Saturday, July 9, 2016

Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি) - Metopidius indicus

Bengali Name : Jolpipi (জলপিপি), Dolpipi (দলপিপি).
Common Name : Bronze-winged jacana.
Binomial/Scientific Name : Metopidius indicus
Family : Jacanidae (jacana family)
Photo Taken : Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)

Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি) was a common bird in Bangladesh around the wetlands. Once upon a time we had plenty of these birds. But this days the counts are decreasing. With the increasing of our population the amount of wetland in Bangladesh is decreasing. That's why this bird is not getting an adequate amount of breeding space, hence decreasing.

A juvenile Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি).

In Bangladesh we call this bird as Jolpipi (জলপিপি) or Dolpipi (দলপিপি). But I like the name Jolpipi (জলপিপি) monst. The call of the bird is pi-pi-pi-pi-pi that's why in Bengali we call this bird as Jolpipi (জলপিপি). The English name is Bronze-winged jacana for the beautiful bronze colored wings. Binomial name of the bird is Metopidius indicus (it is the only member of the genus Metopidius) and belongs to the family Jacanidae. This bird is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.

A juvenile Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি) foraging over waterlily leaf.

Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি) are a small domestic hen sized bird (actually much smaller one) with very long feet and long claw. Male and female are similar where females are slightly larger than the males. The main color of the bird is dark black (front, neck, lower part) with a beautiful long white stripe at eyes (or behind eyes). The wings are bronze in color (or you can say brown). Near the tail the bird has reddish (or maroon) in color.

Dark reddish portion of the bird is visible.

Dark reddish portion of the bird is visible.

This bird has a yellowish beak which is slight coated as red at upper portion. Long feet are yellowish (or grey in color). For the juvenile bird the neck and upper portion is reddish brown in color and the lower portion is white. It also has a thick white stripe at the both side of the head. Wings are brownish in color. Juveniles do not have any red coat at beak.

This bird mainly forage around the wetland. Using their big claw it can easily move over the floating lives and plants easily. Main diets of the bird are insects, earthworms, snails, etc. I have seen them picking the snails from the waterlily leafs. A normal sized waterlily leaf is enough to hold this bird's weight. Even if the leaf gets drowning under water the bird quickly move into another one. It was a lovely scene to watch, specially the juvenile's movement.

A juvenile Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি).

The female Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি) bird has an interesting feature. She uses to maintain a group of males on her territory. She lays a clutch of eggs and then assign a male to take care of it. She doesn't take part for the incubation, instead she lays another clutch of eggs into another different area and assign another male. With such idea a female can lay 4-6 times during a breeding season.

A pair of Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি) foraging around water hyacinths.

A juvenile Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি).

A juvenile Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি).

A juvenile Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি).

A juvenile Bronze-winged jacana (জলপিপি).

Photos of this article were taken from the following locations:
 1) November 2014: Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh.
 2) February 2015: Rupganj, Narayanganj, Bangladesh (রূপগঞ্জ, নারায়ণগঞ্জ, বাংলাদেশ).
 3) September 2015: Kolkata Botanic Garden, India.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Friday, July 8, 2016

Dublin: Famine Memorial

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Ireland has suffered a massive famine during 1845-1852 that is known as 'Great Famine' or 'Great Hunger'. It is the largest famine of all time in the history of Ireland. That mainly happened due to the blight of the Potato. It was a cheap crop in Ireland that time and most of the population relied on that. Due to that famine around a million of people suffered to death, and around a million of people had forced to migrate into other countries (i.e. USA, Australia, Canada, etc).

That death and migration was the 25% of the whole population of the country. Even after so many years after that famine, this country couldn't recover that massive population fall. In current date the whole island of Ireland has around 6.3 millions of population (whereas only Republic of Ireland has around 4 million). But that famine led to the independence of Ireland in next century. And by this time this country is one of the world's developed country.

To commemorate the Great Famine lot of monuments and statues have been introduced in several places in several countries. Ireland itself has few, and this Famine Memorial is one of those. It was introduced during 1997. It comprises several small statues in a group that depicts the picture of that time. From my observation it seemed like they are migrating from one place to another. These statues are built by the famous Irish sculptor Rowan Gillespie.

This small memorial is located beside the river Liffey. You can have a walk for several minutes from the City Center (O'connel street). From City Center it will be at the left hand side of the river. GPS coordinate of the memorial is (53.348043, -6.250075). There are several park style bench available where you can have a afternoon sitting. If you have an hour of free time in Dublin then don't hesitate to spend that there!

Famine Memorial in google map.

Famine Memorial,
County: Dublin,
Country: Ireland,
GPS coordinate (53.348043, -6.250075)
List of Hotels from Dublin

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Onion flower (পেঁয়াজ ফুল) - Allium cepa

Bengali Name : Peyaj ful (পেয়াজ/পেঁয়াজ ফুল).
Common Name : Onion, Bulb onion, Common Onion.
Botanical Name : Allium cepa
Family : Amaryllidaceae
Photo Taken : Bangladesh

Today I am going to write about a different flower. It is different because more or less we know about this, but hardly anyone has seen the flower! I am talking about the Onion flower today. Onion is a very important spice almost in every culture and region. And in Bangladesh it is a must spice (except during some special religious festival). We do not need to grow this in town, we can obtain this onion from any groceries or supermarkets. That's why similar to many other native vegetables we didn't see the flowers of them.

In Bangladesh we call Onion as Peyaj (পেঁয়াজ). In our country we may have different dialects for this, but the root of all those is that one, Peyaj (পেঁয়াজ). In English it may have some other names like Bulb onion or Common Onion, but at the end it simply Onion. Binomial name is Allium cepa (hopefully now you can remember the name from your school's biology book). It belongs to the plant family Amaryllidaceae. [In Bangladesh the Rain Lily is also known as Peyaj ful that belongs to the same plant family]

Onion is a bulbous herbaceous plant. This is a biennial plant (grows in two years). But for cultivation purpose we grow it as annual. The plant is bulbous at the bottom (that we use as onion). The roots are just below the bulb of the plant. Leafs are long, slim, and having hollow inside. The plant can grow at maximum 18 inches in height. The whole plant is having a nice smell when squeezed.

The flowers of Onion bloom as a cluster. Flower comes at the second year (that's why biennial). As we only cultivate this commercially that's why we don't see the flowers often. Small flowers are showy and having whitish color. Cluster appears atop of the long stalk (that is also hollow). The stalk can be up to 2 feet in height.

We use to cultivate the Onion in a large scale in some part of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh it is known as a winter crop. We mostly use the bulb (onion) as a spice. But during the season the leafs of the onion are available at market (known as spring onion). In Bangladesh people mainly use the spring onions in non cooked dishes (i.e. salad, smashed vegetables, etc).

Apart from vegetable uses, Onions have lot of other uses. It has remedy for flu and cold. Also it can be used as a material during beatification. Onion can be used against hair falling and to cure scalp problems. More can be found from wikipedia.

Photos of this article were taken from the following location:
 1) January 2015: Munsiganj, Bangladesh (মুন্সিগঞ্জ, বাংলাদেশ).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Shrub vinca (ডাকুর ফুল) - Kopsia fruticosa

Bengali Name : Dakur (ডাকুর ফুল).
Common Name : Shrub vinca, Pink Gardenia, Pink Kopsia.
Botanical Name : Kopsia fruticosa
Family : Apocynaceae
Photo Taken : Bangladesh, Ireland

From the name we can easily understand that the flower has a close similarity with the Vinca flower. This flowering plant is native to our South Asian and East Asian region. Binomial name of the plant is Kopsia fruticosa. It belongs to the plant family Apocynaceae. It has several common names which are Shrub vinca, Pink Kopsia, Pink Gardenia, etc. In Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) we call the flower as Dakur (ডাকুর).

Shrub vinca is an evergreen plant having glossy elliptical or oval leafs. The leafs are having a pointed tip. Leafs are oppositely arranged around the stem. Shrub vinca is a shrubby plant that can grow up to four meter in height if not pruned (also in suitable condition). But this is a slow growing plant. Propagation of this plant can be done using cutting.

Flowers of Shrub vinca are very much showy and beautiful. Flowers bloom in a cluster. Small flowers are having exactly five petals on top of a long thin tube. Color of the flower is initially pale pink but later it becomes white before withering. Each petals are having a deep pink near the center of the flower (makes it a deep pink circle at the center). This flower blooms more or less throughout the year.

This plant requires partial or full sun to grow and bloom, and also requires warm weather condition. These properties make it suitable to grow Shrubby vinca in our country (also it is native here). But still we do not see this plant that much in Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ) these days. I have seen one at our Botanical garden, Dhaka.

Photos of this article were taken from the following locations:
 1) March 2013: Mymensingh Botanical Garden, Bangladesh.
 2) June 2016: Botanic Garden, Ireland.

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ireland: Cliff walking at Howth

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Howth is a lovely fishing village which is very near from the Dublin city. And the communication between this town and Dublin makes easier with the direct dart lines. This town is famous for its easy cliff walking across the shoreline. It is a nice place to get lost into the nature and making a day trip. Howth is just 35 minutes of dart distance from the Dublin.

I first heard about this place from one of my colleagues. Being so near from the city center this place allured me more to visit. During this particular month we use to have a slight long day time. So instead of starting very early, I decided to start after the lunchtime. I took a dart (commuter Irish rail) from the O'connel station. It has a frequent dart service for the Howth.

The journey for Howth is not that much boring. After crossing the station 'Bayside' it starts to be more scenic, specially on the left side of the train. And after crossing the station 'Sutton' you'll pray that the journey never ends. Cause on left side you'll find the ocean. During the high tide it is much more beautiful than the low tide. So make sure you are during high tide, and you are on the left side of the train.

Beside the station there is a small jetty (it is called jetty right?) that has lot of yachts. I think this is a part of a yachting club. There is a walkway beside that place. Lot of local people and the tourists use to have a walk on there. You'll find lot of seagulls are flying around. You can feed them. It is a nice experience. I watched other doing that. I didn't have any popcorns or crisps with me. I'll go there again and that time I'll keep few of those things on my bag. And don't forget you to do the same if you like to feed birds.

This jetty area is basically for the family gathering place. Parents with kids or someone with pets love to have a stroll on the footpath. They usually do not go further from there. The cliff walking route is slightly further from that place. After exploring this lovely area I started walking toward the starting point of the cliff walking route. It is just around 7-10 minutes of walking distance from there.

Yachts at the harbour of the Howth.

After passing few houses on the street I found the starting signboard for the route. Similar to other tourists spot this place is not that much crowded. And most of the tourists here are either local people or from Europe, very few are American. I have never done cliff walking before. In fact I have never heard anything about cliff walking too. In my country Bangladesh we have a huge sea beach. But we do not have any cliffs.

This area is noisy because of the small waves.

It was too much windy and the breeze was heavily strong. I have just recovered from my vertigo problem at last week. So I was a bit careful to go near the edge of the cliff. And the good thing was the wind was coming from the ocean. That means it was pushing us towards the ground. The wind was chilling and had to put my hands inside my pocket. But I loved that weather and the moment.

The cliffs are not that much high, and the roads are easy to walk. In every turns you'll see the water crashing over the small boulder like rocks. And on the other side you'll see highland with grasses are being waved by the wind. During my walk I have given a pause on several times and had a seat to watch the orchestra of the nature.

I am not sure what is the blooming season for the Gorse flower (Ulex europaeus). The cliff walking path at Howth was mostly covered with those lovely yellow flowers. And they were having a mild fragrance. In some places the land was totally covered with yellow for massive blooming of the flowers. It reminded me the yellow mustard field in my country Bangladesh.

Small hills at the far is the starting point for the Howth cliff walking route.

At the end of the trail there is a light house available. That place is not accessible for the public viewing. But you can view that from the far. In fact after crossing a certain distance you'll see the lighthouse. The more you progress the more the lighthouse becomes clearer to you. I have taken few of the snaps of the light house from far. It would have been great if I could go inside that one!

Near the lighthouse area (or u can say before) you'll see a small cave like thing directly at the bottom of the cliff. You can say it is a passage between the cliff through which the ocean water uses to flow. It was too much windy and I couldn't reach at the edge of the cliff to see that passage clearly. It was really hard to stand at the edge just for a fraction of a second. By the way, that passage is not accessible from the top of the cliff. May be you can go there using a boat, not sure!

Some nice rocks at the far island.

Also there is a small secret beach at the bottom of the cliff too. There is a small trail through which you can reach towards that small stony beach. I have gone a bit downwards, but as I was alone and also no one was there, that's why I didn't dare to go further. But it should be a lovely nice place. Would have been a nice place to get closer to the ocean and the nature from there.

A bit further, the rocks.

From the end of the trail you can go to a nearby bus stoppage and take a bus to take you directly to the Dublin city. But I had my return dart ticket with me. So I decided to walk through the same train and return back to the dart station. Near the station I found few seafood restaurant, but didn't go inside as it was almost dark and had to return home quickly. I leaved that seafood for some other days!

Actual distance from where the photo was taken.

How to go to Howth:

If you like public transport then Dart is the best option. You can take the Dart from O'connel rail station. You can buy a ticket from the counter (Tips: round trip will be cheaper). Also you can pay using your leap card. There is another stoppage named 'Tara' which is at the other side of the Liffey river. You can take the dart from that station too. It should be around 35-40 minutes of journey.

Where to stay near Howth:

It is a short day trip from the Dublin city center. You don't need to stay at Howth for this. Besides I didn't see too many options to stay near the Howth village. But still you can have a look on this link for a list of Hotels near Howth. If you wish to stay at the Dublin city then here you can find a list of Hotels near Dublin city.

A small island at the far.

A small boulder of rock amid of the water.

This place was one of the most beautiful places during that trail.

The trail of Howth cliff walking. Very easy to walk.

Grass covered highland on the other side of the trail.

You'll see beauty like this one in almost every turns.

One of the lovely parts of the trail.

A lighthouse is seen at the far.

This photo of the lighthouse was taken from a fair amount of distance.

For example from here it was zoomed.

A small secret beach beside the trail.

A small secret beach beside the trail.

A small secret beach beside the trail, you can see the path on the photo too.

A small secret beach beside the trail.

Another lovely small cliff.

Cliff of Howth.

A small passage/cave beneath the cliff.

A closer look to the cave. And you can see the light at the other side that implies it is not blocked.

The cave/passage is full with water due to sudden push of the wave.

A common wild flower near the trail named Sea Campion (Silene uniflora).

This area is covered with Gorse flower (Ulex europaeus).

Tourists are going through the trail that goes through the Gorse flowers (Ulex europaeus).

A group of European tourists are amid of lovely Gorse flowers (Ulex europaeus).

A trail goes through the Gorse flower (Ulex europaeus).

Another lovely trail during Howth cliff walking.

This area was full with water during high tide. Now it's gone during low tide.

Cliff walking at Howth,
Village: Howth,
County: Dublin,
Country: Ireland.
GPS Coordinate (53.385565, -6.049957)
List of Hotels near Howth

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog