When I saw this in the Serai Bandipur I was thrilled, cause this is what I do in my little farm in Hoskote. Put a lot of dry leaves, coconut husks or just cut branches around the roots of the trees to keep the moisture from evaporating too fast.
In The Serai they put a 'crust' of pine needles around the roots to prevent the evaporation! Look at the pic! There they desperately need measures like these as water is a scarce commodity.
We can even do it in the city. Put a lot of dried leaves in your pots to prevent the evaporation and it will help our thirsty plants manage through the dry season.
See the roots of this tree of ours in Goa is such a problem, its causing the wall infront to lift and crack. That is why we had to get Bhujang to cut back on them and then Basker the mason filled the cracks with cement.
It's just a temporary measure, we cant really do much by cutting the roots as there are plenty of others under the wall which we cant see. But I refuse to cut the tree down.
We went on a work cum holiday to Pilerne, my little village in Goa. In tow was my new Canon EOS 1100D which I picked up in Dubai on my way back from a UNEP conference in Nairobi. I knew nothing about the camera except how to hold it and switch it on and off and charge the battery!
Little did I expect to have such fun because in a matter of minutes I was able to zoom in on birds which flitted around the tree cover in the village just beyond the homestead. Taking an old Kadai, I filled it with clean fresh water and left it outside for the birds. In minutes a pair of Tickell's Blue Flycathers were enjoying swift forays into the kadai and splashing around having quick baths. While one waited on the rim the other jumped in and splashed around to glory!
Then One morning I heard the raucous call of a white breasted Kingfisher with its cherry red beak and multicoloured plumage including the trademark metallic blue wings. The shot was a quick one taken in a rush and I was lucky as you can see to get a really creative shot!
There were Jungle Babblers and the regular Oriental Magpie Robin. But one afternoon as a treat came the Asian Paradise Flycatcher in all its russet glory. It kept dive bombing up and down and then I realised, it was catching insects on the wing. What a beauty! I had to rub my eyes to believe it was for real. Just its harsh cries made me realise, yes it was a real live bird!
Goa is a birders paradise! Go if you like to spend time with nature and her feathered beauties which are fast getting extinct in the name of 'development'.
We were wandering around the gardening area in the huge B & Q, home depot store in New Malden, London, when we came upon these cute solar powered garden lights in the shape of birds. I had never seen anything quite like them (see pic) and was most tickled with the tiny solar panel in its back. The birds were perfectly sculpted black birds in porcelain.
Obviously when and if the sun came up in the UK it would charge the battery via the solar panel and the bulb would light up.
The birds were not cheap and came with a price tag of 6 quid each and the only reason I did not buy one was most of them had their beaks broken. Obviously some mean shopper had taken great pleasure in snapping the yellow or black beaks of the birds and leaving them there with no hope of them being bought.
Spending three weeks in the UK for Christmas has been fun cause to keep me company while I cook in the kitchen has been a nice plump pigeon. They say feed the birds in the UK during the winter, so every crust has been broken up and thrown on the patio outside along the lawn. In minutes he will cock his eye at me from the chimney which is his normal perch on the opposite house in anticipation. Then once I throw the pieces of crust he flies down to the fence and checks if he is safe. Meaning, I have to be behind the closed door.
Once I leave the kitchen he flies down and polishes off the crusts in a trice. Sometimes a little sparrow joins him in its feast, but any movement has the sparrow flying away and not coming back. A little squirrel runs around at the bottom of the lawn trying to look for yummies but refuses to venture further.
Everything looks dank and dreary this Christmas day in London, but with us cooking up a storm in the kitchen seems to draw my pigeon friend out and makes him more friendly and looking for a fresh round of crusts 'cause its Christmas day in London!
Just six months of composting my wet waste and look at the beautiful Philodendron growing in it! Definitely well fed! Come on, make your own compost and take some of it out of the landfills! This was my status on my FB page and I hope all the people who liked it and responded feel as strongly as I do.
I was wondering where Bangalore was going with this massive amounts of garbage? We were just taking the stuff by the lorry load and dumping it in villages on the periphery of the city. The villagers have been getting ill with this rotting waste and the leachate has been percolating down into their acquifers. How fair is that? Why should they tolerate our laziness and our dirt?
We need to segregate and compost. That's the simple solution out of this mess. Till it sinks into peoples minds, we will have stinking road sides and street corners where the accumulated dirt just lies teaching us a good lesson.
We point our fingers at the west saying they are a consumer society and over consume wasting good food. Well they segregate and really nicely from what I have seen. So its time we stopped and cleaned up our act and pronto! Or we will all get Dengue, malaria, chickengunya, or go back to the dark ages and get plague.
Out of hundreds of journalists from across the globe, I was lucky to have been selected to go for my second ESOF 2012 in July to Dublin. The first ESOF 2010 I attended was in Turin.So what is this ESOF I am raving about? It is the Euroscience Open Forum which brings the best of scientists from across the globe to speak on panels and deliver lectures on the new programmes they have formulated in Science.
So everyday was like going to Alibabas cave of knowledge and letting my brain soak in all the great new concepts these brilliant men and women had formulated for the world.
I heard about fracking which is a wonderful new concept to tap gas from shale. I heard about work on growing GM crops which everyone is dead against in the world. For once I heard the other side away from the rabble rousing Greenpeace elements.
I heard about how social media has become such a marvelous tool to share stories on science. About smart cities and smart grids when the grids back here in India are tripping due to over drawing of energy.
The venue we went to was in the fancy Dublin convention centre and we had a wonderful five days listening to the best in the world expound on various topics.
In the evening we had time to enjoy our Temple Bar Hotel a cultural hotspot in the heart of the city. Take a look at the pictures. Dublin is a great place and if ever you get to visit London, do take a trip to Ireland. The people are more friendly and less dour on that side of the UK!