A rare sighting of a bird is something that birders look forward to. While we were birding at Valley School, we discussed about the sighting of a Black Baza in Muthanallur lake, a rare sighting that we did not want to miss. Despite being tired we decided to try our luck. We could not get to see the Baza, but witnessed a drama enacted by a pair of common coots.
While we were on the tank bund, we noticed a pair of Coots making agitated alarm calls.
We saw a juvenile Brahminy kite swooping in for a kill directly amidst the coots.
The reason for the alarm of the coots became clear when we noticed the chicks that were swimming along! The Coots made a valiant attempt at chasing away the Kite.
The chicks immediately went for a dive into water. One chick dives in first.
Another chick dived in, while the adults try to relentlessly chase away the Brahminy Kite.
The adults didn’t give up till the Brahminy flew away.
The lovely chicks resurfaced!
The chicks discussed with a parent on what happened!
The parents then guided them away to a safer place.
The parents moved the chicks to the safety of Water Hyacinths.
A birding trip to a wetland never disappoints!
As water trickled down the mountain walls covered with ferns, moss, lichens and wildflowers – tiny insects and butterflies hovered around the flowers to settle down once in a while to sip nectar from the flowers. The lush green ferns complemented the tiny specks of stunningly beautiful flowers. A fairy tale setting indeed , little did we know that we were about to see the most incredible plant – the Uticularia striatula .
Uticularia striatula is one of the pink dots in the picture.
This picture indicates the size of the flower .
Tiny flowers of Impatiens species looked like dolls hanging from the stems. When touched the seed pods burst open,scattering seeds in all directions,seemingly impatient to broadcast the seeds.Hence the name impatiens .
As we browsed along the rocks for more flowers we chanced to see this flower which was different from the others. It was a phenomenal moment as we had found the Uticularia striatula .
Uticularia striatula is a carnivorous plants that can be found growing in wet moss and spongy bark on trees in rainforests. This plant catches its prey by using tiny capsules, which have doors on them that are lined with very sensitive bristles. If a micro organism touches the bristles , the door and the prey is tightly sealed inside in about half a millisecond. The bladderwort then secrets acids to digests its prey and within two hours the plant is ready to reset the trap to try and catch another tasty snack. Bladderworts are only big enough to eat small animals such as: paramecium,amoeba, water fleas, aquatic worms and mosquito larvae.
Click for the video where high-speed cameras capture the action of the carnivorous bladderworts suck in their prey — all in about half a millisecond proving that it is the smallest but fastest trap.
Credit: Interdisciplinary Physics Lab/CNRS and Joseph Fourier University, Plant Biomechanics Group/University of Freiburg
Recent findings have shown that one of the Uticularia species has been deleting noncoding “junk” DNA from its genetic material over many generations.
It is indeed amazing to see that though being small in size how brilliantly they trap micro organisms that are harmful to humans like amoeba and mosquito larvae.
During our trip to the Laata village during our Nanda Devi trail , we happened to have a closer look at the lifestyle of the people too. As we trekked up to the summer village of Laata we encountered women who were trekking down with a huge load on their back. We learnt that these women trek about 14 kilometers in all to wash their clothes in the river down the valley . The mountain stream up in the village is just enough for cooking and other basic uses.
When people struggle so much to get water should we not be more careful in spending water?
Have a look at some links which I have compiled which gives a fairly good idea of how every drop counts.
22 lakh people in Bangalore are currently suffering from water scarcity. If we collected all of the water that is being wasted down stormwater drains, and if we treated our sewage water, we could serve the water needs of 53% of Bangalore’s population. Ref – Indianwater portal
The true cost of water – and the price we pay for it
Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA) got kids excited about water – its importance to life, designing a simple water harvesting solution, recycling water from our washing and flushes for reuse, conserving lakes and a whole lot of life lessons around the life-giving resource!
The global warming is expected to pose serious challenges to fresh water resource.The paper examines the escalating threats of climate change on eastern and north eastern, river basins of India. Ref –Water resources in India under changed climate scenario- A paper in International Journal of Engineering Research and ApplicationsThe ecosystems play an essential role in enhancing food security.
The ecosystems play an essential role in enhancing food security. Ecosystems supply the fundamental foundation of life support, by providing ecosystem services that enable us to produce or utilize food and water. They also provide clean air and climate regulation, shelter and medicines, cultural and aesthetic well being, and can have a vital role in disaster risk reduction. These ecosystem services are however under increasing pressure and threat of further degradation. Ref : WOTR’s Position Paper on “Biodiversity and adaptation to climate change” released on October 16, 2012 at the COP-11 in Hyderabad
Climate change will make monsoons unpredictable. As a result, rain-fed wheat cultivation in South Asia as well as in India will suffer in a big way. Total cereal production will go down. The crop yield per hectare will be hit badly, causing food insecurity and loss of livelihood. The rising levels of the sea in the coastal areas will damage nursery areas for fisheries, causing coastal erosion and flooding. Agricultural land will shrink and the available land may not remain suitable for the present crops for too long. Farmers have to explore options of changing crops suitable to weather. Impact of climate change on food security in India – A paper published in the journal Advances in Asian Social Science
Click on the link to know how to save water All that Bangalore can do to save some water this year
Catch Every Drop is the beginning of a movement aimed at sustainable water conservation, harvesting and recharge in and by Bangalore city.