Posts Tagged 'sex'

baya weavers nesting

Posted by on 04 Sep 2016 | Category: photography, prakriti

It is nesting season for the baya weavers!

Baya weaver birds are small, sparrow-size birds which resemble the sparrows during the non-breeding season. During May-June, as the breeding season approaches, their gonads (sexual glands) become active and the adult males develop yellow and black color plumage on head, breast and throat; and their bills also darken. By the time the monsoon starts, the males are in bright yellow summer colors, and ready for breeding through the monsoon season (June-September).

baya weaver nest building

Why do they breed during the summer monsoon? Obviously, the grass is green during this side of the monsoon! Baya weavers forage in flocks for seeds on wild grass like these below, which are plenty after the monsoon rains. This is also the time when insects are plenty, especially to feed their young. How many bayas can you count in the image below?!

a group of baya weaver birds feeding on grass seeds

Nesting success? Baya weaver nests are exclusively built by the males and then displayed to the females. What are the factors on which the female makes it selection? Among birds, elaborate nests and decorations built by males may help females to assess a male’s quality. One of the most popular architectural attributes of the weaver nest is the entrance tube, which can get as long as 90 cm. Female birds are also selective in choosing nests which provides safety (in terms of nest height and location). So what does the baya weaver base their selection on? Is it the architecture or the location?

baya weaver nest building at Pune, Maharashtra

Safer on thorny trees: Observation shows that the female weavers are inclined towards nests which are safely located in thorny trees, farther away from the trunk and situated high above the ground. Thornless trees have higher rates of snake predation than thorny trees. Nesting success also increases with with thickness of the supporting branch and for nests which are woven with fine fiber.  Thick branches may stabilize nests during strong monsoon winds, and may also be less likely to break.

baya weaver and a garden lizard against the blue sky

Despite these precautions, garden lizards like the one above, and tree mouse do occasionally raid these nests.

Some history: Baya weavers and their unique nesting nature were first recorded in Ain-i-Akbari, the 16th-century document recording the administration of Akbar’s empire, and which is part of the a much larger document, the Akbarnama. The Volume III translation by Colonel H. S. Jarret talks about wild/domesticated bayas: “The baya is like a wild sparrow but yellow. It is extremely intelligent, obedient and docile. It will take small coins from the hand and bring them to its master, and will come to a call from a long distance. Its nests are so ingeniously constructed as to defy the rivalry of clever artificers.”

Species: Ploceus philippinus
English: Baya weaver
Location: IITM colony, Pune, Maharashtra
Date: 3 Sep 2016

1. Balasubramanian, K. S., & Saxena, R. N. (1973). Effect of pinealectomy and photoperiodism in the reproduction of Indian weaver birds, Ploceus philippinus. Journal of Experimental Zoology, 185(3), 333-340.
2. Fazl, A., & Jarrett, H. S. (1983). The Ain-i-Akbari:. Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal. (No. 61).

3. Quader, S. (2006). What makes a good nest? Benefits of nest choice to female Baya Weavers (Ploceus philippinus). The Auk, 123(2), 475-486.

oriental plain tiger

Posted by on 11 Apr 2014 | Category: photography, prakriti

The plain tiger enjoys a celebrity status of being the first butterfly in the recorded history. It was depicted in a painting, with its distinct colors and patterns, in the tomb of Nebamun in Egypt, circa 1350 BCE – that’s more than 3300 years before!

oriental plain tiger, male at korlai, maharashtra

It’s a tiger not merely in its stripes and colors. It is a terror to potential predators too! Their bodies contain toxic alkaloids from plants, which they have devoured as a larvae. Birds and predators memorize and associate the unsavoriness of these butterfly species with their patterns and habits, and try to avoid them. This, in turn, is found to have evolutionary consequences in other “edible” butterflies, which ended up mimicing similar colors and patterns in order to escape from the predators.

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the indian moon moth

Posted by on 07 May 2013 | Category: photography, prakriti

With its large, cherubic features and long trailing tails, the moon moths are one of the prettiest among moths. The Indian Moon Moth belong to the family Saturniidae, commonly known as saturniids, which are among the largest of the moths.

indian moon moth, actias selene

The Indian moon moths are nocturnal or crepuscular – i.e. they favor night or dim/twilight conditions. They are also silk producing moths, and hence tagged as sericigenous. A single cocoon of this moon moth can give continuous fiber of 300 to 350 meters. Silk moths are hence valued based on their voltinism, i.e. the number of broods they produce in an year. The Indian moon moths are trivoltine as they produce up to 3 generations of broods per year.
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of nostalgia and growing up in the early ’90s

Posted by on 18 Aug 2009 | Category: kerala, life

Whenever I use the word nostalgia, my wife says it is my excuse for remembering those girlfriends of the yore. For me, nostalgia is actually an excuse to remember my times with my boy-friends. But yes, those are the times when me and my friends chased those girls!

The word nostalgia comes from Greek, nostos meaning returning home and algos meaning pain. At a time in the past, it was used to describe as a medical condition! Nostalgia was one condition which used to cause deaths, especially to soldiers who were posted far away from home. Now it doesn’t exist as a medical category but still is attributed to many psychological conditions, depression and as a possible factor attributed to some suicides.

Age 7 (1987): OK, so back to my nostalgic memories comprising of just boys and girls. It was class 2 and I was like less than 7-8 years old. We were sitting in the classroom, I guess it was a free period though the teacher was there. Suddenly, in between, the boy sitting next to me poked me and went down the benches. Soon I followed, and there I watched with awestruck eyes the vision I will remember for the rest of my life. No, it was not the holy cross appearing on the wall. It was my first sight of the chaddi (slang for underwear) of a girl! and that too a blue chaddi! You can guess how vivid the memory is when I exclaim the color. Some of the girls were sitting on the floor, leaning their backs on the wall facing us, with their legs upright opening the gateways to a new, previously unknown, foreign land. These memories… that is what I call nostalgia 😈

Age 10 (1990): By the time we graduated to class 5, complex, intricate, dynamics ran throughout the class. This we understood only by the end of that year. A smart, dynamic young boy had joined our class in the middle of the year and had shattered all the dynamics in the class. Just after 2-3 weeks of his joining, he captured the smiles of the smartest girl of the lot. This girl was smart in studies and sports and she was pretty as well!! There were too many fans for her in the class, but none shared the secret with others. By the end of the year, the whole world conspired against this smart boy and cornered him. Last day of that year, somehow, from all sides, 4-5 boys “including me” cornered him and started pushing him. We don’t know how we all got together because it was not planned at all. Anyways it didn’t matter to us. We didn’t want a newcomer to take the girl making a fool of all of us. When he was pushed back, he caught my shirt to balance himself. The shirt I was wearing didn’t have one of the buttons and I made that a chance, accusing him for tearing off my shirt. The pandemoneum which followed – dragged him from the classroom – all the way to the basketball court. Poor boy. My autorikshaw back to home was waiting near the basketball court. So, unfortunately or fortunately, I had but to hurry off leaving the job to the others. Those are memories… that is what I should call nostalgia, right?

under the table

Age 15 (1995): Then it was class 10. We were no longer at the mercy of external dynamics. We created our own, internal, dynamics. Probably it started off as an accident from our extra scholastic mind. Excessive and vigorous use of pens and pencils used to cause them to fall on the floor, confirming Newton’s gravitational discoveries. Following Newton’s discoveries, we had our own discoveries as well. If a pen or pencil fell down, we competed to go down and search for it. You know, Larry Page was not yet at Stanford, and google was not even in the embryonic stage. So we had to be our own crawlers, and we crawled on the floor, and did our own searches for the pencil. We “stumbled upon” several gorgeous, mind-blowing structures while crawling under these benches. We indexed these crawls in our mind, for later use (?!) and I could still visualize myself under those benches… Now, aren’ t they memories? Don’t they make you nostalgic??

school footbal match by the stream

Age 17 (1997): So let us move on to class 12. By this time, all of those boys had their hormones working at its peak. Especially those who previously sat ON the benches instead of crawling UNDER! This I came to understand through the daily football matches we had. After the school time, we had almost all of the boys in our class moving on to the school playground. This playground was blessed with a stream flowing by its border. So what? Semi clad, young, water nymphs from the neighboring regions used to take bath and wash their clothes in that stream. What other heavenly boon should an adolescent boy ask for?! It always happened that the football matches were one-sided. Or to be technically accurate, the football never touched one side of the ground. It was always rushing to the other side of the ground where the stream touched it; where those nymphs moved around. Blame the dirty football! It doesn’t stop on the other side of the ground, but it always rushed down the stream. About 5-10 of the boys run down the ground and to the stream to fetch one football. About 20 boys (including the goal keeper from the other side) stand at the brink of the ground watching the huge event. “Event” in the sense, retrieving the football; not the young, fresh, round, ripe, water melons waiting to jump out of the wet wraparounds of those water nymphs! When I tell you that this happened every few seconds during the match, and that all the boys in our class participated in it, you will understand the dynamics behind it. If I don’t get nostalgic about those memories, you or at least one of those boys will beat me up!

lent and sex

Posted by on 01 Mar 2006 | Category: life

gazele: so you keepin lent
gazele: aaj ash wednessday hian na
rocksea: my lent is to abstain from bad deeds, bad thoughts
gazele: oh…..
gazele: that is toughest
rocksea: christ had said no need to take lent when hez with us
rocksea: how abt that
gazele: and when you say bad deeds and thoughts what exactly do you mean
gazele: did he say that. where is that written
rocksea: deeds n thoughts which can be harmful to life around
rocksea: wherez that written? lemme find out
rocksea: somewhere when he talked to his disciples
rocksea: may be after when he went to the hill with 2 of them, peter and
gazele: oh so you are not refraining yourself from sexual acts (what so ever) and thougths  ld
rocksea: mark 2:18-19
gazele: evede poyee
gazele: ende kartawe
rocksea: Mr 2:18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to FAST: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees FAST, but thy disciples FAST not? Mr 2:19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber FAST, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot FAST.
gazele: ningal ada noka poya arrun no
rocksea: ada??
rocksea: how do u say sexual acts are bad
gazele: i don’t say. but masturbation is considered sin
rocksea: by whom
rocksea: not for me
gazele: well not for me either
rocksea: those are sins which some bring up to keep their office
rocksea: yesterday night i masturbated.. ohhhh
gazele: hahah
gazele: so why tell me??
gazele: yesterday night i had sex
gazele: hahahaha
gazele: and what else
rocksea: what else
rocksea: so whatz ur lent on>?
gazele: nothing..
gazele: i don’t follow.
rocksea: ok
gazele: only yesterday we had 4 bacardi’s and my freezer is stocked for the entire week
rocksea: ohhh
rocksea: haha
rocksea: so enjoying
gazele: actually kim is following so he did everything possible llast night;A)
rocksea: do u mean yo people are avoiding sex too???
gazele: well he would
gazele: but then i gave him a concesson
gazele: that whenever i feel like. he would do it
gazele: adn you know other playfull stuff
gazele: 45 days. long too time maan
rocksea: so you’ll do it anyways
gazele: well i don’t want sexual tensions building up"
rocksea: god gave you all those things to do it. so if you dont utilize it he’ll be unhappy
rocksea: ya
gazele: hahaaahaahahha
rocksea: am not joking
gazele: well you do patronize god too much
rocksea: people say in life like "i have left things to god, let him do.." and they dont do things what they are supposed to do. foolish
rocksea: i dont patronize anyone
gazele: hmmn
rocksea: hey i will take this lent part and put in my blog
rocksea: names changed
rocksea: nice theme

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