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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Spider lily

Also known as Peruvian daffodil. It is a summer loving plant but no doubt it is still growing well in my part of world. It isn't so cold here so blooming perfectly. It can make a great indoor plant for winter season, all you have to do is to place it in a room with sufficient light and water sparingly.




Wednesday, July 18, 2012

If you plant.


“If you plant corn, corn will grow. If you plant wheat, wheat will grow. If you act in a wholesome way, you will be happy. If you act in an unwholesome way, you water the seeds of craving, anger, and violence in yourself. Right view is to recognize which seeds are wholesome and encourage those seeds to be watered.”
Thich Nhat Hahn

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Know about Common Myna ( Acridotheres tristis)


Today I am going to tell you some interesting and amazing facts about an omnivorous native bird locally known to us as Lali. Its scientific name is Acridotheres tristis and it is also sometimes called as Common Myna.  It is a native bird of south Asia and it is found abandoned in this part of world where I live.

They are regular visitors of my home garden and they spent a lot of their time here searching for food, collecting straws and usually chirping happily. They are lively, aggressive and noisy birds that love to live in pairs or in flocks of twenty to thirty birds.

This summer I have an opportunity to observe their breeding nature when a pair of mynas starts making a nest in our bird house.  It’s very exciting experience for me to observe their breeding behavior and to wait for the hatching birds to come out and fly away.

 It was fun and gradually became my favourite past time activity to observe their day to day activities and how they collect straws, twigs and rubbish for using as nesting materials.  They mostly build their nests in trees holes, in abandoned nests of woodpeckers, and rooftops etc. This time they built their nest on a bird house.  I tried to peek on their nest and found it rather untidy structure made of leaves, grass, roots and mostly twigs of neem tree.

Their breeding season lasts throughout the year but they mostly breed in summer season ( from march to June)  and during the breeding season, their day time activities include  scanning the environment, the scanned the environment before selecting a suitable place of their nest, nesting activities ( collecting material for their nest), vocalization, feeding, and searching for foods etc.  

They are omnivorous bird and can snatch food whenever possible.  They are notorious for their snatching and stealing habits  and I have some bad experience with this bird when they try to snatch my food from my hands while I was busy gossiping with my friends  in  the  college lawn.

The best time to observe their behavior is in the morning when they came out for the search of food. They usually walk on the ground/ grass with occasional hops and scavenge the grass for insects especially grasshoppers and this is how they have gained their genetic name Acridotheres or grasshopper.

 It’s a pleasant delight to see them hopping on the grass searching for their desired food. What I do not like about them is their screeching habits and they do it so frequently that annoy me even more.  They vocalize in unison which is known as communal noise. They screech when taking off flights or they screeches warning to their mate in cases of predators close by.  

In our culture, they are symbol of everlasting love.

They are worldwide known for their imitating nature. They are excellent imitator and have an ability to mimic almost any sound they hear and therefore they are very popular as cage birds for their singing and speaking abilities.

Ten things you should know about common mayna

       

1- Acridotheres is a Greek word which means a locus hunter. 

2- They are native to Asia.

 3- They are lively, aggressive and noisy birds that love to live in pairs or in flocks of twenty to thirty birds.


 4- They are easily identified by their brown body, black hooded head and the bare yellow patch behind the eye.

 5- The word mynah derives from the Sanskrit madana which means “bubbling with joy”.

 6- They are omnivorous bird and feed on insects, arachnids, reptiles, seeds, grain, fruits and discarded human food etc. 

7- The common myna is a hollow nesting species. 

8- In Sanskrit literature, one of the names for the common myna includes Kalahapriya, which means “one who is fond of arguments” referring to the quarrelsome nature of this bird. 

9- They vocalize in unison which is known as communal noise. 

10- They are excellent imitator and popular as cage birds for their singing and speaking abilities. 


  Image credits:

Thursday, May 31, 2012

13 interesting facts about sunflowers

Instead of roses, I would really love to be given sunflowers because they are the symbol of faith, loyalty and adoration. Here, I have gathered 13 interesting facts about sunflowers.


 Top 13 facts:  Fact#1
The Latin name for sunflower is derived from the Greek word helios, meaning sun, and anthos, meaning flower; the second part of the Latin name for sunflower, annus, means yearly. The sunflower’s name believed to be originated from its connection to the sun. A sunflower needs a lot of sun and follows the sun’s movements across the sky from east to west, this process is called heliotropism.





 Fact#2
 Sunflowers have been cultivated and harvested by many cultures for at least 4,500 years.

 Fact#3
The sunflower is a native of South America; it is believed that many ancient cultures used the sunflower for its therapeutic properties and in culinary practice. The Aztec and the Inca cultures believed that the sunflower represented the sun and therefore worshiped the sunflower accordingly.

 Fact#4
Sunflowers are well known for their ability to grow very tall and their heads can be equally huge but do you know a single sunflower head is made up of 1,000 to 2,000 tiny individual flowers called florets that are joined together to the base.

 Fact#5
Sunflowers are an annual plant and are easily identifiable by a large, bright yellow flower head. There are more than 60 different varieties of sunflowers that can be found in the world but the most common is bright yellow with dark brown centers filled with seeds.



Fact#6
 Do you know? The tallest sunflower was grown in the Netherlands in 1986 and it was 25' 5.5" tall.

Fact#7
Sunflowers are grown for their edible seeds and the phytosterol from the sunflower seeds is known to make the immune system better and reduce the risk of cancer when used daily. Most South Asian countries also use sunflower oil to cook food because of the same reason that it is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and reduces the chances of cardiac strokes.

Fact#8
Both the seeds and the oil of the sunflower are used in food preparations; sunflower oil is used in salads and as a frying oil. Sunflower seeds are a good source of nutrition and are high in vitamin D, vitamin B, niacin, and protein; sunflower seeds can be roasted. Sunflower seeds are also used to make butter. Sunflower seeds are excellent source of nutrition.

 
Fact#9
Birds love sunflower seeds and planting sunflowers in your garden is the easiest way to attract not only birds but also butterflies.

Fact#10
The residual content once the oil is squeezed from the seeds is used as feed for livestock.

Fact#11
The oil extracted from the sunflower contains therapeutic properties which can be used to treat many skin conditions, sinusitis, hemorrhoids and leg ulcers.


 Fact#12
Sunflower oil also contains vitamin A, vitamin D and other valuable minerals such as calcium and iron.

 Fact#13
 In addition, sunflowers can simply be used for their large, bright flowers in floral and wedding displays. It represents warmth, happiness and all things positive and this is the reason why they are widely used in events like weddings, parties and birthday celebrations.

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