All posts by Little Gazers

Refresh with Nature

A Double Rainbow

๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒˆ A double rainbow – captured on the 04th Nov 2021, in the evening at Eastern sky, around 6.00 PM.

It was so very bright and lasted for more than 20 mins !

The little ones who saw it were so thrilled and happy as if they were about to meet a pretty unicorn next ! running down from it ๐Ÿคฉ

Also observed that :

“In a double rainbow,
the second arc which is seen outside the primary arc, has the order of its colours reversed, with red on the inner side of the arc,
which is caused by the light being reflected twice on the inside of the droplet before leaving it. ” – how fascinating !

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Birth of an elegant black beauty

A story of a nature transformation ….

It was just about three weeks back that I noticed four larva of genus papilos (swallow-tails) on the leaves of a small lime tree. For me, it has been an expected observation since some time. I planted this small lime tree on a pot, in our little home garden, specifically to attract a butterfly targeting lime leaves as its larval food. I had an idea about what type might get attracted to lay eggs on it… I thought, one day a Lime butterfly would do it and i noticed one of them hanging around the garden couple of weeks back !

Having noticed the destiny of some other larva lived on nearby trees, I soon took the pot inside to save them from birds like yellow billed babblers. Then, I kept the pot near the door pane through which we welcome the morning sunshine everyday inside home.

Soon, in about one/two days, I realized these larva had accelerated the amount of take-in and made themselves bigger in days ! So it was their metabolism with the observations around the pot.

A bout four days later, they seemed not interested in having lime leaves anymore, but looking for a quiet place instead.

They neither seemed to want to rest on the same place.

Surprisingly, another day later, I found three of four have found their way up along the door pane. They had curled up in body shape and fixed themselves to the door-pane by tail end.

Interestingly, their nice greenish color had now turned into a light brownish color. It certainly looked like a dried leaf curled-up. No one would ever think that its a cocoon of a butterfly. Now I realize why i never get to see a cocoon of a butterfly so easily ….. Nature protects its assets in very strange ways….

With these clear signs of a major transformation happening, for this tiny little living thing, i waited curiously to see yet another nature’s wonderful product. However, I did not see any other sign to tell as to when I get to see them as butterflies !

Unlike the little time it took to become a bigger larva, the next step of the whole process seemed to be the longest, for it to become a butterfly…. yes, it is a major transformation indeed ! and big transformations does not happen overnight ….

About seven days later, I found a brand new big black butterfly perched on the sofa in our living room. Yay! finally it had arrived safe … For me, It looked like a brand new pair of black shoes !!! such a good black polished one …..

Imagine the happiness when I found another one upstairs later… yest another two to come….

Very quiet, taking grasp of its surrounding, intact with the senses ….. i felt so happy. Looking at it for sometime was like a meditation. It was not in a hurry at all.

After some hours, it seemed to have decided to see the outer world… First, it flew inside spacious living room and then naturally fled to the light coming through a window…and finally made its way up to the sky ! Freedom …… Wish it a safe journey for its hard earned precious life …..

Next day, the other two followed he same steps and made their way back to the nature….. to give back to the nature with gratitude !

It was a Common Mormon butterfly, the male version……. all four of them. My initial guess was wrong that I thought it should be the Lime Butterfly…but I’m happy anyway as a butterfly lover ๐Ÿ™‚

Vesak Full Moon Poya Day 2021

Each year, it is with great enthusiasm that small children get ready for the most sacred Vesak festival celebration in Sri Lanka. It is the most important religious event for Buddhists around the world. The Buddhists commemorate the three most important life events of lord buddha; the birth, enlightenment and the death; which all happened on Vesak poya days, centuries ago.

Children love celebrating Vesak with their families and friends. Making lanterns and pandols, organizing ‘dansals’ have been one of their favorite activities in childhood. These activities would also become those fond memories to cherish later in their lives.

A Vesak lantern like a lotus – made at homewith bamboo, kite papers

Particularly, friends in the neighborhood get together during the Vesak festival. Together they select a ‘jathaka‘ story for the pandol, then pick main events of it and then draw those themslves which then put up in a sequence on the pandol.

Continue reading Vesak Full Moon Poya Day 2021

‘Labu Ketaya’ – an ancient Eco-friendly method for storing drinking water.

‘Labu Kataya’ is an eco-friendly hand-made product crafted by Weddas/ natives in Sri Lanka, centuries ago. It is sort of a bottle used for storing drinking water. Interestingly, they have used a vegetable for this purpose. By name, it’s ‘Bottle Gouard’ ; a well known vegetable in many countries not only because it is a healthy food but also because of its natural properties that makes it a useful utensil; a handy container.

We call this vegetable ‘Diya Labu’ in sinhala. ‘Diya labu’ has often been used as a medicinal food for patients having diabetes to reduce blood sugar level, for weight controlling, as a remedy for urinary infections. It is also being used as an ingredient of a milk rice type in Sri Lanka.

Bottle Gouard / Diya Labu

How they have turned it into a water bottle?

There is a variety of shapes for this vegetable. First, you need to select a long-shaped bottle gourd for this purpose. As this vegetable matures, its flesh starts to dry, loosing its tenderness and weight while the outer layers starts hardening. You can also notice a gradual change of its color from light green to a light brown.

By letting ‘Bottle Gourd’ to mature over some more time , it further develops outer stiffness, making an ideal space to retain some form of a liquid securely inside . Old people have also used this ‘labu-kataya’ to store honey as well.

How to know whether it has achieved the right level of thickness ?

By this time, the vege is transformed to a much lighter weight compared to its heaviness earlier. By giving it a good shake, would give you a sound of its rattling seeds inside.

Then, you need to cap off a (bottle-lid like) small piece horizontally from the Bottle Gourd top. Now you can scoop-out its dried flesh and seeds using a long spoon to make up for its inner storage space.

Both the light green raw one and the dried one

Wrapping about three strings around the bottle from bottom to top and then gathering all strings to form a bottle strap makes it easier to carry. The picture below is of a one such bottle we tried at home ๐Ÿ™‚

home made – labu kataya

What a cool way to carry some water with you during a walk in the jungle ! I love it ๐Ÿ™‚

By giving it a good polish, you can also make it to a good eco-friendly product in the local market, tourist points, safaris, and even among small children.

How long this vege can be used for storing water ?

Well, it can be used for about an year as I have heard. Wow ! Isn’t it a great, timely alternative for plastic drinking water bottles ? The Weddas also used this as a utensil for storing honey.

There are other uses as well of this bottle gourd which I am hoping to write more about in a future post.

Thank you for stopping by to read …… hope you enjoyed reading it !