Saturday, November 29, 2014

Invaders In My House During My Absence!

I noticed this insect/wasp roaming near the opening for the cylinder rack often after I came back from our tour for nearly a month.   I was telling my husband that it must be building its nest again somewhere under the cooking counter.  I was lazy to bend down and check.  I did so today and saw this! It is quite big.  It was not visible easily.  I had to put my head inside near the cylinder to check and then after seeing such a huge one, decided to click and show the world, the tiny insect's hard work!

This is not the first time it is building its nest in our house.  

Nearly a couple of months back, it had tried to build its nest here but I removed it because I was afraid the insect might cut the cable. It was on the cable which was connected to the Kent water purifier gadget.  So I removed it with a knife.  The nest was small, but a small cream coloured worm was inside, alive.  I felt bad seeing it.

Its first nest! Looks like a mud pot! The red mud must be from the flower bed! Looks beautiful with a folded edge!

The wasp! Wiki has got a clear photo here  It looks similar to our insect. I didn't see her carrying any mud in her mouth...maybe she was carrying inside her tiny mouth! How much hard work!
A close up of the insect in our house.  I haven't seen it carrying mud in its mouth anytime! The Wiki link's insect seems to be similar to this one but this nest is different and looks like a 'designer' one! She too looks beautiful!
Must be a month's hard work!

The nest in another angle!
Now, I wonder whether to leave it as it is and wait for the insect to grow up and fly away or should I remove it? It is standing/sticking on the wood.  It might spoil the wood.  Feel sorry when I saw it today.  Humans are bad! Son says let it be there for some more time and see if the worm flies away.

The inside of the nest, is here!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Unforgettable Experience With Nature!


I was off blogging for a month.  Now, will start writing about our trip to California during the period.  Our visit to the Muir Woods was one of the best experience during our trip.  This is my son's favourite area.  He goes trekking often to this park.  The first trip he took us was to this place. It was a pleasant experience. These redwood trees have become my favourite trees now!

This Park is situated 12 miles on the north of San Francisco and is spread over 240 acres of land near the Pacific ocean.  These trees are found near the ocean bordering the coastal region of America.  They need moisture throughout the year.  The fog which forms during the winter in the ocean, spreads to the forest and keeps them damp through the summer too. 

Another link says: The average age of the coastal redwoods at Muir Woods is between 600 to 800 years, with the oldest being at least 1200 years old. This is still young for redwoods as they can live up to 2200 years. Being long-lived and large in size, they play a significant role in carbon, nutrient, and water cycling in the forest, helping to support an abundance of plant and animal life.

Wiki says:
Before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres (8,000 km2) of old growth forest containing redwoods growing in a narrow strip along the coast. By the early 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down. Just north of the San Francisco Bay, one valley named Redwood Canyon remained uncut, mainly due to its relative inaccessibility.
This was noticed by U.S. Congressman William Kent He and his wife, Elizabeth Kent, purchased 611 acres (247 ha) of land from the Tamalpais Land and Water Company,  $45,000 with the goal of protecting the redwoods and the mountain above them. Read more in the link.  He named the woods in the famous naturalist's name John Muir.

Now, to my view of the forest:

The straight tall trees grow for more than 300 feet tall.  And they have very thin branches with small sized leaves. The trunks become broader through years.  It was a pleasant feeling walking in between these tree.

The old trees have got huge trunks! Click on the pictures to have a better view pl. on the photo to read clearly.  Interesting read.
Passages like these help even the people who come on a wheel chair to enjoy this forest/park.
New trees grow around the burnt one after forest fires, from the roots. 
The fallen old tree becomes nutrient supplements in the long run.  The whole area is damp which helps to protect the trees from drying up during summer or drought which is there now.  I read this in some link: "The importance of a tree does not diminish after it has stopped living. It is a common saying here at Muir Woods that only half the life a tree is spent standing, while the other half is spent on the ground."
The new tree coming out from the root of an old tree!
People stand here and take photographs!
I noticed many trees growing like groups!

The cross section of a Redwood tree.  Very interesting information is written here! You can read the details clearly in this video.
I saw this tree near the car park which is near the entrance.  No vehicle is allowed inside.  We have to walk.  I noticed green moss on the branches.  
Since winter was nearing, birds were not to be seen.  I saw some small birds near the car park.  

There was a gift shop, a cafe, and a restroom inside the forest/park.  I think I saw cyclists inside! Read more about other details in the wiki link or this link. 
I came across another link also, which is interesting.

Hmmm...I wonder for how long this forest will survive among us, destructive humans.  Thousands of new saplings are planted here by nature lovers it seems.  Hope the tribe increases in future.  

P.S.: I looked for a reply to Destination Infinity's question.  I found this answer:

" The trees' lives are measured in centuries, not decades like other trees. Many reach 600 years of age, though some trees have been found that are as old as 2,000 years old. New trees can grow from seeds, but many sprouts grow from the stump of cut or fallen trees." (link) Google showed images of fruits too. I am not very sure of them, though.

EDITED TO ADD: (3.12.14)  Came across this interesting link now.  It explains how water reaches the top of the TALL redwood trees! Please read.  It is interesting even for me!

'Redwoods have a system of interconnected wood cells for carrying water. The hollow, short, thin cells are stacked intricately to form an incredibly tall column, extending from the roots through the branches and stems to the leaves....'

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