Saturday, February 18, 2012

Meemure - A Rural Village In Knuckles Range

Meemure is a village in Sri Lanka with a population of about 400.It is located near the border between Kandy District and Matale District in the Knuckles Mountain Range. Meemure is one of the most remote villages in Sri Lanka with the only access via a 14 km (8.7 mi) trail from the town of Loolwatte.There is no cellular service available in the village, but a CDMA telephone service is available. There is no direct mail delivery to the village.A villager journeys each day to Thapal Junction (literally meaning Mail Junction) to exchange incoming and outgoing postal mail with a postman.
                Lakegala mountain is in Meemure village. It is considered the place where King Ravana lifted the Dhadu Monara or Dhandu Monara. Residents of the village depend on several staple crops including pepper, cardamom, paddy and ginger.Meemure village owns an exceptional natural beauty. It is rich with natural Beauty and Traditional Sri Lankan styles. The distance from Colombo capital to Meemure is about 175 km.


Meemure is approximately a 6 hour drive from Colombo, in an off road vehicle. Here is how you can go there; First go to Kandy city which is 116 km away from Colombo. Then Kandy-Mahiyangana Road (A26) towards to Mahiyangana. Turn to Left from Hunnasgiriya Junction which is 35 km away from Kandy. Then go towards the Loolwatte Village which is 15 km away from Hunnasiriya Junction. Then from Loolwatte it is about another 15 km to the Meemure Village. On your way to Meemure from Colombo you can see many Natural Sceeneries; among them Hulu Ganga (River), Victoria Reservoir, Teldeniya New Town (Teldeniya was flooded in filling the Reservoir behind the Victoria Dam, Mahaweli Project), Dothalugala Forest and Botanical Garden, Mini Worlds End, Coberts Gap (Attala Mottuwa) a place where lot of wind blowing to the other side, Meemure and Lakegala Mountain where King Rawana Lifted his Air Plane called Dhadu Monara.Also you can visit and have bath from a water fall and a stream. This is the place where Sri Lankan Film “Suriya Arana” Shooting. You can have climb to the Lakegala Mountain also which is full of Adventure. If you are Local Alcohol lover you can have “Ra,” local toddy made of Kithul Tree.


Paddy fields in Meemure

People in Meemure

People in Meemure

Paddy fields in Meemure

Paddy fields in Meemure

Houses in Meemure

Roads in Meemure

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Orange - Citrus Family

Oranges belong to the category of citrus fruits and are of the Citrus sinensis family. The citrus trees are of the same genus, Citrus, and remain largely interbreed able, that is to say that there is only one super species. Some citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, etc. The fruits belonging to the citrus family are considered berries, as they are fleshy, soft, have seeds, and are derived from a single ovary.

The Orange fruit traces its origin to South-east Asia. The word orange, is an adaptation of the Sanskrit word narangah. The oranges, which were brought to Europe from India or China were of Citrus aurantium variety, the bitter orange. It is also referred to as the Chinese Apple or Applesin by many people. It is believed that the Duch, Portuguese, Spanish and Arab sailors planted citrus trees along their trading routes to prevent survey.

Production  Of Orange 

Oranges are grown in groves, and are grown extensively throughout the world. Brazil, USA and Mexico are amongst the top orange producing countries of the world. As the orange trees are sensitive to frost, care should be taken to prevent frost formation on the leaves, bark and branches. So, when sub-freezing temperatures are expected, the best part is to spray the tree with water, to protect it from temperatures that have dropped below the freezing point.

.Health Benefits
  • A rich source of calcium, regular consumption of oranges helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
  • The fruit is also rich in Folic Acid, which is ideal for proper brain development.
  • Research has shown that inclusion of oranges in our daily diet aids in keeping blood pressure under check because of the ample amount of magnesium content in them.
  • Oranges contain a healthy dose of Vitamin C, which helps in antioxidant protection and also gives a boost to ones immune system, making it more strong and resistant to diseases.
  • The potassium present in the fruit facilitates the maintenance of the electrolyte balance in the cells of the body and also helps in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.
  • Potassium helps maintain electrolyte balance in the cells, and is important in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.
  • Vitamin B6 helps support the production of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all parts of the body, and is present in ample amounts in oranges.
  • Oranges have also proven to prevent Kidney Stones.
  • Eating oranges helps in preventing ulcers and reduces the risk of stomach cancer.
  • People addicted to alcohol have found that their desire for liquor greatly reduces by drinking orange juice.
  • Consumption of large quantities of oranges decreases the mucus secretion from the nose.


Oriental Garden Lizard (Calotes versicolor)

Calotes versicolor, Length of head once and a half to nearly twice its breadth; snout a little longer than the orbit; rostral relatively very small, less than one fifth of mental; mental large, sharply pointed behind; nasal scale more than twice size of nostril, separated from the rostral by two scales forehead concave; cheeks muscular and swollen in the adult male; upper head scales unequal, smooth or feebly keeled; two well separated spines on each side of the back of the head above the ear; canthus rostralis and supraciliary edge sharp; diameter of tympanum half or less than half of the orbit. Body compressed; dorsal scales, smooth, irregular, rather larger than ventral scales, more or less distinctly keeled and sometimes mucronate in the adult male, all pointing backwards and upwards, larger than the ventral scales, which are always strongly keeled and mucronate; 35 to 52 scales round the middle of the body. No gular pouch, except in the male during the breeding season, when a small one develops; gular scales as large as or larger than the ventrals, strongly keeled and mucronate in the adult male. No fold or groove on front of the shoulder. Nuchal and dorsal crests continuous, well developed in the male, composed of lanciform or falciform spines gradually decreasing in size towards the posterior part of the back. Limbs moderate; third and fourth fingers nearly equal; fourth toe longer than third; the hind limb reaches to the temple or the eye. Tail long, cylindrical and swollen at the base in the male, rounded or feebly compressed, covered with sub equal, keeled scales. SUP: 9-12, INF: 9-12, MBS: 42; SVL: 128 mm; HL: 40 mm; AG: 56 mm.

The body color is changeable from grayish brown to yellow ochre or dull pink, A dull pink gular area is bluish black at base of throat, more or less distinct dark brown transverse spots or bars on the back and sides; or variegated with dark brown; dark streaks radiating from the eye; young and females often with two light yellow dorso-lateral stripes; tail with light and dark annuli. Dirty whitish below, often streaked with dark brown or black. Fully-grown males are usually more or less uniform in color and have sometimes a greenish tinge; the throat may have a black transverse bar. The local population differs very greatly in coloration. New born and young are feebly iridescent golden yellow with patterns. Females are considerably smaller. Animals from the Indian peninsula are considerably larger than those from Indo-Chinese region.

Calotes versicolor is the most common, most abundant and widespread agamid in Sri Lanka and found throughout the island except in elevations of more than 1,400 m. The known distribution of this species is from South-eastern Iran to Afghanistan and Nepal, India to Sri Lanka, Myanmar to Indo China, Southern China to Peninsular Malaysia, Hong Kong, Andaman Islands and Sumatra and there is a considerable variation in this very wide spread species and according to recent distribution, now exotic in Florida, USA.

Calotes versicolor is not found in all kinds of habitats. It has never been found within closed forests. It is most abundant close to human settlements where the vegetation is strongly influenced by man. The species are largely arboreal and occurs mainly in scrub jungle throughout Sri Lanka. Each male maintains a territory and displays from an elevated site within it.

This species feeds on young leaves, seeds and buds as well as nestlings, frogs, insects, such as hemipterans and hymenopterans, their larvae, spiders and worms and sometimes feed on Geckos and snakes. Some times they are cannibalistic

C.versicolor produces multi-clutches and mating occurs in April to October.  The female invests different quantities of yolk in her eggs depending upon the breeding time. The female digs a nest hole in the ground about 45.5 - 60 mm and deposits 6-14 eggs in June- January. The eggs are 13.3-18 mm x 7-11.5 mm. The Period of incubation is 42-76 days.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Green Forest Lizard (Calotes calotes)

Calotes calotes, the largest of Sri Lankan Agamid lizards, Length of head one and half times its breadth; snout a little longer than the orbit; forehead concave; cheeks swollen; upper head-scales unequal, smooth; canthus rostralis and supraciliary edge sharp; a row of 8 or 9 compressed spines, divided in to two groups, above the tympanum, the diameter of which is less than half that of the orbit; 9 to 11 upper and as many lower labials. Body compressed; dorsal scales large, feebly keeled, sometimes smooth, pointing backwards and upwards, as large as or a little smaller than the ventrals, which are strongly keeled and mucronate; 30 to 35 scales round the middle of the body. Gular pouch not developed; gular scales feebly keeled, nearly or quite as large as the ventrals. A short oblique fold in front of the shoulder covered with small granular scales. Nuchal and dorsal crests continuous composed of closely set lanceolate spines with smaller ones at the base; a well developed dorsal crest, in the adult male the height of the crest on the neck equals or exceeds the diameter of the orbit; on the back it gradually diminishes in size. Limbs moderate; third and fourth fingers nearly equal; fourth toe distinctly longer than third toe; the hind limb reaches to the front of the eye or beyond. Tail very long and slender.

The body color is light green or Bright grass – green dorsally with 4-5 transverse bluish white or dark green or whitish or cream cross bars, often continuoued on to the tail; The head color is changeable from light ochre, red to dark bluish green; Gular sac changes yellow to red; tail light brown; young and immature sometimes with a whitish dorso-lateral stripe.

Calotes calotes occurs throughout Sri Lankan in the plains and mid hills up to elevations of 1,500 m. This species is more abundant in the wet zone than in the dry zone. The known distribution of this species is south in India, Nicobar Islands and Sri Lanka.

This species is largely arboreal. This species is preliminary found in manmade habitats, evergreen forests and found on shrubs as well as tree trunks, close to streams. The diet comprises insects such as dipterans, hemipterans and hymenopterans.

The female digs a nest hole in the ground about 70 mm and deposits 6-12 eggs in April- September. The eggs are 18-18.5 mm x 12-12.5 mm. The Period of incubation is 79-84 days.

Conservation status: Large, widely dispersed and stable population.


Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis)


Also known as Straits Robin and Magpie. 19cm long, including the long cocked tail. Black upperparts, head and throat, white shoulder patch. The underparts and the sides of the long tail are white. Females are grey above and greyish white. Young birds have scaly brown upperparts and head.


Southern Asia from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Borneo, Indonesia and south China.


16 subspecies are recognized:
C. s. saularis
C. s. ceylonensis
C. s. erimelas
C. s. andamanensis
C. s. prosthopellus
C. s. musicus
C. s. nesiotes
C. s. zacnecus
C. s. nesiarchus
C. s. masculus
C. s. pagiensis
C. s. javensis
C. s. amoenus
C. s. problematicus
C. s. adamsi
C. s. pluto
Philippine Magpie-Robin was formerly included in this species.


Open woodland, cultivated areas and around human habitation.


It nests in a hole, often in a wall, laying 3-6 eggs which are incubated by both sexes.It is terrestrial, hopping along the ground with cocked tail. The male sings loud melodic notes from the top of a perch during the breeding season.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Udawalawa National Park

Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka. The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land area and was established on 30 June 1972.[1] Before the designation of the national park, the area was used for shifting cultivation (chena farming). The farmers were gradually removed once the national park was declared. The park is 165 kilometres (103 mi) from Colombo. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan Elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.