Showing posts from September, 2016

The Karvy Question

There is a shrub – an omnipresent one – on the gentle as well as steep slopes of the Western Ghats called Karvy (or Karvi), Strobilanthes callosus . It grows in dense thickets with its stems shooting straight up from the ground into a loosely held bunch. In summer they appear as a maze of bone-dry sticks which are collected by local communities to build walls – the sticks, being straight, are tied next to one another upon which a layer of mud and dung is plastered (these structures are very cool and very sustainable in their make). By late winter the leaves dry out, first developing warts, then turning yellow and orange, and then as they desiccate with rising temperatures they turn brown and crumble away. A carpet of Karvy, Strobilanthes callosus , the one with dark green leaves predominates on one of the slopes in Sahyadris, the northern Western Ghats. September 2011. It is between these two seasons that they’re at their best – their leaves are dark and large, crenate, and sha

An Android-based Spider App for Common Spiders of India

The Corbett Foundation and Earthwatch Institute (India) have come up with an easy-to-use app called Spider Watch that looks at 50 common species of spiders belonging to 23 families found in India – whether you’re in a city, a garden, or a sanctuary – you’re likely to find them there. This app was made to facilitate on-field identification of common spiders of India, with an objective to bring these little tigers of the undergrowth to the forefront, and to inculcate further interest in them. Just search for “Spider Watch” on Google Play store from your android phones, or follow this link . Its usage is fairly simple. Here are some screenshots of the app: This is the title page, of course. Once you're through the app, you will come across such a page. The "play" symbol on the top left corner will run you through this page, or you can scroll down by yourself. The one with a magnifying glass symbol will take you to a new window showing thumbnails of all spid