Tag Archives: Insects

Like a moth to a flame

The perks of being a biology teacher.

Two students come rushing to me in the morning with eager expressions. In a folded sheet of paper they showed me a creature that left me spellbound. I had never seen something like it before. It was a beautiful and exotic moth.

Luna Moth

The wingspan (shown by a pen in comparison) was around four and a half inches.

Luna Moth - Size comparison

The wings were pale green with delicate tail streamers. The wings also had a prominent reddish rust colour along the edges. And the most striking were the “eye spots” on the wings.

Luna Moth
Only later in the evening, one of the investigators researched about it and found it was known as the Luna Moth (Actias Luna)

Quiet Work

One lesson, Nature, let me learn of thee,
One lesson which in every wind is blown,
One lesson of two duties kept at one
Though the loud world proclaim their enmity–

Of toil unsever’d from tranquility!
Of labor, that in lasting fruit outgrows
Far noisier schemes, accomplish’d in repose,
Too great for haste, too high for rivalry.
.

What's in it for me

WORK! A dreadful drudgery for some or a creative channel for others.

We work to study and then we study to work some more… work becomes a benchmark of the quality of our lives.

These are pictures I clicked this weekend and take the liberty to use them to illustrate the nuances of work! 🙂

Never too late to begin - caterpillar

Work cannot be the end-all of our education, work itself is a self-learning process. Yet what is work without good company!

Two's company - Butterflies

Our colleagues form what we term … our support systems!

Support systems - tendrils

Yet, there are times when things get rough…

Its mine - ants

but we can always take time for a breather…

Take a break - dragonfly

and no matter what… at the end of the day we love to see a task to its completion

All in a days work - ants

Yes, while on earth a thousand discords ring,

Man’s fitful uproar mingling with his toil,

Still do thy sleepless ministers move on,

Their glorious tasks in silence perfecting;

Still working, blaming still our vain turmoil,

Laborers that shall not fail, when man is gone.

QUIET WORK ~ Mathew Arnold

Quiet Work by Matthew Arnold

One lesson, Nature, let me learn of thee,

One lesson which in every wind is blown,

One lesson of two duties kept at one

Though the loud world proclaim their enmity–

Of toil unsever’d from tranquility!

Of labor, that in lasting fruit outgrows

Far noisier schemes, accomplish’d in repose,

Too great for haste, too high for rivalry.

Yes, while on earth a thousand discords ring,

Man’s fitful uproar mingling with his toil,

Still do thy sleepless ministers move on,

Their glorious tasks in silence perfecting;

Still working, blaming still our vain turmoil,

Laborers that shall not fail, when man is gone.

Disco Ants

Disco Ants

This is a season where there are flowers… everywhere.
Happened to spot a rare flower when I went to visit my sister. And when I went to take a closer look, there were two ants doing a very odd dance all over one of the ‘petals’. I couldn’t say if that was some kind of message/sign, but it did look a lot like ‘ant disco’ 😉

Caught in the web

Another one of those blink-and-miss shots. Thanks Elton for pointing out this giant spider! Was quite a challenge to focus on the spider amidst all the foliage.

Caught in the web

Spirit Flies

sometimes, you can have an unexpected visitor. This butterfly came a wishing the other day.
There was a time as a child when i would believe that a moth or a butterfly not seen around was a spirit of a loved one come to say hello… the odd thing is that I would still love to believe that.

Sometimes, you can have an unexpected visitor. This butterfly came a-wishing the other day.

Butterfly spirit

Butterfly spirit

There was a time as a child when I would believe that a beautiful moth or a butterfly is a spirit of a loved one come to say ‘hello’… the odd thing is that I still love to believe that.

Found an interesting article on the same out here

UPDATE:

This swallowtail butterfly is called the Blue Mormon ( Papilio polymnestor). <more detail>

Mollem Magic – Mushrooms and more

I call myself a Goan, and have come to realise that I have not seen much of Goa. Mollem wildlife sanctuary was one such place.

Reaching there takes about an hour and a half from Panjim and after paying the toll fee we were into the wild!

Three main stops and I had my camera brimming with pictures.

STOP 1: BUTTERFLIES & DRAGON FLIES

Butterfly feast

Butterfly feast

Look into my eyes

Look into my eyes

The butterfly feast referred to is called “Mud-puddling“. It is the phenomenon mostly seen in butterflies and involves their aggregation on substrates like wet soil, dung and carrion to obtain nutrients such as salts and amino acids. Typically, mud-puddling behavior takes place on wet soil. But even sweat on human skin may be attractive to butterflies.

This behaviour is restricted to males in many species who seem to benefit from the sodium uptake through mud-puddling behaviour with an increase in reproductive success. The collected sodium and amino acids are often transferred to the female with the spermatophore during mating as a nuptial gift. This nutrition also enhances the survival rate of the eggs! [more info]

Dragonfly break

Dragonfly break

Dragonfly on the bridge

Dragonfly on the bridge

STOP 2: SPIDERS & WORMS

Giant orange spider

Giant orange spider

Worms and Worms Inc.

Worms and Worms Inc.

STOP 3: MUSROOMS AND MUSHROOMS

Giant mushroom

Giant mushroom

Have you seen mushrooms 'on' a tree?

Have you seen mushrooms 'on' a tree?

Washed away

Washed away

Snowflake mushrooms

Snowflake mushrooms

Out of place

Out of place

Catch me if you can

Catch me if you can

The day ended with a heavy downpour… all part of the package!

Vegetation art

Vegetation art

UPDATE: For a great pic of the Devil’s Canyon (a rare landmark in Mollem), go to Elton’s site

Animal Antics

At times it may appear I am living in a jungle (given the fact there is an overdose of greenery on this blog!). But then if you look closely, you will in fact find a world of creatures out there! And they are all out to have some fun.

Wassup dude?

Wassup dude?

What a challenging look this caterpillar gave me while I tried to frame it!

Can you do this???

Can you do this???

The caterpillar wouldn’t take ‘No’ for an answer each time I tried to push him away from the house, back into the leaves.

This perch is my perch

This perch is my perch

And this little cricket managed to stay this even though I tried to shake it off its perch.

Does a Zoo complete a Sanctuary?

“Hey! Why dont you put up the pics of the Bondla zoo as a sequel to your trip to Bondla? It kind of completes the Bondla experience.”

This suggestion from Elton led me to muse… Does a zoo really ‘complete’ a sanctuary? This is not what Elton intended to say, but just a thought that lingered in my mind. There was Ayesha who completely disapproved of going to the zoo when I visited Bondla the first time. Merci was more than convinced that the animals in their cages/pens looked depressing… similar to being  in solitary confinement for animals which are otherwise quite social.

Bondla does boast of quite a collection of animals. In the monsoons their surroundings looked green and prosperous, but I wondered how it would be in the summer when there were not many watering holes around and only dry vegetation to chew on…

Stately... Majestic... Limited to a cage

Stately... Majestic... Limited to a cage

Watch this

Watch this

Crocodile couch

Crocodile couch

This turtle shared the same pond as the croc!

This turtle shared the same pond as the croc!

Jawsssss

Jawsssss

The Gaze of the cobra

The Gaze of the cobra

The Head of the Bison

The Head Bison

Bison Bonds

Bison Bonds

Graze a little...

Graze a little...

It was time for us to leave the confines of the zoo and go out into the wild…

Deer in the wild

Deer in the wild

Wild cat? ;)

Wild cat? 😉

Mega mushroom

Mega mushroom

No added colors ;)

No added colors 😉

Locust on the car bonnet

Locust on the car bonnet

Colorful cricket

Colorful cricket

Butterfly time!

Butterfly time!

Dad called this 'the sugary one'

Dad called this 'the sugary one'

Leopard skin butterfly

Leopard skin butterfly

So… does a zoo complete your experience in a sanctuary…? It does not for me. But I guess when animals are injured or in transit, or rescued, they need a safe house and this would serve as one. Correct me if I am wrong.

Bondla Sunday

One day for classes to begin, and I wanted to make the most of the weekend. Sunday saw me at Bondla with a small
group of friends.
Bondla http://www.goa-tourism.com/abt_goa.asp?id=4&title=forests is one of the smaller wildlife sanctuaries in
Goa in Ponda. After an hour’s drive from Panjim, we were at the gates paying our toll.
Took a walk around a small lake which houses a couple of crocodiles. Try and spot one (Clue: if you find bubbles
rising to the surface of the water, there is a high probabality that there is a croc down under ;))
It’s always good to keep your eyes on the ground in these places. There is always an occassional mushroom or a
unique frog …
There was this interesting caterpillar who stuck on to the windshield of my car for quite some time
Interesting tree formation. Stems that are coiled like high tension wires, roots that exude water…
We found our way to the “Watch-tower” from where there were a number of birds we spotted, though most were
too quick for me to capture on camera. A mention also of the numerous spiders you can spot out here
Rains and forests… and you will chance upon numerous fresh water springs like this one.
It was then an afternoon swim in a fast flowing stream, with the falling rain all over… not exactly a time for
photography…
But that place had a host of butterflies all over and none too shy to be photographed!
Deer are a common site in the trees. And this was one of the gutsy deer that didn’t mind striking a pose.

One day for classes to begin, and I wanted to make the most of the weekend. Sunday saw me at Bondla with a small group of friends.

Bondla is one of the smaller wildlife sanctuaries in Goa (Ponda). After an hour’s drive from Panjim, we were at the gates paying our toll.

Toll Gate Bondla

Toll Gate Bondla

Took a walk around a small lake which houses a couple of crocodiles. Try and spot one (Clue: if you find bubbles rising to the surface of the water, there is a high probabality that there is a croc down under ;))

Spot the crocodile

Spot the crocodile

Crocodile lake

Crocodile lake

It’s always good to keep your eyes on the ground in these places. There is always an occassional mushroom or a unique frog …

Three is company

Three is company

Dont try this at home

Dont try this at home

There was this interesting caterpillar who stuck on to the windshield of my car for quite some time

Underbelly caterpillar

Underbelly caterpillar

Interesting tree formation. Stems that are coiled like high tension wires, roots that exude water…

High tension tree trunks

High tension tree trunks

Exudates

Exudates

We found our way to the “Watch-tower” from where there were a number of birds we spotted, though most were too quick for me to capture on camera.

Watch tower

Watch tower

Blue bee-eater

Blue bee-eater

A mention also of the many spiders you can spot out here

How many legs should a spider have?

How many legs should a spider have?

Spidey

Spidey

Rains and forests… and you will chance upon numerous fresh water springs like this one.

Spring up!

Spring up!

Giant ant

Giant ant

It was then an afternoon swim in a fast flowing stream, with the falling rain all over… not exactly a time for photography…

But that place had a host of butterflies all over and none too shy to be photographed!

Butterfly and the fly

Butterfly and the fly

Black or white

Black or white

This leaf is where I want to be

This leaf is where I want to be

Is it me you're looking for?

Is it me you're looking for?

Beauty!

Beauty!

Competition

Competition

Deer are a common site in the trees. And this was one of the gutsy deer that didn’t mind striking a pose.

Spot-a-deer

Spot-a-deer

Entomophobia: The Fear of Insects

Entomophobia: The Fear of Insects!
Come rains and you would find a veritable collection of insects in your homes. And if you have a home at ground level (as in my case), there is no stopping the creatures from entering.
I always looked at such visitors as welcome subjects for my photography… until that dreadful day… when I laughed… laughed at someone expressing her fears of these creepy crawlies.
I could sense all the symptoms… http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=12216 (MedicineNet.com
shortness of breath, extreme anxiety, the compellng desire to avoid all such insects, significant distress from the disturbance and finally the action plan…
Sufferers of such fears give went to their anxiety by frequently cleaning rooms, sweeping, spraying insect-killer or just sealing off doors and windows. Since I was the one to laugh, I had to pay the price of executing the plan…
Just a note of advice: You may assume that this fear of insects is inappropriate, unreasonable, and excessive… but please don’t laugh! These are ser

Entomophobia: The Fear of Insects!

Come rains and you find a veritable collection of insects in your homes. And if you have a home at ground level (as in my case), there is no stopping the creatures from finding their way into the house.

I always looked at such visitors as welcome subjects for my photography… until that dreadful day… when I laughed… laughed at someone expressing her fears of these creepy crawlies.

I could sense all the symptoms… shortness of breath, extreme anxiety, the compellng desire to avoid all such insects, significant distress from the disturbance and finally the action plan…

Sufferers of such fears give went to their anxiety by frequently cleaning rooms, sweeping, spraying insect-killer or just sealing off doors and windows. Since I was the one to laugh, I had to pay the price of executing this action plan…

A note of advice: You may assume that this fear of insects is inappropriate, unreasonable, and excessive… but please don’t laugh! These are serious matters… 😉

What follows is an assortment of insecti-photos that might probably get you wondering if you too are a member of the entomophobics !

Hairy worm at Arvalem falls, Goa

Hairy worm at Arvalem falls, Goa

Deadly dragon fly

Deadly dragon fly

Green Grasshopper - Green wall

Green grasshopper - Green wall

Millipede moments at Anjuna, Goa

Millipede moments at Anjuna, Goa

Plastic beetle at Bhivpuri, Maharashtra

Plastic beetle at Bhivpuri, Maharashtra

Leech at Munnar, Kerala

Leech at Munnar, Kerala

Cushion caterpillar at Miramar, Goa

Cushion caterpillar at Miramar, Goa

Macro ant at Mapusa, Goa

Macro ant at Mapusa, Goa

Sultry spider at Kerala

Sultry spider at Kerala

Spindly caterpillar at Badlapur, Maharashtra

Spindly caterpillar at Badlapur, Maharashtra

Praying mantis finds illumination (Pic courtesy: Elton Pinto)

Praying mantis finds illumination (Pic courtesy: Elton Pinto)