Rama Warrier's Blog

Author: Rama Warrier

Molting Jewel Bug

Molting Jewel Bug

Insects while growing shed their exoskeleton in a process known as melting. The external layer is discarded several times during the lifecycle of the organism. The new exoskeleton would eventually harden and get the natural colour of the insect.

Jewel bugs are commonly seen oval-shaped bugs with a brilliantly coloured exterior with a metallic shine.

Camouflage in nature

Camouflage in nature

Camouflage is a mechanism provided by nature to organisms to allow them to merge with the environment and avoid detection. This could help both predator and the prey. Here are some wonderful examples of camouflage in nature….

Shettihalli church

Shettihalli church

Rosary Church is a 19th century French church located in Shettihalli village near Hassan. In the 60s this was abandoned during the construction of Hemavati dam. The old dilapidated structure could be immersed in the reservoir or exposed based on the time of your visit.

There is nothing much to see in the surroundings. Worth a visit for those who like to see ruins / historical buildings

Thumboormuzhi Gardens

Thumboormuzhi Gardens

Thumboormuzhi is a check-dam built across Chalakkudy River for irrigation purpose. This is midway between Chalakkudy and the famous Athirappilly waterfalls. Thumboormuzhi areas provides an ideal habitat for butterflies. Thumboormuzhi Butterfly garden by the side of Chalakkudy river is worth a visit irrespective of whether you are a butterfly watcher or just someone who loves nature.

Garden is spread over multiple levels on a sloping landscape sandwiched between Athirappilly road and Chalakkudy river. Different host plants have been planted to attract various species of butterflies. The park also has some recreational facilities for children.

The Umbrellas of Trichur

The Umbrellas of Trichur

One of the major attractions of Trichur Pooram is ‘Kudamattam’ (change of umbrellas). This takes place in the afternoon when the elephants of Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu face each other in an open ground in front of the famous Vadakkumnathan temple. Here, to the vibrating rhythm of melam, both groups display their umbrellas one after the other. Both groups take pride in display of umbrellas and keep the umbrella designs a secret, to be revealed only at the time of kudamattam. If you remember one of those typical pooram pictures with two rows of elephants facing each other with an ocean of people in between, that is the kudamattam event. In case hot sun and charged crowds do not excite you, kudamattam of a smaller scale can be witnessed at noon in front of Paramekkavu temple. When the Devi (Godess ) exits Paramekkavu to proceed to the main temple, there is a fairly long event which includes kudamattam as well. This is called “purappadu” (start the journey). Kudamattam is accompanied by ‘Chempada’ (type of music).[...] read more

THE ECONOMICS & POLITICS BEHIND KILLING OF A TIGER

THE ECONOMICS & POLITICS BEHIND KILLING OF A TIGER

December dawned in Wayanad with the news of the tiger, which had kept the region on the boil, being eliminated by the task force. People were rejoicing and television channels reporting that Wayanad would sleep peacefully for the first time in two weeks. The twelve year old tiger had strayed into the plantations of Wayanad two weeks earlier and picked on domestic cattle. There was a huge outcry about the failure of Government to safeguard the life and property of citizens. Political parties were on the road blocking National Highway. People were venting their anger with dead cattle displayed on the roads. The administration sprang into action and declared that the animal will be shot, if needed. A combined team of Karnataka and Kerala forest officials tried to tranquilize the animal and eventually shot it dead. The administration gave an explanation that all efforts were made to take the animal alive, but circumstances warranted the extreme step. There is a raging debate whether ‘death penalty’ for a ‘cattle lifter’ is an excessive punishment. The slain tiger did not harm any human being nor showed any inclination to turn a man-eater.[...] read more

Rajdhani First AC – Is it worth it ?

Rajdhani First AC – Is it worth it ?

If the super luxury trains like Palace on wheels are excluded, it is the highest class of travel offered by Indian Railways. The fares are comparable with airfare in most cases. So, should one opt for Rajdhani First AC (RIAC) ?

What is different ?

  • Berths are not allotted at the time of booking. You would see status as ‘CONFIRMED’ in the ticket. Berths are allocated at the time of preparation of chart – which happens a few hours before the start. This helps the authorities to see the composition of the travelling groups and allocate coupes accordingly. If you want a ‘two berth coupe’ an advance request could be placed a couple of days before the day of travel.
  • There are no side berths. The berths are larger than those in other classes. It will be quite comfortable for almost all. Berths are approximately 75cm wide and 185cm long.

Singanallur nature walk

Singanallur nature walk

Urban bio-diversity is typically underestimated everywhere. We fail to notice it most of the time, mainly due to the fact that we are pre-occupied. Or we simply do not have the time to look around.

Singanallur is a typical polluted urban lake in the South Indian city of Coimbatore. It has a boathouse which looks abandoned – may be there were no takers for boating in a not so great environment. I checked with a Coimbatore birding enthusiast Gokul Ram about birding spots in the city and he directed me to Singanallur – a lake on Trichy road. I had to meet with a few puzzled glances when leaving early in the morning as Singanallur does not have the reputation of an interesting spot.[...] read more

A short trip to Thattekkad

A short trip to Thattekkad

The excitement was palpable when the Nature India trip to Thattekkad/Munnar kick started with the team packing itself into three SUVs at Kochi airport. It was a bright and sunny January morning. The 45km drive from the airport to Thattekkad is a scenic one. There are winding roads and rich vegetation on either side. The route passes through Kaladi (the birthplace of Adi Shankara) and the small town of Kothamangalam. The day we were travelling, it was festival time in a local church and there were colourful processions on the way. It did not delay our progress in any way and we were in Jungle Bird Homestay well in time for lunch. This was our home for the next three days. Gireesh Chandran, Sudha and Sandhya were our hosts, guides and caretakers.[...] read more


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