are pink and fragrant.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Busy worker, the Black carpenter ant!

Every day we have this visitor from the animal kingdom into our household. It searches here and there for small food particles. If it finds out something attractive, it hurries out and returns with a flotilla of its companions following in a line, one after the other: it is nothing but our active Black Carpenter Ant (Worker) (Camponotus pennsylvanicus, 'Katterumbu' in Tamil)!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A spring in Summer, Artesian spring!

In my childhood I was shown the wonder of getting water by simply digging with hands a half a foot deep pit in the sand of river bed! Recently, I encountered a mystery of getting water without even this digging. An old dug-up storm water drain nearby is always dry except in rainy season. In the previous summer, to my amazement I witnessed water gushing out from its floor!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Garden in glass jar - Silica Garden!

Whatever present in the Nature is mimicked, it will wonder us, is it not? A garden with colorful trees present inside a glass jar(!) is the wonder here - the Chemical garden or the Silica garden! This jar contains a solution of Sodium silicate (common name: Water glass). Inside it small crystals of various metallic salts are placed. Then the colorful trees start to grow instantly and visibly in minutes!

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