Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Common kingfisher (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা) - Alcedo atthis

Bengali Name : Pati Machhranga (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা).
Common Name : Common kingfisher, Eurasian kingfisher, River kingfisher.
Binomial/Scientific Name : Alcedo atthis
Family : Alcedinidae

We have several kingfisher birds in Bangladesh. Amongst those the Common Kingfisher (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা) is the smallest one, and in my opinion the most beautiful one. In general we call all the kingfishers as Machhranga (মাছরাঙ্গা). If we want to go more bookish then this Common kingfisher can be called literally as Pati Machhranga (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা). This small beautiful bird belongs to the family Alcedinidae. Its binomial name is Alcedo atthis. In English this bird has several names which are Eurasian kingfisher, River kingfisher, etc. Its range is vast and also frequently available in our Bangladesh.

Common kingfisher (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা) is a very shy bird but an excellent hunter of fishes from the river, pond, canal or any other wetlands. This lovely colorful bird is having a very bright blue upper part (wings, back, etc) which is also having spotted with whites. The under part is orange, chestnut-red in color. At the throat it has slightly white color. Behind the eye it has orange color and after that it is white (at color after neck).

The beak of the bird is much larger compare to the whole body (similar to other kingfishers). The tail is very short (sometimes hard to notice). Both the male and the female kingfishers are similar in shape and color. But the male is having a complete black beak whereas the female is having a red color near the base of the beak. This bird is having a fine pair of orange colored small leg.

A female Common kingfisher that is having a red/orange base at the beak.

Common kingfisher (পাতি মাছরাঙ্গা) is a very rapid flyer. It mainly flies very lower over the water with an extreme speed. I have seen once this bird hovering on air for a short period of a time. To justify the name kingfisher, this bird is also an expert fish catcher. With it's sharp eyes it can detect the movement of the fishes under water and can hunt those with its rapid speed. Its main diet is the fish.

This small kingfisher maintain its territory. Even the male and female are living in a separate territory. Their territories only merges during the breeding seasons only. They make nest on the vertical bank of a river, pond, or a canal. Both birds help to excavate the hole on the mud for the nest.

A female Common kingfisher that is having a red/orange base at the beak.

A female Common kingfisher that is having a red/orange base at the beak.

Photos of this article were taken from Bangladesh during 2014:
1) 28 November 2014: Jahangirnogor University, Savar (জাহাঙ্গীরনগর ইউনিভার্সিটি, সাভার).
2) 05 December 2014: Baikka Beel, Srimongol (বাইক্কা বিল, শ্রীমঙ্গল).
3) 20 December 2014: Shonar chor, Patuakhali (সোনার চর, পটুয়াখালী).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/

শেষ বিকেলের পাখী, আমি যাযাবর...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Bread flower (রামসর ফুল) - Vallaris solanacea

Bengali Name : Ramsor ful (রামসর ফুল), Hapormali ful (হাপরমালী ফুল).
Common Name : Bread flower.
Botanical Name : Vallaris solanacea
Family : Apocynaceae

Ramsor ful (রামসর ফুল) was a naturally growing flowering plant in Bangladesh once upon a time. But now a days it is a rare plant in here. Only few of the gardens hold this plant (and you can count those with your fingers). It has another local name which is Hapormali ful (হাপরমালী ফুল). In English this flower is known as Bread flower. It belongs to the plant family Apocynaceae. Its botanical name is Vallaris solanacea. This plant is native to the South Asia and South East Asian region.

Ramsor (রামসর ফুল) is a woody climbing shrubby plant that is having broad elliptic evergreen leafs. Leafs are oppositely arranged and produce sap when they are torn. Leafs are having a sweet fragrance similar to the flowers.

Blooming season for this Ramsor (রামসর) flower is mainly the Spring (in Bangladesh). It is a white or creamy colored flower and having a shape of a cup (with five petals). Flowers bloom as a cluster and the cluster emerges from the axil of the leaf and the stem. The fragrant of the Ramsor (রামসর) flower is similar to the fragrance of newly cooked rice.

This beautiful flowering plant has few medicinal uses as well. The latex of the plant can be used against the ringworm along with other skin infections.

This plant requires full sunlight for growing. And the propagation can be done using the stem cutting. It is a popular ornamental flowering plant in South East Asia.

Woody climber over an arc.

Photos of this article were taken from the botanical garden of the Agriculture University, Mymensingh (ময়মনসিংহ). It was the March 2013 when I have visited there.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blue Pussyleaf (পরামূল) - Nelsonia canescens

Bengali Name : Paramul (পরামূল?), Sunga pat (সুঙ্গা পাত).
Common Name : Blue Pussyleaf.
Botanical Name : Nelsonia canescens
Synonym : Justicia canescens
Family : Acanthaceae

Today's flower is a very negligible flower that grows here and there and remains unnoticed. Few of the sources from internet named this weed flower as Paramul (পরামূল?) in Bengali. But I am really in a doubt about the actual pronunciation as those were written phonetically in English. I found a Garo tribal (গারো উপজাতি) name also and it is Sunga pat (সুঙ্গা পাত). Botanical name of this weed plant is Nelsonia canescens. It belongs to the plant family Acanthaceae. It has a beautiful English name which is Blue Pussyleaf.

Blue Pussyleaf is a soft herbaceous plant that grows in shaded area. This plant is mainly native to Africa, but now a days naturally available in India, Bangladesh, etc regions too. I have seen these plants were alone inside the dried up grasses beside the lake. They were totally unnoticed by the pedestrian.

This is a herb plant, but its roots are deep inside the ground. The stems are long (can be up to 30 cm long) and the leafs are oppositely arranged and elliptic in shape. Small leafs are having a lot of furry things. This could be a reason for its name Pussyleaf.

Flowers bloom from the cylindrical spike that forms at the end of the branches. The bracts are hairy. Color of the flower can be blue, mauve-blue, etc. Flowers are having two lips, upper and lower. Lower lip is having three petals. Upper lip is more interesting and it has two petals with a touch of magenta inside. The shape of the upper lip is similar to the shape of a rabbit's ears.

Though this is a weed plant, but it is full with medicinal uses. The whole plant including the roots are having very useful application as a herbal medicine. Some of the uses are against the pain, inflammation, diarrhea, syphilis, etc.

Photos of this article were taken from Chittagong during March 2013. It was beside the Mohayama Lake (মহামায়া লেক) at Mirsarai (মিরসরাই).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/

ফুলের জন্য ভালোবাসা, আমি বুনো ফুল...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bagerhat: Zinda Pir Mosque (জিন্দা পীরের মসজিদ)

Saturday, 03 January 2015

Zinda Pir Mosque (জিন্দা পীরের মসজিদ) is very near from the Khan Jahan Ali Mazar. So we have decided to have a walk to go there. It was winter, but we were feeling few drops of rain from the sky. Due to winter I didn't have any umbrella with me. So I was a bit of tensed about getting drenched by the rain. But luckily we didn't.

This is a small square shaped mosque having a dimension 6x6 (in meter). It has a single dome at the top. The Eastern side of the wall has three doors and other twos (not Western) are having a single door. This mosque was in ruin and restored during 2002. During that restoration process the mosque has lost its most of the antiquities.

I have a chat with few locals who ware inside the premise. They were giving me a lecture about this mosque. They believe the guy who built this mosque was a holy man. He was reciting the Holy Quran one day and disappeared. That's why the believe that the guy is not dead yet. And hence they call him Zinda Pir (জিন্দা পীর), and call the mosque as Zinda Pir Mosque (জিন্দা পীরের মসজিদ). In English, the word Zinda Pir (জিন্দা পীর) means an alive holy man. This story doesn't have any authentic source to believe. It is simply the way they believe this.

This mosque premise has a lot of old graves around. Those are not having any naming and that's why it is unsure about the graves. Also it has a Mazar (মাজার) near the mosque and I found lot of people were doing prayer on there.

How to go:

It is just a few minutes of walking distance towards the west from the Khan Jahan Ali Mazar. GPS coordinate of the mosque is (22°39'42.54"N, 89°45'14.47"E).

Unknown grave near the mosque.

Where to stay:

Bagerhat (বাগেরহাট) is very near from the Khulna (খুলনা) town. Around 40 minutes of drive at maximum. And Khulna (খুলনা) is a divisional district. It has several international standard hotels along with plenty of cheap hotels. You can check in those for your night staying. I have stayed at the Royal International Hotel, an old and famous hotel from Khulna. And I always go for the old but famous hotels. The reason is, they are always classy, and everyone knows about location. Just ask anyone from Khulna (খুলনা) about this hotel from anywhere around there :-).

Unknown grave near the mosque.

Unknown grave near the mosque.

It was the day-2 of our four days trip at Southern Bangladesh. We have traveled Barisal (বরিশাল), Jhalokathi (ঝালকাঠি), Pirojpur (পিরোজপুর), Bagerhat (বাগেরহাট), and Khulna (খুলনা) in those days.

Zinda Pir Mosjid (জিন্দা পীরের মসজিদ),
Union: Shat Gombuz (ষাটগুম্বুজ),
Upazela: Bagerhat Sadar (বাগেরহাট সদর),
District: Bagerhat (বাগেরহাট জেলা),
Country: Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ),
GPS coordinate: (22°39'42.54"N, 89°45'14.47"E)

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Udal ful (উদাল ফুল) - Sterculia villosa

Bengali Name : Udal ful (উদাল ফুল).
Common Name : Elephant rope tree.
Botanical Name : Sterculia villosa
Family : Malvaceae

Udal (উদাল ফুল) is a deciduous flowering plant that is mainly native to the India along with South Asia. We do not have this plant in plenty in our Bangladesh. But we can see this around the parks often. Being a plant from this subcontinent, it doesn't have a good English name other than the Elephant rope tree, Hairy Sterculia, etc. It belongs to the plant family Sterculiaceae. Its botanical name is Sterculia villosa.

It is a medium sized tree that is having long stalked leafs (I didn't see the leafs yet) which are palmately lobed. Leafs are having petioles which are having the same size of the leafs. This plant drops all its leafs during the flowering season.

Blooming season for Udal (উদাল ফুল) is the spring here in Bangladesh (which is February). It contains only flowers with no leafs. The count of flowers are millions on the tree. Small flowers bloom in a cluster. Shape of the small flower is similar to a cup (or nearly a bell) with five lobed petals. Color of the flower is yellow or creamy yellow with having a touch of red or maroon at the center. The tree looks beautiful with those hanging flowers during spring.

The bark of the Udal (উদাল) is fibrous and with those people make ropes. Possibly it could be a reason behind the name Elephant rope plant.

Photos of this article were taken from Mirpur Botanical Garden and from Curzon hall of Dhaka University. It was the month of February 2015, at the very first day of Spring here in Bangladesh.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/