Posts Tagged ‘creation’

Creatures, and verse….

July 24, 2014

I got a well-meaning email saying that my photography was getting "worse and worse" and explaining all my faults. Now, I am a HCP..Hopelessly Content Photographer, who posts SMS (Shamelessly Mediocre Shots). So…I thought, what if my photography was verse instead of worse? Here goes…I saw all these in Scandinavia.

Tired of flitting.
A little lazy.
Stop a minute.
Upon a Daisy.

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“Scratch” the race!
This young hare cries.
Hidden in the high grass
Is the tortoise, slow but wise!

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The flower has food in plenty.
The bee, therefore, is rolling.
As he drinks the nectar up
He gathers up the pollen.

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This cat was keen upon its hunt.
And did not like being snapped.
Its agenda was very clear:
A mouse, eaten, after getting trapped!

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Big Chief One-Feather
Sat upon a pole.
Hoping for a juicy chick,
A shrew, or a vole!

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This moth lay on the leaf-litter.
Amongst the drops of rain.
Will it die where it lies now?
Or will it fly again?

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Can you see my horns? He asks
While running in the wheat.
He slants a wary eye at us:
Vanishes on graceful feet.

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Curling into a fetal ball
Is this hedgehog’s best defense.
I didn’t touch him or trouble him..
But caught him with my lens.

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Glorying in the sunlight
At the prime of his young life.
Grassy paddocks and well-cared ease:
What does he know of strife?

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“Life’s a bubble”..so it seems
When I watch this foraging duck.
He’ll migrate soon, for the winter months
And survive, if he has good luck!

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“I have so many back home!” I cried
As we kept seeing European Black Kites.
Then, suddenly an Osprey appeared:
A dream come true in browns and whites!

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I just looked at the backyard.
No announcement. No knock.
He arrived…and left..so silently,
This European Peacock.

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One of my favourite creations

August 21, 2013

This cartoon, which I drew when in college, proved to be so popular that I must have drawn dozens in the notebooks of my friends, teachers, and college mates…decided to draw one and send it as a greeting card to someone today.

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I’ve done a lot of variations of this child..barefoot, only-nappy, no hair, no flowers, and so on….

I do love drawing, but don’t get around to it too much!

Origami in everyday life…

June 25, 2013

One tends to think of origami as a purely art form, for children to learn….and forget the fact that it’s very useful in daily life, too. You can take a piece of cardboard, shaped thus:

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Fold it so:

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Fold it further, so:

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Add two handles, and hey presto, you can carry food in it!

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I love Bengali “tonga”s, all folding food boxes, and some beautifully folded paper cups, too! Useful origami…

Jellyfish, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, 270513

May 31, 2013

On a recent visit to Chicago, I went to visit the famous

Shedd Aquarium

Of the many water creatures that I saw there, some of the most beautiful, and ethereal, were the

JELLYFISH

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Jellyfish, sometimes called “jellies” are the major non-polyp form of individuals of the phylum Cnidaria. They are typified as free-swimming marine animals consisting of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. The bell can pulsate for locomotion, while stinging tentacles can be used to capture prey.

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Cnidaria? How does one even pronounce that? Easier to just watch these beings float across the water..

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Jellyfish are mainly to be found in seawater, but there are some freshwater varieties, too.

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Jellyfish roamed the seas for at least 500 million years, and possibly 700 million years or more, making them the oldest multi-organ animal. Wow! Jellies are older than I am!

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The name “jellyfish” is itself the subject of debate. As jellyfish are not vertebrates, let alone true fish, the word jellyfish is considered by some to be a misnomer. Public aquariums may use the terms jellies or sea jellies instead. Indeed, it may be said that the term “jellies” has become more popular than “jellyfish”. In scientific literature, “jelly” and “jellyfish” are often used interchangeably.Some sources may use the term “jelly” to refer to organisms in this taxon, as “jellyfish” may be considered inappropriate.

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Amazingly, most jellyfish do not have specialized digestive, osmoregulatory, central nervous, respiratory, or circulatory systems. The manubrium is a stalk-like structure hanging down from the centre of the underside, with the mouth at its tip. This opens into the gastrovascular cavity, where digestion takes place and nutrients are absorbed. It is joined to the radial canals which extend to the margin of the bell. Jellyfish do not need a respiratory system since their skin is thin enough that the body is oxygenated by diffusion. They have limited control over movement, but can use their hydrostatic skeleton to navigate through contraction-pulsations of the bell-like body; some species actively swim most of the time, while others are mostly passive.

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Another incredible fact is that the body is composed of over 95% water; most of the umbrella mass is a gelatinous material — the jelly — called mesoglea which is surrounded by two layers of protective skin. The top layer is called the epidermis, and the inner layer is referred to as gastrodermis, which lines the gut.

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Can jellyfish “feel”? Jellyfish employ a loose network of nerves, located in the epidermis, which is called a “nerve net”. Although traditionally thought not to have a central nervous system, nerve net concentration and ganglion-like structures could be considered to constitute one in most species.A jellyfish detects various stimuli including the touch of other animals via this nerve net.

Their “vision”, too, is different….Some jellyfish have ocelli: light-sensitive organs that do not form images but which can detect light, and are used to determine up from down, responding to sunlight shining on the water’s surface. These are generally pigment spot ocelli, which have some cells (not all) pigmented.

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Certain species of jellyfish, such as the box jellyfish, have been revealed to be more advanced than their counterparts. The box jellyfish has 24 eyes, two of which are capable of seeing color, and four parallel information processing areas or rhopalia that act in competition,[supposedly making it one of the few creatures to have a 360-degree view of its environment.The eyes are suspended on stalks with heavy crystals on one end, acting like a gyroscope to orient the eyes skyward. They look upward to navigate.

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Their sizes vary widely. Jellyfish range from about one millimeter in bell height and diameter to nearly two meters in bell height and diameter; the tentacles and mouth parts usually extend beyond this bell dimension.

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Most jellyfish alternate between polyp and medusa generations during their life cycle. Additionally, there are several possible larval life-stages. Their reproduction, too, is amazing..it’s both sexual and asexual! Upon reaching adult size, jellyfish spawn daily if there is enough food. In most species, spawning is controlled by light, so the entire population spawns at about the same time of day, often at either dusk or dawn.[42] Jellyfish are usually either male or female (hermaphroditic specimens are occasionally found).

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And here’s the most amazing factoid of all..some varieties of jellies are immortal! Jellyfish lifespans typically range from a few hours to several months. Life span and maximum size varies by species. Jellyfish held in public aquariums are carefully tended, and so may live several years, though this would be very unusual in the sea. Most large coastal jellyfish live 2 to 6 months, during which they grow from a millimeter or two to many centimeters in diameter. One unusual species is reported to live as long as 30 years. Another unusual species, T. nutricula, might be effectively immortal because of its ability under certain circumstances in the laboratory to transform from medusa back to the polyp stage, thereby escaping death!

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Jellies are carnivorous, feeding on plankton, crustaceans, fish eggs, small fish and other jellyfish, ingesting and voiding through the same hole in the middle of the bell. Jellies hunt passively using their tentacles as drift nets. Some jellies can have a toxic sting, too. Jellyfish stings range from a twinge to tingling to agony. Most jellyfish stings are not deadly, but stings of the Box jellyfish, such as the famous and especially toxic Irukandji jellyfish, can be deadly

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Their enemies? Other species of jellyfish are among the most common and important jellyfish predators, some of which specialize in jellies. Other predators include tuna, shark, swordfish, sea turtles and at least one species of Pacific salmon. Sea birds sometimes pick symbiotic crustaceans from the jellyfish bells near the sea’s surface.

Of course, we are enemies to jellies, too. In some countries, such as Japan, jellyfish are known as a delicacy. “Dried jellyfish” has become increasingly popular throughout the world. The jellyfish is dried to prevent spoiling; if not dried they can spoil within a matter of hours. Once dried, they can be stored for weeks at a time.

I do not know exactly which species of jellyfish I have photographed. The light in the enclosure changed from blues to violets, and I tried clicking them as they rapidly moved through the water with other-wordly grace. Indeed, the word “other-worldly” is very appropriate..this marine world is one which most of us will never enter in our lives! The jellies I photographed had such long tentacles; they seemed to entangle themselves in each other and with the tentacles of the “bloom” (group of jellies)…and I saw several severed pieces of tentacles, too. Apparently, jellyfish are displayed in many public aquaria. Often the tank’s background is blue and the animals are illuminated by side light, increasing the contrast between the animal and the background. In natural conditions, many jellies are so transparent that they are nearly invisible.

What amazing creatures populate this Earth! Between the land, the water and the air, there will never be an end to the wonders that Nature provides.

If all these photos are not enough, you can see my FaceBook album

here

Amphibians…

April 18, 2011

Frogs and toads…their new scientific names are quite horrific. Gone are the simple old days of Rana and Bufo. Now, Seshadri the Frogman informs me…. there are names like Fejervarya, Philautus which is now Raorchestes…..! and then, he says, there is Nasikabatrachus (nasika=nose batracha=frog meaning pig nosed frog!)

A pig-nosed frog must be a real beauty…

Please note the scientific names in the illustration below, what sort of scientist do you think thought them up?

Here’s a

SKITTER FROG (Euphlyctis, possibly Cyanophlyctis)

Skitter Frog (Euphlyctis, possibly Cyanophlyctis).

and here’s a

CRICKET FROG (Fejervarya sp)…

Cricket Frog (Fejervarya sp)

no, it wasn’t called that because we were having the World Cup Final the next day!

Stingrays in St Louis Zoo

May 14, 2009

I still manage to get news from the daily newspaper rather than the Internet, and from the St Louis Post-Dispatch that there would be a Stingray exhibit at the Zoo…and when I went there last week, it hadn’t yet opened….so yesterday, I looked it up on the net and the exhibit was on…and it was free for the first hour of the Zoo’s opening.

So I decided to combine the Zoo visit with my morning paper-buying and walk…..and when I reached the Zoo, I realized that though the Zoo allowed me to go inside, it would technically be open only at 9, and I had an hour, in which I wandered around, read the newspaper, and returned…to find that already, there was quite a queue!

Here’s the signboard about the Southern Stingray:

120509 southern stingray

The one about the Cownose Stingray:

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more about the stingrays

Staggeringly beautiful…

April 5, 2007

Yes, yes, I know I have posted a lot today, but this is too incredible to pass up.

Here is asakiyume‘s post:

http://asakiyume.livejournal.com/102845.html

NOW…tell me…how was that!