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Welcome To My Blog

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Road to heaven

Troubling contrast

Cloud Art


 

The summer sky is the most beautiful part of summer especially if you are in a car with its climate control on. The clouds in mid May before the heat wave hit coastal Andhra was a sight for all nature lovers. And the sunrises...just spectacular !

Explore my PoetryBlog : http://nalinihebbar-poetry.blogspot.com

Lily white

Taken in 2010 in a garden on the highway.

Mandaram or Dwarf white bauhinia

Scientific Name : Bauhinia acumin
ata 

      It is a garden grown plant that grows up to a few feet in height. They have shiny white flowers in all seasons. They have five petals and the leaves are uniquely camel-foot shaped, earning this plant the name 'camel-foot plant'.


Swift Rescue







Taken on 8 December at home in Nellore. The photos are really bad...sorry :(

District administration sounded a high alert along the coast following forecast of the possibility of a low pressure system crossing between Kavali and Bapatla on the evening of 8th December, 2010 and feared the resulting downpour, to the extent of 20 to 40 cms at the time of crossing, would flood the district. 
The days that preceded were the coldest from a long time and three farmers succumbed to the cold wave in the district and we had a strange visitor who refused to leave our warm house!
A little Swift! Not the car but a little blue-black bird with huge eyes, a white patch at the throat and at the rump. It was in the hands of some kids playing in the corridor who were trying to get it to fly out into the open. They then planned to leave it on some bush outside. Something told my son and me that it would not last the night out in the cold. Just then it flew in through our main door into our house!
Measured in straight flight, the spine-tailed swift is the fastest bird. It flies 170 km/h (106 mph). They never settle voluntarily on the ground and  forage exclusively in flight. They have very short legs which they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces.

They go into torpor in cool weather and we think that is what happened to our little visitor.Due to the cold wave it had entered into a period of sluggish inactivity, suspended physical activity, or dormancy, as seen in a hibernating animal. 
We settled it down in a shoe-box for the night and released it with successfully the next morning into bright sunlight. 
The storm fizzled out in the Bay and didn't hit Nellore at all!    




© Nalini Hebbar/saycheese/2009-all rights reserved



Explore my PoetryBlog : http://nalinihebbar-poetry.blogspot.com

Sunshine Mountains



Taken by my son, Aakash, November, 2010, during a bike trip of about 2400 km from Kadapa to Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada and Vizag, Araku and the Borra Caves.


Papi hills at noon. 
The lady of the mountain (in the third hazy range) getting a golden tan, lying there under the hot noon sun. Thank God it's November! Can you spot her?


© Nalini Hebbar/saycheese/2009-all rights reserved


Explore my PoetryBlog : http://nalinihebbar-poetry.blogspot.com

Eastern Sunset





Taken by my son, Aakash, November, 2010, during a bike trip of about 2400 km from Kadapa to Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada and Vizag, Araku and the Borra Caves.


Sunset over the Eastern Ghats.

Explore my PoetryBlog : http://nalinihebbar-poetry.blogspot.com

Sailing with the Wind




Taken by my son, Aakash, November, 2010, during a bike trip of about 2400 km from Kadapa to Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada and Vizag, Araku and the Borra Caves.


© Nalini Hebbar/saycheese/2009-all rights reserved


Explore my PoetryBlog : http://nalinihebbar-poetry.blogspot.com

Golden Silk Weaver - 2








Taken by my son, Aakash, November, 2010, during a bike trip of about 2400 km from Kadapa to Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada and Vizag, Araku and the Borra Caves

Dorsal view of Nephila pilipes jalorensis / India Giant Wood Spider or golden silk orb-weaver spiders, Papi Hills, Andhra Pradesh.

View Golden Silk Weaver-1 for all details regarding the species.


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Golden Silk Weaver - 1



Taken by my son, Aakash, November, 2010, during a bike trip of about 2400 km from Kadapa to Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada and Vizag, Araku and the Borra Caves


Ventral view of Nephila pilipes jalorensis / India Giant Wood Spider or golden silk orb-weaver spiders, Papi Hills, Andhra Pradesh.


Females are large and grow to a body size of 30-50mm, with males growing to 5–6 mm. The male is so tiny that he can live on the female's web, stealing her food, often without her even noticing him. She may not even notice that he has crept up and inseminated her! Nevertheless, just to be sure, he usually does the deed when she is feeding. In some, mating can take up to 15 hours! The female lives only slightly longer than the male.

The web can run from the top of a tree 6m high and up to 2m wide. The name of the golden silk orb-weavers refers to the color of the spider silk, not the color of the spider itself. Yellow threads of their web shine like gold in sunlight. Maybe the silk's color serves a dual purpose
  • sunlit webs ensnare bees that are attracted to the bright yellow strands, 
  • in shady spots the yellow blends in with background foliage to act as a camouflage


The spider is able to adjust pigment intensity relative to background light levels and color; the range of spectral reflectance is specifically adapted to insect vision. Xanthurenic acid, two quinones and an unknown fourth compound contribute to the yellow color.
Typically, the webs are made in open woods or edges of dense forest, usually attached to trees and low shrubs, although they may be in the tops of trees or between the wires of utility lines (Krakauer 1972). These complex webs have a fine-meshed sticky orb suspended in a non-sticky barrier web.  The orb is replenished regularly as its stickiness declines with age but the main web can last several years Prey consists of a wide variety of small to medium-sized flying insects, including flies, bees, wasps, and small moths and butterflies (Robinson and Mirick 1971).

The female buries her eggs in the ground. First she digs a shallow hole with her strong mandibles and legs, which is then lined with woolly silk. She lays her eggs on this silk, covers it with another woolly layer then covers the whole assembly with camouflaging debris and soil. Laying can take 4 hours

How We Humans Use These Webs

Fishing :  In the South Pacific, the web silk is used to make fishing lures, traps and nets. In the Solomon Islands, the spider web is collected by winding it around sticks to make large sticky balls which are suspended just above the water. Needle fish are lured to jump out and get entangled in the ball. In Southeast Asia, people make a net by scooping up the web between a stick bent into a loop. Spider webs have been used as bandage to stop blood flow and used to make bird snares. 

Silk of strength : The Golden Orb Web Spider's silk is set to become a major product. The silk is almost as strong as Kevlar, the strongest man-made material and can be used to make 
  • parachutes
  • bullet-proof vests, 
  • lightweight clothing, 
  • seat belts,
  •  light but strong ropes, 
  • as sutures in operations, 
  • artificial tendons and ligaments.
In the American Museum of Natural History, a piece of cloth is on exhibit that has been woven from golden silk from over 1 million golden orb female spiders.



© Nalini Hebbar/saycheese/2009-all rights reserved

Explore my PoetryBlog : http://nalinihebbar-poetry.blogspot.com

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