Cuttlefish and its bone

It was a cloudy late afternoon, and on this fateful evening Harsha went to the sea shore, hoping to have a good run, because he had just eaten a heavy lunch at his neighbour's. He was also dreading the upcoming Navaratri, where he has to eat the same special lunches everyday for next 10 days. As such, he hoped to get back to runner's rhythm and not feel ‘ugggh’. 

While on his run, he noticed many a dead cuttlefishes, as well as jellyfishes. Trying his best not to stop while running, he promised himself that he would spend time on the beach after the run, and inspect these dead creatures to see if they are tweet-worthy.

The heavy meal didn't help much with running. So, he cut short his run by a kilo meter, and went investigating these creatures. Soon, he found a small lump of weird thing, which later turned out to be a cuttlefish.

This fish, having long lost its bodily features, wasn't rotten yet. Harsha picked it up, smelled it, poked it around and turned it upside down. "Aha!" he exclaimed, to no one in particular. He could see what looked like a bone! Using his bare fingers, he cleaned the skin off, to see the bone clearly, still inside the dead body.

For long time, some 20 years or so, he had been wondering where in the cuttlefish this bone exists. He doesn't have to wonder any more. Now, if he can somehow squeeze out this bone right out of this fish, he could find closure, and thus never have to wonder again ever about cuttlefishes while running. Also, who knows, this could be tweet-worthy and might even get a few likes.

Thus, Harsha started to see if he can put enough pressure to break the skin off. Holding his cellphone is one hand, because there is always a chance of a rogue wave that would sneak up and drench his short, should he keep his phone inside his short's pockets. Clearly, this man has learnt from his repeated mistakes. Thus, using one hand and one leg, he started dig in to the body to squeeze out the bone. "Surely this man has lost his mind" is what a bystander would have thought, if there were any. 

He had to put quite a lot of pressure and soon he found himself staring at the cuttlefish bone, fresh out of its protective body, out in the open, ready to be tweeted/emailed/blogged.

After taking few pictures, he left the fish and its bone, to be taken care by the tides and the winds. He walked along the shore, feeling very productive.

Look what kittens brought home!

This late evening, kittens were huddled around something and were very alert! It usually means trouble. It was.

They caught a neat little baby snake! Later Shaleen of http://www.indiansnakes.org/ later identified this baby as Common Wolf Snake. They are non-venomous, nocturnal snakes.

 

After chasing the kittens away, I inspected the baby snake for damages. It wasn't hurt, luckily. I couldn't identify the baby snake, it didn't look like a cobra, viper, nor a krait. I took the baby snake inside the house where there was better light, grabbed the camera and took few pics. 

 


Kittens, all three of them, weren't too happy with my meddling and wanted their toy back. I had to take the baby snake away before I could figure out better light and camera setting to get good pics :-/

Anyway, baby snake is now swimming happily along the rain water stream near by, and kittens found some other distractions to keep themselves busy for the night. 

So cool to see this fairly unknown snake, that too a baby! 

A cobra visited us on Naga panchami!

So, Mom and I were drinking coffee this evening, which happens to be Naga Panchami festival. Mom had given the offering of flowers, camphor, coconut and bananas to bunch of Cobra statues this morning!

Just about then, I see this slithering shape crawling right in front of the house. With no hesitation, I called out to mom, 'Maa, nagara haavu!' and ran for the camera.

I clicked a few pics with a wide angle lens, then asked mom to keep an eye on the cobra and went inside in search of better lens! The cobra though was not in any hurry and was just slowly heading, with no particular destination in mind!

With my trusty 100mm lens, I ventured out, stalking the cobra. Of course, cobra warned me early on itself! Now it had already crossed the granite floor and had crawled into the garden. It had rained heavily and there were rain water puddles everywhere.

I managed to get some close ups, and then I stopped clicking photos and just watched this glorious fearsome creature crawl towards the bushes near by. within few moments it disappeared!

What a nice, pleasant surprise to see a beautiful cobra on the day we worship them! 

Territorial fights

There was a territorial fight between two peacocks, until the neighbour's dog chased them away. Both the peacocks were sizing each other up, circling around, staring each other. 

Occasionally one of them would jump high up, then the next one! This went on for a while!

 

Heron's dinner

A Purple heron gulps down a Checkered keelback snake. I shot these from quite a distance, else there is a chance heron might drop the meal and fly away. It spent quite some time to eat the whole meal. RIP snake.

Shot under low light conditions with some rain drizzling along as well. 

Watering the plastic plants

Don't want to watch the birds and the bees
He knows not the sounds of rains and seas
Never knew how the flowers smell
or even how the rivers swell

Ain't got no time, because he is busy
watering the plastic plants

She heard that critters are dying
long gone are the many birds, they say
There is little hope, if at all
Don't know if kids would play in the woods again

Ain't got no time to think, because she is busy
watering the digital plants

We still hear about the kids in Africa
or the bombs in Syria
But it ain't our problem you see
those seem so far away

Ain't got no time to worry, because we are busy
watering the plastic plants

Silence of the night

It is late in the evening.

Suddenly I am aware of the silence that has taken over.

Very typical night here at home. I hear some dog howling far away. Background noise is mix of sounds from Cicadas and crickets. Few occasional croaking of frogs from the paddy fields in front.

Raju, the neighbourhood dog is waiting patiently for me to feed him some biscuits.

If I listen carefully I can hear the wall clock making tick tick sound. When I pay attention to it, I hear many other strange noises too.I don't know which insects are making such sounds.

I hear no other sounds.

I've grown fond of this silence. It is calming, strengthening. Silence sounds very permanent. 

I saw fireflies tonight.

I saw fireflies tonight.
I can not recall the last time I saw fireflies. Its been so long. 

It is an immensely satisfying experience. Especially when you see one unexpectedly. 
I've been thinking of fireflies for last few weeks. Every time I stepped out in the night, I was paying extra attention to notice fireflies. 

Tonight, very unexpectedly I saw one. In the distance, in the garden in front. Such immediate, immense burst of joy

Its totally dark out and I see tiny speck of light. On, off, on off, each time the speck keeps moving around.

Soon, I noticed that its very hilarious to predict its path and fail utterly. Firefly is so smoothly random in its path, that it always surprises me.

Why do fireflies make such light?

Some millions of years ago, an insect's DNA went through a mutation that caused the insect's bum to light up? And that helped the DNA to propagate better? 

Such absurdity.

It has to be a prominent mutation, because to survive such colossal randomness and still survive is an astronomical chance. If it survived that long, it is very possible that this 'bum light' must help the insect to mate. Thus helping the DNA propagation. First step of the whole mating process, perhaps.

Some such logic.

Much easy to say "Its magic" and just enjoy the firefly show.