RV Matters - 8 July 2018

I had a new “student” in my class last Thursday, just three feet tall (long)! I was in Class 8B a few minutes before the afternoon class to make a few drawings on the board before the classes began. I was almost done when I saw the first students coming down the corridor - “Sir, Sir... There’s a snake!” I heard this and turned around to see something slithering in through the door and coming towards me. I just stepped behind, trying to see if the snake was a venomous species. It was, fortunately, a rat snake, three feet long, a juvenile and very active. It took over 25 minutes for Seetha akka to catch the snake and release it. By then the whole junior school was out, trying to come into the class to catch a glimpse of the snake. My colleagues had a tough time controlling the crowd while I was in the classroom, making sure the snake did not disappear into one of the lockers.

This morning I had a lovely individual of the Blue Mormon in my garden, as it fluttered about the lemon tree. I was hoping it would rest on a twig and allow a good look at it but it did not oblige. There are several individuals of this large (wingspan 120-150 mm) butterfly this year. It appears to be a seasonal visitor to our campus, seen mostly during the monsoon months. Do look out for it.

We had a unusually large turnout for bird-watching this morning – over 15 students and 7-8 adults! The view of the campus, as we went towards the sunrise point, was breath-takingly lush. We hoped to see the YTB (Yellow Throated Bulbul) – two lucky souls saw one bird while the others were happily chattering away! But there were other highlights – a large bird of prey (possibly the Black Eagle), male Baya weavers in their resplendent breeding plumage and dusky crag martin (Craig Martin or was it Martin Craig? according to some kids!) gave us good views. The balmy weather conditions with overcast skies, a light drizzle and cool breeze made this outing an enjoyable one.

Dr Santharam