Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Indian Wishbone Flower - Torenia cordifolia

Common Name : Indian Wishbone Flower
Botanical Name : Torenia cordifolia, Torenia Indica
Family : Linderniaceae(False Pimpernel family)

There are lot of flowers having similarities with this one. All are called commonly as Wishbone flower. Botanical name of today's flower is Torenia cordifolia from the plant family Linderniaceae. This flower is also known as "Heart Leaf Torenia" for it's heart shaped(though ovate) leafs.

Wishbone flower is an annual herb plant that grows lower to the ground. This plant sprawls and branches quickly. Flowers for this article are blue/violet-blue in color. Wishbone flower use to have liner bracts. It's flower is somewhat tubular having four petals where the petals are having upper and lower lips.

Leaf of this plant is an interesting one. I have seen multiple colored leafs on mountain. Pure green leafs, slight purple leaf, and finally green leaf having purple at borders. Leafs are having toothed at the margins. Shape of the leaf is ovate, heart, etc. Leafs are arranged oppositely around the stem.

It is a weed flower but never reported as invasive. This is widely available at our country. Flower use to bloom during the time around rainy season. Other flowers which are similar to this one are very tiny and people overlook that. But this one is slight larger and hard to ignore.

Photos of this article were taken from Bandarban(বান্দরবান) during August 2012.

ফুলের জন্য ভালোবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Indian Olive(জলপাই ফুল) - Elaeocarpus floribundus

Bengali Name : Jolpai, জলপাই
Common Name : Indian Olive
Botanical Name : Elaeocarpus floribundus
Family : Elaeocarpaceae

Indian Olive is a sour tasted fruit which is available allover our country Bangladesh(বাংলাদেশ). We use to call this Jolpai(জলপাই). Botanical name is Elaeocarpus floribundus and it belongs to the plant family Elaeocarpaceae. This is available both in wild and cultivated form at our country. It is native to South and East Asian region.

Indian Olive is an evergreen medium sized plant. Leafs of this plant are oblong, elliptical, ovate, etc shaped, having pointed tip and toothed margin. Before falling from the tree, the leafs become red in color. Jolpai flowers(জলপাই ফুল) are always available as cluster. Color of the flower is white, creamy white, etc. Flower is having 5 bracts/sepals which cover the five petals. Each petal than divided into hair like things. Young olive leafs are tasted sour too and children always use to pluck this from the tree.

Jolpai(জলপাই) Fruits are 2-5cm in length and having a smooth surface. Taste of the fruit is acidic. We use to make pickle from this fruit. Also it has several uses in culinary to increase the taste. These the reasons for this plant is being cultivated in our country. In our village we have several Olive plants at our yards.

Note: In Bandarban(বান্দরবান) I have seen a similar fruit in wild which is extremely bitter in taste and totally useless. I single bite on that wild fruit will make your day worst.

Photos of this article were taken from Brikkho Mela at Dhaka(বৃক্ষ মেলা, ঢাকা) during June 2012.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tall Flatsedge - Cyperus eragrostis

Common Name : Tall flatsedge, Umbrella Sedge, etc.
Botanical Name : Cyperus eragrostis
Family : Cyperaceae(Sedge family)

Botanical name of the weed is Cyperus eragrostis. It belongs to the plant family Cyperaceae. Common name of the weed flower is Tall flatsedge, Umbrella Sedge, etc. Its mainly native to American region, but later naturalized in other parts of the world. I don't know exactly by what name we call this in Bangladesh. But similar weeds are known as Ghash(ঘাস), Agachha(আগাছা), etc.

Each branch from the cluster having 5-10mm spikelets.

This Umbrella sedge is a common grass that we use to see around our paddy fields, inside bushes and other wet places. It is basically an erect perennial herb plant having thin slender pointed glossy leafs. Leafs are 4-8mm wide and it's rhizomes are short.

Umbrella sedge weed found inside a bush.

Flowers are green and interesting in architecture. Its mainly a cluster of flowers having lot of spikelets. The flower can be branched into 12/15 and each of those branches can be further branched. Each branch can have up to 30 spikelets having 5-10mm length.

Photos of this article were taken from Bandarban during August 2012.

ফুলের জন্য ভালোবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stinking passionflower - Passiflora foetida

Bengali Name : ঝুমকা লতা ফুল
Common Name : Stinking passionflower, Love in a mist.
Botanical Name : Passiflora foetida
Family : Passifloraceae

ছোট বেলায় জঙ্গলে খেলার সময় অনেক খেয়েছি এই ফল... ছোট ছোট হলুদ কমলা রঙের এই ফল, ভেতরটা সাদা সাদা ভাতের মতন দানায় ভর্তি... টক মিষ্টি মিলানো কেমন যেন একটা স্বাদ ছিল এই ফলটার... ফুল কে কখনই পরিপূর্ণ ভাবে ফোটা অবস্থায় কখনই দেখি নাই... এইবার প্রথম দেখলাম বান্দরবান যেয়ে... আমাদের দেশে যে ঝুমকা লতার ফুল হয়, এই ফুলটাও সেই একই গোত্রের... শুধু মাত্র আকারে একটু ছোট হয় এই যা...

This is an interesting weed flower that belongs to the Passifloraceae family. Common name is Stinking Passionflower, Love in a mist, etc. Botanical name is Passiflora foetida. I don't know the exact Bengali(বাংলা) name of this flower, but flowers from Passiflora genus are commonly known as Jhumka Lota Ful(ঝুমকা লতা ফুল).

Stinking passionflower is an annual climber vine plant grows as weed. But in some countries it is being considered as an ornamental flowering plant. Stems are hairy and herbaceous when young but turns into woody when matures. Leafs are having three lobes, but can have five too. It is being called stinking cause when you'll crush the leaf or stem of the plant, it will produce an stinking odor.

Flowers of this passionflower are exquisitely beautiful like others from it's relatives, but small in size. 5-6 centimeter diameter flowers are having white to pale cream color(sometime having slight touch of pink or violet at the center). Flower is having five stamens having yellow filaments from the center. Lot of liner stigmas are arranged in a circular way from the center of the flower.

Thorny bracts behind the flower act as a trap for insects. That bracts remain firm even when the fruits are ripen. Color of the fruit can be orange or yellow in Bangladesh(বাংলাদেশ). Inside the fruit has lot of black seeds with white fleshy pulps. It tastes as slight sour with sweet. In my childhood I have tasted a lot from jungle near my house.

Photos of this article were taken from Bandarban(বান্দরবান) during August 2012. I was doing a trekking for five days there.

ফুলের জন্য ভালোবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oval Leaf False Buttonweed - Spermacoce latifolia

Common Name : Oval Leaf False Buttonweed
Botanical Name : Spermacoce latifolia
Synonym : Borreria latifolia
Family : Rubiaceae

If you know more about the flower, please comment at below. ফুলটি সম্পর্কে কারো কাছে অধিক তথ্য থাকলে নীচে মন্তব্য করুন...

I have seen this weed plant a lot, but never seen it's flower. In our area this weed never brings flower. During trekking at Bandarban(বান্দরবান) and Khagrachhori(খাগড়াছড়ি), I have found this very tiny bluish white weed flower. It's name is Oval Leaf False Buttonweed. I don't know the Bangla(বাংলা) name yet. Botanical name is Spermacoce latifolia from Rubiaceae family. Thoroughly available allover in Bangladesh.

Its an annual branched herb plant with fleshy rectangular stems and slight hairy leafs. Obviously the leafs of the plant are oval(or elliptical) shaped. It has lovely liner corrugated texture on the leafs which are arranged oppositely around the stem. This plant can grow up to 50/60 centimeter.

Flowers of this weed are very very tiny. It comes from the leaf axils. Apparently the flowers look white, but a closer look will reveal it's bluish shade. Four petals are available around the small circular tubular things. Inside that tiny tube, 4 stamens and a stigma available. I don't know any uses of this plant or medicinal uses.

Photos of this article were taken from Bandarban(বান্দরবান) during August 2012.

ফুলের জন্য ভালোবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ratargul, A freshwater swamp forest from Bangladesh

Friday, 14 September 2012

It was my another traveling day at Sylhet(সিলেট). This time it was a crash tour, for only 24 hours. We have arrived to the Dorga Gate(দরগা গেট) just after the 6:00 at morning. Immediately after that we have entered into the Isti Kutum(ইষ্টি কুটুম) restaurant. Possibly we were the first customer for the day. They were still doing cleaning and other stuffs for the last time before the opening.

After a heavy breakfast we have hired a CNG auto rickshaw from the Amborkhana(আম্বরখানা) point, near the restaurant. We have fixed the vehicle for 450 taka. It will drop us at Gowainghat(গোয়াইনঘাট). It was raining lightly and the weather was extremely suitable for traveling.

Last night I didn't have a sound sleep. If I can not sleep at night, I can't do motor vehicle journey at next morning. So I was feeling headache and feeling uncomfortable. I was trying to concentrate into the roadside beauties but nothing could help me. But still I was trying to enjoy maximum.

The more we were progressing further from the town the more the beauties of the Sylhet(সিলেট) was revealing to us. The scenic views beside the gowainghat(গোয়াইনঘাট) road use to be always beautiful, regardless the season. During the rainy season you'll find the both side is covered by water. You'll not see anything except the water.

But at other seasons you'll see the green paddy fields, or the golden field when paddies are ripen. Even the empty fields during winter is still beautiful. As it was at the end of the rainy season, we found very little amount of 'water covered' lands. Most of the lads were covered with green verdant paddies. Also the view of mountains from India were as compliments beside that green field.

After a long two hours(at 8:00) of CNG ride, we have arrived to the Gowainghat bazar(গোয়াইনঘাট বাজার). We have hired a medium sized of engine driven boat for 1000 taka. It was from the Engine Nouka Ghat(ইঞ্জিন নৌকা ঘাট) near the bazaar. Before jumping inside the boat, we have bought a bottle of water and biscuits.

We three(me, Abir, and Rizwan) climbed on the roof of the boat and relaxing over there. Initially the sun was under the clouds for few minutes, but after that it was bright and sunny. I always love to journey by boats. It goes slowly, the beauties beside the rivers are always sweet. Activities of the village people around the river are always viable to me. Kids are jumping on water, or playing at the bank of the river is always something I will enjoy again and again.

By the way, I don't know the name of the river, possible it's name is Changer Khal(চেন্গের খাল). May be its a river, or a canal. But the flow of the river is extreme. Anything that dropped in the water just gone with in a flash. There were haor(হাওর) at the both sides of the river. During rainy season you can not separate the river from haor(হাওর). But as the water level was decreasing, it was easy to distinguish when we were there.

After an hour of boat journey we have reached near to the Ratergul(রাতারগুল) swam forest. As it was Friday, few groups of tourist were available before and after us. Possibly 4/5 groups we have seen. We have hired a small boat for 200 taka to see inside the swamp forest.

As the water level decreased few meters within last 2/3 weeks, it was hard to travel every places of the forest. Lot of small bushes were showing their heads over the water. That small boat couldn't push through that. During rainy season those bushes use to be under water and this kind of boats can easily move that time.

The trees were inside the water were standing still. Roots of trees were under water, and few were above. I don't know exactly what kind of plant species available inside the forest. But Hijal(হিজল) is available there for sure. This place is a nice hideout for snakes but we didn't see a single snake.

I like to swim in water, but hell not in such water. The water of that place is kind of scary. Fear of snake, threat of leeches and unknown world under the water. So I didn't dare to jump from the boat. Neither did my co-travelers.

That mysterious swamp forest was creating images on the water. It was also having the game of shadow and sun rays through the leafs above. Color of the water was greenish at some places. There were lot of small green spiders jumped from the tree over the boat. Not sure whether those were harmful or not, but was looking lovely. We have passed more than an hour inside the forest by wandering on that small boat. It was thinking about a nap on boat but couldn't.

It was around 12:00 of the day when we have returned back to the engine boat. While returning, the boat had to go against the flow of water. So it was moving in even slower pace. Amid of the way we have a swim on the river. Also it was having a heavy rain and hard to see anything for the thick rain drops. The swimming was not that much enjoyable for the muddy water, and for the extreme current of the river. It was extremely hard for even standing on the water. But it was adventurous. By the way, only Abir(আবীর) and me have participated on that, not Rezwan(রেজওয়ান). In fact it was Abir(আবীর) who was more interested as he was the youngest of us.

After stopping the rain, it had a scorching sun over the sky immediately. It was hard to sit over the roof of the boat for the heat. After half an hour again the rain came. That time it was even heavier than previous one. I went inside, under the roof, but other twos were standing on the top, under the umbrellas.

After a 2.5 hours of boat ride, we have returned back from where we have started boat riding. Our journey just ended, but the rain didn't. It was raining continually. After paying to the boatman, we have moved for the Jaflong(জাফলং). That is another story which I'll share with you next time.

About Ratargul(রাতারগুল):

Its the only freshwater swamp forest(মিঠা পানির বন) from the Bangladesh. It means, the water is not salty like sundarban(সুন্দরবন), and part of the trees use to be under the water. And the trees from that forest are habituated in such a ways that they can even survive in water. In sundarban(সুন্দরবন) the water level is controlled by the high and low tides from the river, ocean. But in Ratargul(রাতারগুল) the water is only controlled by the rainy season. At other seasons there will be hardly any water inside the forest. Those rainy season waters are in fact overflowed water from haor(হাওর) and rivers.

Things to Ponder:

Do not destroy your motherland or the world. Keep this forest clean so that our next generation do not think it was a story. Leave a chance for them too to see it. So my friends, be nature friendly during your travel. Do not leave any sign behind that tells you were there. Enter silently and return back silently. Please.

A road side view on the way.

A village house beside the river.

Almost near to the swamp forest.

Such green spiders were crawling over us.

A common dragon fly.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Khagrachhori: Sijuk Waterfall-2(সিজুক ঝরনা-২)

Friday, 07 September 2012

Before visiting Sijuk-1 waterfall, we have visited the Sijuk-2 waterfall(সিজুক ঝরনা-২). If you are interested you can read that article first before reading this one.

After reaching to the Sijuk Khal(সিজুক খাল), we have decided to visit the furthest waterfall first. From that point the whole trek was through the water of the Jhiri/Chhora(ঝিরি/ছড়া). We were tired as the sun was hitting directly. Initially we were feeling tired to move further. But later our energy was slowly repleting as the whole path was covered with dense trees and also we were cooling by the water from the stream.

Most of the part of the stream was very low depth of water. Only few places were having venerable height. The bushes around the Jhiri(ঝিরি) was covered with trees and millions of bamboos. Local tribal use to chop those bamboos and sell at paper mills nearby. They use to bind all those bamboos in such a ways that it floats on the water. Later they pull those inflatable things over the water of the stream. This way they will carry those bamboos to the Kasalong river(কাসালং নদী).

The whole path had entertaining stuffs throughout the ways. Lot of melodious birds, the murmuring sound of the water from the stream and plenty more things. Sometimes the hide and seek of sun ray on the water through the thick leafy shade from the tree. Sometimes we have jumped back on the water for sudden depth increasing.

Our guides were busy with collecting snails and chingri(চিংড়ি) from the water while we were busy with walking. The stream was profound with the different shaped of snails and chingri(চিংড়ি). As I already have mentioned about the bamboo chopping around the bushes, lot of chopped crumbs of bamboos were lying on the water. Those fishes and snails use to hide on the hollow of those bamboos.

Everything was going perfectly, but suddenly Murad(মুরাদ) got a cramp initially on left leg and later on both. He was not doing such walking since long time. So I was slight afraid about his condition. By any cost I didn't want any of my team members to left behind. I have given him my anklets and that helped him to walk slowly(later he got used to it).

The water from the jhiri(ঝিরি) was cleaner most of the times. You can easily see the 2/3 feet through the water. But at some places the water was having bad smells for the rotten leafs and murky stuffs at the surface below. I always feel stinky to pass such places.

Final portion of the Jhiri(ঝিরি) was having a lot of depth. From that place we could see the waterfall, but to reach near to it we had to pass through the muddy path instead of water. The path was covered with bushes, broken stems, rotten leafs, etc. Sometimes my feet have pushed more than a ft into the mud. My sandals lost on that mud on several occasion and rescued back.

After reaching to the beautiful waterfall and capturing the snaps, we have had a shower on the waterfall. Beneath the waterfall the depth of the water is around 7/8 ft. So if you do not know swimming, better not try.

After returning from the waterfall we have visited the Sijuk-1 waterfall. You can read more about it from Sijuk-1 article. After visiting the waterfall, it was around 5:00 at afternoon. So without wasting any time we have started to return back.

As we have climbed down from the hill at the last stage, so while returning it was a tough task. But somehow we have passed that without any problem. In fact we were trekking continually and with rapid pace as the sky was threatening for a shower. But slowly we have discovered that the clouds were gone. But alas! the path were muddy and slight slippy. It had a rain on those places already. Somehow we didn't get under the rain, but the path ahead of us washed recently.

There were several 'one log pool' over small canals which needs care if you are not a regular trekker. But if you are regular its piece a cake. Exactly one hour later we have reached at the nondoram(নন্দরাম) village where we have left our bikes. Without wasting any times we have started for Dighinala(দীঘিনালা) by riding on those bikes.

Amid of the road we were thwarted at the Army check post. It was 6:30 at evening. If you are not a tribal then you are not allowed to pass that check post after 6:00. We have seen two/three bikes were waiting on that post. As they were all tribal, they got the permission. But they were reluctant to let us go for security. After asking lot of questions and queries they have finally released us.

The last half an hour of the bike ride was through the floating clouds around. It was chilling when the clouds were touching us. That cold thing is such an ineffable thing that you'll never understand.

Things were going pretty well, but again alas! the headlight of the bike just gone down. I should say it went on no control situation. It was switching on and off by itself on it's own wish. By that time our other bike gone far away. I have a torch light on my bag, so used that one for rest of the ride and it was just after 7:00 at evening when we finished riding. Other bike was waiting anxiously at Dighinala(দীঘিনালা) town for us.

A rough sketch about the location of the falls.

While returning from the Dighinala(দীঘিনালা) we didn't find any CNG auto. One guy was asking for 1000 taka and it was huge for us. Bike will cost 300 taka for each. But I wasn't interested for another bike ride. Luckily we found a Pcab kind of vehicle for only 600 taka! Around 40 people can easily sit on that vehicle easily. So we were feeling like king on such a large vehicle while returning.

If you want to know how to go and etc things, just read the other article about Sijuk-1 Waterfall.

কেউ যদি এইখানে বেড়াইতে যাই, তাইলে যেন আমরা কিছু ফালাইয়া না রাইখা আসি... আমরা যে এইখানে গেছিলাম, এইটার কোনো নিশানাই ঐখানে রাইখা আসা যাবে না... মনে রাখবেন উপরের দিকে থুথু ফেললে নিজের গায়েই লাগে... জায়গাটা ময়লা আবর্জনা ফেলে নষ্ট করলে কিন্তু আমাদের দেশের একটা সুন্দর জায়গাই নষ্ট হবে, যা আমাদেরই ক্ষতি...!

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