Thursday, April 30, 2015

A bird's nest built on an empty electric bulb socket, Puwakpitiya, Sri Lanka.

Safety from predators seems to be the first priority in building nests. The Garden Lizard and The Rat snake make a meal of the eggs and the Coucal bird waits till the young chicks are about to fly and gobbles them up. All these have to be guarded against when building a nest.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fire-wood, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

This is a regular sight on the Kudagama road, leading to the Avissawella Free Trade Zone. About 20 Lorries of firewood arrive daily from various parts of the Island to feed the furnaces of a factory in the Free Trade Zone. On inquiry I was told that firewood was cheaper than Furnace oil.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chillie plant, Home garden, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

The Chillie plant was native to South America. It was brought to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese in the 16th century AD. Even now a pungent variety of this plant is called 'Kochchi miris' in Sinhalese and 'Kochchikkkai' in Tamil. This recalls the time when it was brought from Cochin, South India a former Portuguese enclave.
Black pepper which was exported from Sri Lanka for more than 2000 years was native to Sri Lanka and is called 'Gammiris'  - Gamey miris - in Sinhalese meaning the local variety.
Chillie has 'capsicaine' and is used in ointments as a counter irritant, to relieve pain.