‘Petrichor’ is the name for the earthy scent that emerges when fresh rain hits the soil after a long gap. This Greek word is a combination of two words ‘Petra’ (stone) and ‘Ichor’ which literally means the fluid that passes through the veins of Gods. People say this sweet fragrance has a rejuvenating effect on the body, perhaps it is more of a psychological reason because our ancestors considered rain as an essential element for survival. Scientifically speaking, when rain drops hit dry soil, the tiny pores on the earth release small bubbles of plant oils, bacteria and Ozone into the air which causes the scent. Though large amount of Ozone could be dangerous to human lungs, the actual amount being released during this event is negligible. I think we are drifting away from our main subject. Let’s talk about the places where rain has become the part and parcel of daily life. ‘Cherrapunji’ in the North Eastern corner of India was once known as the wettest place on the planet and it still holds the Guinness Book record for maximum rainfall received at a place. A less-known place called ‘Agumbe’ on the Western Ghats is called the ‘Cherrapunji of […]
The breath-taking view of Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes Kunthiana), a legendary purple-blue coloured flower which blooms once in 12 years on the hill ranges of Munnar in Kerala. After the last flowering that occurred in 2006, another mass flowering in the Nilgiris-Palanis-Munnar belt can be expected only in 2018. Strangely enough there was a group of plants in the locality whose flowering cycle was four years ahead of the rest of the community in the region and I was lucky to capture this rare occurrence in Oct 2014 . However, one could not be sure whether these plants would survive for the next season. It is believed that Nilgiri Hills, which literally means “blue mountains”, was named after the Neelakurinji flowers. Interestingly, the people of Paliyan tribes who lived here used to calculate their age based on the blossoming cycle of these flowers.
You must have noticed the strange love-making rituals of dragon flies over a pond or river bed. At times, the male could be seen towing the female while performing several aerobatic manoeuvres. Though their relationship seems quite harmless and romantic, it is more of a sexual harassment in reality. Let me present you a few pictures showing their peculiar behaviour . These were captured some time back in 2010 . LOVE ON A LOTUS BUD :: Odonate Reproduction, Damselflies in the “wheel” position. To mate, damselflies join together in the “wheel” position and commonly fly in tandem this way. Later on, the male will usually remain attached to the female as she lays eggs. When doing so he retains his grip on the front portion of the female’s thorax, using claspers located at the tip of his abdomen. Usually a male fly would use his organ to cleanse his rivals’ sperm before depositing his own. THE BALANCING ACT :: Damselflies in the Odonate Oviposition (Egg Laying). While the female is getting ready for laying eggs, the male keeps other potential mates away by remaining clasped to the female. Dragonflies are highly territorial in nature and the males have a tendency to drive away […]