Commander | Moduza procris 

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This is a medium sized migratory species which belong to the family of Nymphalidae. Note that it has a broad white median band, a red postal band and a red distal band ( not clearly visible in the underside.)

It feeds on a range of sources from flower nectar to mud sipping (which it is doing in the picture) as it has a good range of flight altitude. As well, note that it is sitting only on four legs, which is a key characteristic of the family of Nymphalidae.

The picture was clicked in a Kandyan home garden though this species is known to be found mainly in forest areas of the wet zone of the country.

(Source of info : A pocket guide to the Butterflies of Sri Lanka, 2nd Edition by BCSSL)

Sri Lankan Whipping Frog ; Endemic

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Though most of the Sri Lankans boast about the beauty of the nature of this paradise island, they just explain it literally but not with facts.

Sri Lanka has a massive diversity in tree frogs, a kind of frogs that have adapted themselves to live and complete its life cycle being arboreal.

This bugger is a Sri Lankan whipping from or is also known as Common Hourglass frog and has the binomial name polypedates cruciger. It is endemic to Sri Lanka and is categorized under least concern in IUCN red list – 2004 as it has shown a stable population and due to its adaptation skill to human interference. (The frog is on a steel bar even in the picture… So yes, it comes near the human habitats.)

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out the location  of this sighting and related data as this was not clicked by me.

The photo credit goes to my Father while the identification credit goes to Mr. David Buttle.

May day; the greatest illusion of our times…

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The Red may day, the laborers’ day, May first or what ever you call it; the day which the laborers must celebrate their rights, is no more used to do so. But to celebrate the illusive fantasy world promised by the politicians, towards which the laborers will work but would never come true.

Said that in short, I won’t go for a long description as I am not a laborer or still a member of the working force of the country. But hope that the people of the so called working class would realize their real situation (which is obvious for everyone I suppose) and fight for justice.

(Image is from web.)

Sri Lankan Lesser Albatross | Appias galene

This is a male butterfly of the Endemic species of Sri Lankan Lesser Albatross who comes under the family of Pieridae.

These exhibit migrations in large numbers and mud sip during these migrations.

Note : When the butterflies fly for long times, they also run out of body minerals like humans do the same when sweating. So they sip mud to gain the lost minerals directly.

This Albatross was clicked at the peak of Balumgala, Kadugannawa whch is a super windy place. But records say some of these prefer gloomy forests as well.

මතක මාවත

Deanston10

ක්‍රීම් පාටට හුරු සුදු පාටක් තියෙන ඔසරිය ඇඳපු ආච්චියම්මා තනි දොර ටකරං ලංගම බස් එකේ පාපුවරවුට කෙලිංම පිටිපස්සෙ ආසනේ වාඩි වෙලා ඉන්නවා. එයාගෙ ඔඩොක්කුවට බර දීල මං පාපුවරුවට උඩිං හරහට තියෙන මළ නොකන වානේ බටේ එල්ලිලා ඉන්නවා. වංගු වංගු පාරෙ උඩට උඩට යද්දි හුන්නස්ගිරිය එබිල බලනවා සමහර වෙලාවට….

මෙහෙම ඇවිත් කඩමණ්ඩියක් එක්ක තියෙන හන්දියක අපි බහිනවා. මගෙ එක අතක නැමි මිට තියෙන පොඩි කුඩයක්. අනික් අතින් ආච්චියම්මගෙ අතේ එල්ලිලා. අපිව හලපු බසය ආයෙත් දුම් දාගෙන කන්ද නගිනවා.

කඩමණ්ඩියෙ කඩ තුන හතරක් තියෙනවා. එකක් බේකරිය. ඒකෙ වැලිතලපෙයි, රෝස් පානුයි නොවරදවාම අපි එක්ක ගෙදර යනවා.

මහ පාරෙං ඇතුලට තියෙන තාර පාරෙ ටික දුරක් ගිහිං කන්ද දිහාට තියෙන මැටි පාරකට ආච්චියම්මයි මමයි හැරෙනවා. වැස්සට මඩ වෙලා පාරෙ ටයර් පාරවල්හිටලා, අව්වට කරවෙලා ඒව ගල් වෙලා නිසා අපි බිම බලාගෙන යනවා. ඒ යන මග මඩගොඩේම තියෙන මිනිරන් දිලිසෙනවා.

එහෙම ටික දුරක් ගිහිං, සිය පාරක් ගැහුවාම වතුර එන්න පටං ගන්න නළ ලිඳ පහු කරපු ගමන් පාරෙ වම් අත පැත්තෙ තියෙන ඊයං පාට අඩියෙ අඩියෙ විතර කොටු තියෙන ගේට්ටුවක් අැරං අපි ඇතුළු වෙනවා.

පතාක මිදුලක්; දකුණු අත පැත්තෙ එක අත්තක් මිදුලට දාල හෙවන දෙන මහ රඹුටං ගහක්, ගේට්ටුව පැත්තෙම රන්තැඹිලි ගහක්, ඊට එහායිං අඹයක්. වම් අත පැත්තෙ දිගට බෝගැන්විලා, සීනියාස් පැල යායක්. ඊටත් වමෙං ආයෙත් අඹයකුයි ජම්බු ගහකුයි…

ඒ නිල්ල පිරුණු වත්ත මැදින් ගිහින් පරණ පාට, පුංචි මගේ හිතේ හොල්මන් හැඟීමක් දනවපු ඒ ගෙදර, බොඳ වෙච්ච වීදුරු කැට අල්ලපු, පළු දෙකේ ඉස්සරහා දොරින් අපි ඇතුළු වෙනවා.

මුලින්ම ඉස්තෝප්පුව, කතිර මැස්මෙං වැඩ දාලා රතු කපු රෙදි කවර දාපු වේවැල් පුටු හතරක් ඔහේ බලං ඉන්නවා. එයාලගෙ තනි නොතනියට මම නොදන්න මිනිස්සු ගොඩක් ඉන්න සමූහ ඡායාරූප වගයකුත් බිත්තිවල එල්ලිලා බලං ඉන්නවා. එතන වම් පැත්තෙ පළු දෙකේ දොර ‘ඉස්සරහා කාමරය’ට මං විවර කරනවා.

ඒ ඉස්තෝප්පුව පහුකරන් අපි සාලෙට ඇදෙනවා. යන කොටමපවම් පැත්තෙ මුල්ලෙ යක්ස පෙට්ටිය ඉඳං සාලෙ දිහා බලන් ඉන්නවා. දකුණු අත පැත්තෙ බොඳ වීදුරු අල්ලපු ජනෙල් වලිනුයි, කොටු කොටු දැල් ගහපු ජනෙල් අස්සෙනුයි පෙරිලා ආපු එළියෙන් තඹ පාට පුටු සෙට් එක පේනවා. ඒවට පිටි පස්සෙන් ලාකඩ වැඩ දාපු, අතින් වියාපු සේසත්, කස්තාන දිලිසෙනවා. ඒ මැද්දෙ තියපු කැබිනෙට්ටුව උඩ ලී තැටියක ලීයෙන්ම හදාපු පොඩි වයින් ‘වීදුරු’ ලාකඩ දිස්නය දෙනවා. ඒ අතරෙ වම් පැත්තෙ කාමරයට යන දොරට උඩින් මොනාලිසා මේ ඔක්කොම දිහා උපේක්ෂාවෙන් බලාන ඉන්නවා.

සාලෙත් පහු කරන් මහ විසාල ආරුක්කුවකින් වෙන්වුණු කෑම කාමරේට අපි යනවා. වම් පැත්තෙ ලී පඩි පෙළ. ඒක යට තියෙන ලී බිත්ති කබඩ් එකේ ගෙනාපු වැලිතලප, රෝස්පාං මල්ල තියනවා. වේවැල් වියාපු, ලී පුටු අටකින් වට වෙච්ච කෑම මේසෙ, කෑම කාමරය මැද්දෑවෙ ඔහෙ බලං ඉන්නවා.

කෑම කාමරයට ඔබ්බෙං පොඩි කොහාටවත් නැති කෑල්ලකින් එළියට යන දොරත්, ගබඩා කාමරයත්, සාලය තරම්ම ලොකු කුස්සියත් එකට සම්බන්ද කරනවා. ආච්චියමමා අරං ආපු එළවළු මල්ල කුස්සයට අරං යද්දි, මම ආයෙත් ආපස්සට ඇවිත් උඩ තට්ටුවට නගිනවා. පඩි පහේ, දහයෙ කෑලි දෙකකට තිබුණු පඩි පහලොවේ පඩිපෙළ මුදුනෙ ලීයෙංම හදපු දෙවැනි තට්ටුව අර මුලින් කී ත්‍රාසය මුසු හැඟුම තව කුලප්පු කරවනවා. විසාල කාමරයකුත්, කඩා කාමරයකුත් දරාපු ඒ තට්ටුවෙ කොරිඩෝවෙ, හැම වෙලාවෙම පාහේ බුදුන්ට පත්තු වුණු හඳුන්කූරු දුමත්, පහන් එළියත් ඒ කුලප්පුවට හේතු වෙන්න ඇති. මහ කාමරේ ජනේලෙ ගාවට යන මම කොටුදැලේ එල්ලිලා එහා වත්තෙ ගස් මුදුන් වල එල්ලිලා නටන වඳුරො දිහා බලනවා.

ඒත් ආච්චියම්මගෙ කෑගැහිල්ලෙන් ඒ වැඩේ පැත්තක තියලා ඇඳුම මාරු කරන් ගෙදරට අඳින ඇඳුමක් දාං පහළට බැහැලි අර කොහාටවත් නැති කෑල්ලෙන් එළියට බැහැලා, ලාවට ගල් සෙවෙල බැඳුණු පිල දිගේ ගේ පිටි පස්සට යනවා; වැහි වතුර පෙරලා අරං පුරවපු වතුර ටැංකියෙන් වතුර ටිකක් හලාන නාගන්නට.

අවුරුදු දහයකට පස්සෙ අපි විකුණලා ආපු ඒ මහ ගෙදර පාරෙ හුන්නස්ගිරිය දිහා බල බල මම කන්ද නගිනවා. අතීත මතක මාවත මා ඉස්සරහා දිග ඇරෙනවා…

(Image is from web. Credit goes to the rightful owner.)

Glassy Tiger | Parantica aglea

 

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This is a medium sized common butterfly which belongs to the group of tigers and is found in almost every part of Sri Lanka. It is seen in both woods and populated areas.

Depend on Helicotropium indicum and Crotalaria retusa as both those plants are a little toxic which assures the protection of these from predators. The larva of this butterfly feeds on Tylophora pauciflora, T. flexuosa and T.multiflora.

The image was clicked at Balumgala, Kadugannawa, Sri Lanka on 17th April 2017.

Information source : A pocket guide to butterflies in Sri Lanka – BCSSL

Balumgala ; an ancient observation point

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The rock face in the middle of the image is the Balumgala. (Image from G maps)

When you drive up the Kadugannawa pass, or are coming by rail it is possible to see a big rock standing just in right of the road ; which is the Balumgala rock which was used by the ancient Kandyans to keep an eye on any enemies approaching the kingdom by west. It has a glamorous view and even the Mawanella area is visible.

In ancient times, if any threat was detected, a signal from Balumgala was sent to Balana fort (which I hope to visit in near future) and the signal was further conveyed from there onward from peak to peak.

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Kadugannawa pass down below (Both highway and rail road are visible) , Mawanella valley, Uthuwankanda (not so clear in the picture) and the Balana peak in right.

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Bathalegala (Bible rock) and Aranayaka (landslide) as seen from Balumgala

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Alagalla ; as seen from the road to Balumgala.

Though I usually make a trip/hike report how to visit the places that I have been to, I am not going to make such an article on this just because the villagers in the top part of the mountain and around are not so friendly. The road which had been used to visit the place has been shut down as the communication tower which the road belongs to has sealed off. Even though there were foot paths through tea cultivation (which we found out by ourselves to go to the place) and to cross a little shrub area to approach the place, the villagers said ‘No, there ain’t anyway to go to the place.’; so they clearly don’t want any visitors in the area.

Just for the fact, turn left (when coming from the Kandy side) to the Kadugannawa – Gampola road and follow it until you get to a tar treated road on the right which leads to the Balumgala village. (There was a board referring to a temple in Balumgala.) Follow it until you may go no more along the road and then you have to find your own way to get to the place.

Brandygala (Lower peak) ; our kind of get-together…

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Brandygala (Image is from web; credit goes to the rightful owner.)

Date : 11th April 2017

Crew : 7 Males (17  – 21 years of age)

Route : Kandy > Matale > Etipola road > Asgiriya waththa junction > Madiwela > up the hill and the same way back.

Weather : sunny in the morning, a little gloomy in the noon and heavy rain by afternoon.

Note :

  • Only few leeches were encountered by us as the area was dry… but there may be hundreds of them in the rainy season as I felt. So, better take precautions.
  • Better take a guide (or stick to the foot paths) if you are going to the higher peak as there are traps (Wedi lanu and Madu) made to hunt animals and hunters roam around in the night; potential threat of getting shot at if you couldn’t get down before sunset.
  • Be aware there are wild boars and ‘Debaru’ in the vicinity.
  • Do NOT leave anything behind but footsteps; cannot comply..? stay home watching a file rather than hiking. ‘Thank you’, in advance.

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The journey was started from the Kandy bus stand where we all gathered and took a bus to Matale (Warakamura road Matale |Route No. 593 | Rs.45 – normal). Then we took an Etipola bus up to Asgiriyawaththa junction (Rs. 20) from where the road to Madiwela begins. We could have reduced an extra 5km hike which we took from Asgiriya waththa junction to Madiwela village if we were able to catch the Madiwela bus, which unfortunately we couldn’t. The Etipola bus stand is at a corner of the Matale town where you can’t see when you passes by the town. So, better ask for directions from someone.

At the bus stand we got into a little chit-chat with a bus driver and he advised to stick to the foot paths as there are traps set by people (We found one. so yes, there are traps.) and also there are some un-licensed liquor distillers with guns. As well to get down before sunset as there are hunters by night fall.

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Where you must get down from the Etipola bus and the concrete road is a short cut to the Madiwela road.

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Back to Madiwela road from the shortcut.

After a walk along the road which was partially tar treated, broken and concreted, we came to a junction where a road to a factory begins (Must be a tea factory, but seems like it doesn’t work anymore. )

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Road to the left-up is the Madiwela road. but we diverted and took the right which lead to the factory and took a foot path back to Madiwela road which the shop keeper said to be a shortcut.

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Brandygala ; standing above the tea factory.

The foot path mentioned above begins near the bridge, to the left in the photo. Then it was a long walk again to the foot of the mountain along the Madiwela road.

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There were several water ways along the road.

Then the road continued beyond the Madiwela village. Then we entered the wilderness from a point at the road. Unfortunately I couldn’t take a photograph of the place. Up to the point we were directed by the villagers who were friendly and willing to help. So must thank them very much.

We filled up our water bottles from a stream where there was a ‘pihillak’ built by the villagers and then we made our way into the wilderness. The route was clear in this part and was just a hike in opposite direction to the peak to get onto the ridge. The route went through a little forest and then through a rock face covered with ‘Kalanduru’. Along the way until the ridge top, we went across the stream once.

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Water stream ; almost dries up in this season.

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Over the rock face covered with ‘kalanduru’ towards the top of the ridge, in the direction opposite to the peak.

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Beginning of the ridge and we are redirected toward the peak now.

Then the hike was along the ridge towards the peak.

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Along the ridge, towards the peak through thorny shrubs and bushes. (This is the area where we came across several wild boars on our way back.)

The path was clear for some extent, but we lost the track of it after some time and came to the stream again. Then we hiked up along the stream and took off into the wilderness again in the direction of the higher peak without knowing which peak must be our destination.

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Up along the water stream.

So we hiked for a while and ended up no-where at a place where we couldn’t go any further due to a steep rock face stood in front of us. So we turned around and took the way back to the stream (an upstream point than the place where we took off of it). Then it was a little hike along the stream again until we came to the rock face of the lower peak of the Brandygala mountain; where our destination was.  Then the way was clear. so we hiked over the rock face towards the peak.

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Back on track, towards the peak.

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Brandygala ; Higher peak.

The final climb had a place where the a single slip of step would cause a fall of several hundred feet, and a cave opening so that you have to squeeze yourself to get through and another climb up, where a slip means ending up back in the Madiwela village.

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Just a single miss-footing would do it…

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Squeeze in and out… It is harder, steeper and narrower than it seems.

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A friendly hand ; a slip means you’ll end up in Madiwela village in several seconds.

It took about 3 hours for us to get onto the top even after losing the way and we spent about one and a half hours on the top; taking photographs, making some funny videos and enjoying the glamorous view. The central hills, Brandygala top peak, Etipola peak, Wiltshire range, Mukulussa range, Yakuraga range and also the Dumbara range (knuckles) were visible.

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The final goal of every hiker ; to enjoy the glamorous view.

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Atipola kanda as seen from Brandygala. the town of Matale is in the other side of the Atipola kanda. and can you identify the tea factory from where we got off road near my left toe..? The road you can see as a stripe is the Madiwela road.

We started climbing down at about two thirty and got down within an hour as we decided the way to go from the peak to avoid any loss of track like the climb up. On the way down, we encountered some wild boars and had to wait until they move on and must mention that we saw several individual ‘Debara’s on out way, but fortunate enough not to encounter a comb of them.

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On the way back…

We had about thirty minutes when we go down before the final bus leaves the Madiwela village which is at 4 p.m. So we took a bath at the ‘Pihilla’ and felt so refreshed. Then we waited for the bus at Madiwela for a while, but then again decided to go to the Etipola road on foot so that at least we can get on a Etipola bus. On the way, a tipper from the Madiwela village stopped by for us and we got a  ride to Matale town; the ride was a blessing as else, we would have to walk all the way, wait for a bus and then come to the Matale town and this ride kept all that burden way and saved about two hours of time for us. But still, the driver was so crazy as he went up to 60 kmph in the small and broken road in which a little slip would make the tipper to end up several hundred meters down in the slope with all of us in  the back dead.

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See that white plastic bag..? That was our trash. Leave nothing behind, but footsteps. Do NOT visit these places if you cannot comply with that simple rule.

However we were also lucky to have a Colombo bus in the halt at Matale when we got down from the lorry. So we took it and that’s all about the journey; which I enjoyed a lot.

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That dangerous tipper ride.

 

ලාලසාව

iu-e-magazine-passion-direction-desires-success-age-imagination-chances-dreams-mindsets-excellence-forbes-fortune

මහ ලොකු බලාපොරොත්තු නැතිව, සරලවම තමන් ලාලසයෙන් මුසපත් කරවන යමක් කරමින් දිවි ගෙවීමට ඇත්නම් මැනවි යැ යි තරයේම සිතෙමින් පවතින්නේ කුමන හේතුවක් නිසාදැ යි පැහැදිලි නැත.

අතිශය විසම සමාජ පැතිකඩක් ඇසුරට වැටී ඇති නිසාත්, මා තුල ලාලසයක් ජනිත නොකරවන විෂයන් කිහිපයක් තුළ මගේ බඩ පිණුම් බලාපොරොත්තුවන පිරිසක් ප්‍රේක්ෂකාගාරයේ සිටින නිසාත්, සත්‍යවම මා තුළ ලාලසය ඇති කරවන විෂය පථයක් මට හමුවී ඇති නිසාත්, මට එසේ සිතේ ය යැයි හිත හදාගැනීමට සිදුව ඇත.

කෙසේ හෝ වේවා මට නම මතක නැති දෙවියකු පවා දෙවිකම පසෙක තබා කරුමය ගෙවෙන්නට ඇතෙකු වී බට කැලයක බට දඬු කමින් ජීවත් වූවාක් මෙන්, මමත් මාගේ ලාලසාවන් පසෙකලා ආර්ථිකවාදී කෝණයෙන් බැලූ කල ඉතාමත් පැහැපත්, එහෙත් ජීවිත කෝණයෙන් බැලූ කල යදමින් බැඳි අනාගතයකට උරුමකම් කියන්නට යන බව සයවැනි ඉන්ද්‍රියට දැන් දැන් පසක් වන්නේ හදවතට සියුම් වේදනාවක් දනවමිනි…

(Image is from web.)

Relief

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It was peculiar how a simple decision made the emptiness that has been wrapping me vanished; going home on train as suddenly decided, driving for hours leaving the stress behind, enjoying the home made food and doing some photography.

Living under a strict daily routine with none other but twenty four hours academic work is so exasperating. As well the breakdown of the mighty fantasy world made by the teachers, tuition masters and parents also must have affected it a lot.

However, the stress was released and the emptiness was filled with passion of getting educated with what I want and with the inspiration to do the things that I love; a simple decision made it all possible.

(Image is from web.)