Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dheki Shak(ঢেঁকি শাক) - Fern

If you have ever studied biology at your high school, then I must say you are very much familiar with the Fern. This is one of the world's most ancient plants that first appeared around 360 million years back(sounds crazy though). In our country Bangladesh we have a very common type of Fern which is locally known as Dheki Shak(ঢেকি শাক).

Fern is an abundantly growing herb plant that doesn't bring any flower or seed. For this special criterion, this plant is a must read article in our high school biology books. It uses to propagate through the spores. It grows as a weed in our country at the wastelands or unused lands. But in lot of countries it is being used as an ornamental plants for it's leaf's structures.

This a Fern bush that is placed inside a garden for ornamental beauty.

The young leaf buds are called frond and is a very palatable vegetable when well cooked. In fact this is one of my favorite dish. Whenever I go to my village, I usually do not miss the chance to enjoy this dish.

Young fern bud usually known as Frond. This portion of the plant is being used as a palatable vegetable in our country science ancient time.

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chhitkari Gota Ful(ছিটকারি গোটা ফুল) - Microcos paniculata

Bengali Name : Chhitkari Gota Ful(ছিটকারি গোটা ফুল), Potka Ful(পটকা ফুল).
Botanical Name : Microcos paniculata
Synonym : Grewia microcos
Family : Tiliaceae

I am not sure about it's common name. This plant is native to South, South-east Asian region. Botanical name of this plant is Microcos paniculata. It belongs to the plant family Tiliaceae. In Bangladesh we call this as Chhitkari Gota Ful(ছিটকারি গোটা ফুল), Potka Ful(পটকা ফুল). Our village kids use to play with the fruit of this plant to make a cracking sound with the help of wooden pipe, or hollow bamboo. That's why our native names are weird like those.

This is mainly a large shrubby plant which can grow up to three meter in height. Leafs are broad, elliptic in shape. Young leafs are slightly coffee colored, but still looks greenish. This plant can not sustain that much of water and usually dies during the flood in our country.

Flowers use to bloom as a cluster. Star shaped flowers are having five petals and color is creamy, light yellow, etc. But this flower steals the bright yellow color from it's stamens as they are numerous in numbers. This flower blooms more or less every season in our country but you'll find this plenty during the rainy season.

Photos of this article were taken from Rema-Kalenga Reserve Forest during the April 2013.

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Naogaon: Alta Dighi & Shalbon(আলতা দিঘী ও শালবন)

Friday, 17 May 2013

Altadighi(আলতাদীঘি) is a name of a large pond and also a less heard travel destination from our country Bangladesh. This is situated exactly near at the India-Bangladesh border at the North Bengal. There is a Shalbon(শালবন) exists beside this water tank that comprises of various trees including Shal(শাল) and Gojari(গজারী). We have visited this place after exploring the Jogoddol Bihar(জগদ্দল বিহার).

Our van driver was initially reluctant to provide us further service when we have finished our exploration at the Jogoddol Bihar(জগদ্দল বিহার). It was around 2:30 of afternoon and his only focus was only on the lunch. But somehow I have convinced him to stay with us until the end of the day. This portion of our country is having a very poor transportation service. Its hard to get any kind of vehicles over there. So at any cost I had to keep him with us!

It took around an hour or more to reach at the Altadighi(আলতাদীঘি) from the Jogoddol Bihar(জগদ্দল বিহার). They van was moving slowly as the road was muddy at some places. Also we had to walk on the road when it was hard for a van to push with passengers. But the aesthetic beauty of the road and it's surrounding was bewildering. It was the month of harvesting and the fields beside the road was always covered with golden colored of ripen or nearly ripen crops. Since we were sitting idly on the van, we have enjoyed this beauty thoroughly.

It was an amazing road. We used this road to come at Alta Dighi(আলতা দিঘী) from Jogoddol Bihar(জগদ্দল বিহার).

After reaching at the Altadighi(আলতাদিঘী), we have had a rest near a tea stall beside the pond. We have enjoyed an unique dish that is made from the Til(তিল) and puffed rice(মুড়ি). It was a mouthwatering and amazingly tasty dish. I was not that we were too much hungry, it was really a tasty dish. Our van driver also enjoyed this, basically he took this as his lunch. During his lunch, we have enjoyed the Dighi(দিঘী) for a while.

Basically this Dighi(দিঘী) is not that much large one, but it has a significance. Very few portion of the Dighi(দিঘী) resides inside the India. And lot of Bangladeshi tourists use to cross the border unknowingly while exploring the area. And thus they creates hassle for the local armed forces. So you should have to be careful when you go there. We were always careful and always aware about this issue. We didn't like to face any hazards during our travel!

After the short refreshment, we have decided to explore the forest which is known as Shalbon(শালবন). This forest is rich with lot of native plants which grows naturally. I don't know most of the plant's names except only few like Shal(শাল), Gojari(গজারী), etc. Along with this natural trees, I have found plenty of planted trees which was monitored by the forest department of Bangladesh. This forest is also profound with lot of native and uncommon birds which are hardly seen now a days. Unfortunately I don't know most of their names.

Most of the plants from the forest is deciduous, but they are deciduous during any season. This is the beauty of the Shalbon(শালবন). You'll find numerous leafs are trashing around under the trees. And whenever you walk over those you'll heard the lyrical murmuring sound from the leafs. We have had a short exploration around the forest.

It was around 4:30 at afternoon when we have returned back from the Altadighi(আলতা দিঘী). It was another 45 minutes of Van ride until it dropped us at the Dhamoirhat(ধামইরহাট) Bazaar.

How to Go:

First of all you have to come at the Dhamoirhat(ধামইরহাট) Upazela of Naogaon(নওগাঁ) District. You can come here from Joypurhat(জয়্পুরহাট), or from the Naogaon(নওগাঁ) district. Choice is yours. You'll find plenty of local bus services around to go there.

From Dhamoirhat(ধামইরহাট) bazaar, just hire a van for 70-100 Taka that will drop you at the Alta Dighi(আলতা দীঘি). It will be a ride of 45 minutes. I'll suggest you to keep the van with you for round trip. Otherwise you may find with no vehicle at the middle of nowhere.

GPS coordinate of the Altadighi(আলতাদীঘি) is (25°10'51.44"N, 88°51'57.93"E).

The Shalbon(শালবন) has a beautiful road like this one for walking. It has too many shaded trees around and you'll never feel tired while walking around.

About the Altadighi(আলতাদীঘি):

During the ruling period of Raja Biswanath Jogdol(রাজা বিশ্বনাথ জগদল) during 1400th century this place was having a serious scarcity of the water. To ease the water crisis the king decide to dug a pond for his peasants. To decide about the length of the pond, the kind requested his queen to walk until her foot bleeds. Thus the his queen started walking and he already passed a long distance. The high officials of the king's thought that the King might not be able to dug such a large water tank. So they have thrown Alta(a red color that our girls used to decorate their feet that time) on her feet and started shouting that her feet started bleeding. So she stopped at there. Local people believe this tale is the main reason to call this dighi(দীঘি) as Altadighi(আলতাদীঘি).

Cane tree. Botanical name Calamus rotang

Our high school teachers used to beat us using this stick, of course without the thorns. It was an inhuman task that they did us and I hate them for this!

Another charming road inside the Shalbon(শালবন).

You'll find plenty of Gojari(গজারী গাছ) Plants over there.

Dread leafs of the Shaal(শাল গাছ) and Gojari(গজারী গাছ) plants. I like this stuffs and the murmuring sound when you walk over it!

Just look at this beautiful path. It is totally covered with dead leafs and hardly any pedestrians have walked through it!

We had a walk through such forest like environment just only for a while as we were running out of time!

A falls, but not a waterfall, its just a leaf's fall.

We didn't go through this. Just snapped this for photo.

Its a quandary! Is it the ground holding the tree? or the tree is holding it's ground? Isn't it amazing to see?

Its the fruit of Gojari tree. It can fly like a helicopter with the wings and thus its use to disperse from it's original location.

One of my fellow mate is enjoying the beauty along inside this picturesque forest!

A new life through the deads! You should find this thing often during winter.

Another similar view inside the forest.

Local van or bicycle use to use this path for covering distance.

A bindweed or a vine that is humping over the stem of a youngster tree!

Lots of lots of dread leafs you'll find over there.

Another view from inside the forest.

Another road.

More Gojari seeds. I have collected these to take a picture.

More Gojari seeds. I have collected these to take a picture.

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...!

Alta Dighi & Shalbon(আলতা দিঘী ও শালবন),
Naogaon District(নওগাঁ জেলা),

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bristly Heliotrope - Heliotropium strigosum

Common Name : Bristly Heliotrope.
Botanical Name : Heliotropium strigosum
Family : Boraginaceae

Our today's plant is a weed plant, but not invasive one. This is found mainly at the tropical Asia, Australia, and African region. This is a very tinny flower and hardly noticeable by the pedestrians. Botanical name of the flower is Heliotropium strigosum. It's common name is Bristly Heliotrope. It belongs to the plant family Boraginaceae.

Bristly Heliotrope is seemed to me a ground covering annual or perennial plant that uses to spread from the root. Leafs are alternately arranged. Both leafs(both sides) and the stems are hairy. Leafs are linear and the plant is slightly juicy when squeezed. This plant grows often near the road sides, wastelands, etc areas.

Flowers of Bristly Heliotrope are very very tinny. Color of the flower is white and petals are lobed together. It seems the flower is a small version of a trumpet flower. Near at the corolla of the flower it has a touch of yellow or orange color.

Photos of this article were taken from Naogaon(নওগাঁ) District of Bangladesh. It was the month of May 2013.

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

ফুলের জন্য ভালবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...