Friday, 8 April 2016

Wallace's flying frog

Wallace's flying frog also known as Abah River flying frog is found from the Malay Peninsula (Western Indonesia). Named after biologist Alfred R.Wallace, these frogs live exclusively on trees and fly from one tree to another. When these frogs are threatened, they leap from a branch and splay their four-webbed feet. These frogs also have over sized toe pads that help them land softly and stick to trunks of trees.

These frogs are also known as parachute frogs. Though they are not the only flying frogs, they are among the largest and the black color of their foot webbing helps to distinguish them from others. These frogs are bright green with yellow sides and grow about 4 inches. Insects are their main food.  These frogs enjoy a special status in certain localities. Here are some photographs of these beautiful creatures.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Capturing the Magnificent Orangutans

Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, Orangutans are found in the rain forests of Sumatra and Borneo. While earlier they were considered to be one species, since 1996 they have been divided into two species namely - the Bornean orangutan (P. pygmaeus) and the Sumatran orangutan (P. abelii). Among the great apes, orangutans are the most solitary of the great apes. The main component of their diet is fruit. Here are some photos of these great apes captured in Borneo.
Orangutan in Borneo

Eating Peeled Banana

Mother and Child

Child Clinging on mother

Mother and Child Peeling Bananas

A great capture

Monday, 4 April 2016

A Visit to Bako National Park in Sarawak

During my recent trip to Sarawak (on the island of Borneo), I visited the famous BakoNational Park. It is the oldest national park in Sarawak. BakoNational Park has a rich history. It boasts of multiple jungle streams, waterfalls along with trekking trails. The attractions of the National Park make it one of the most popular parks in Sarawak. Given below are some pictures of the park.

Gateway to Bako National Park

Bako National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations

The park is famous for several streams

Great view of the Bako National Park

The Temminck's Sunbird

The Temminck's sunbird is found in Borneo, Sumatra, Malaysia, and south west Thailand in tropical or tropical moist lowland forests. I was lucky to spot this guy on my recent trip to the Borneo Highlands.
The Temminck's Sunbird

The male is the brighter one -seen in these pictures — he mostly scarlet, except for a greyish belly, yellow and purple bands between the back and tail, and four purple bands on the head emanating from the beak which are very distinctive.
The female is drab olive, except for rufous fringes to the wing and tail feathers. I will post pictures of the female later.
The Temminck's Sunbird in of its poses

Very nice photographing this little beauty.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Pitcher Plants in Boko National Park, Borneo, Sarawak

There are quite a few species of pitcher plants found in Bako National Park and other parts of Sarawak. These are of the species  Nepenthes albomarginata.
An ant crawling over the edge of the lid (operculum)

It s a climbing plant with the stem reaching upto 4 metres, The pitcher itself can be upto 15 cm long and 5 mm in diameter, as you can see from the size compared to the small ant crawling on it. It depends on termites for it food and is one of the few carnivorous plants in existence. 
The white ring below the opening (peristome), which is what termites come to feed on

Contrary to what I used to think, it does not trap the insects, but rather relies on them falling into the pitcher. The termites graze on the rim and as they do some will fall into the pitcher. The rim of white trichomes just below the opening (peristome), is a distinguishing feature of this species.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Dr Somdutt Prasad catches the Spectacular Spectacled Spider Catcher

Couldn't help myself from capturing the beautiful Spectacled Spider Catcher. Here are some of the beautiful pictures of the bird. Truly enchanting.
That sweet nectar is worth working for - upside down spider catcher with wings open, getting its feed

Even birds need glasses! - what a thing for the eye surgeon to see and photograph. This description came about because this bird has a yellow ring around it's eyes which greatly resemble spectacles. So here it s

Spectacular view of the Spectacled Spider Catcher

The mesmerizing Spectacled Spider Catcher

Oh your Beauty!!!! The majestic Spectacled Spider Catcher

The Spectacled Spider Catcher in its natural habitat

One of the many poses of the Spectacled Spider Catcher

Always a delight to shoot a beautiful bird like the Specatcled Spider Catcher

The marvellous  Spectacled Spider Catcher 

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Dry Eyes: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment by Dr Somdutt Prasad

If you have chronically irritated and watery eyes, you are not alone. Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common problems treated by ophthalmologists. It is usually caused by a problem with the quality of the tear film that lubricates the eyes. Fortunately, there are various methods of controlling dry eye syndrome. A number of treatment options are available to patients with dry eyes. Dr Somdutt Prasad, a noted ophthalmologist and retinal specialist, explains the symptoms and treatment of the condition. 

Dry Eye
 What is dry eye?

Dry eye is a disorder of the tears that results in ocular discomfort and visual disturbance. It can occur for a variety of reasons, and seems to be increasing in frequency. If not managed properly it can lead to ocular surface damage from increased osmolarity of the tear film and chronic inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva. Dry eye does not simply mean dryness. Dry eye can be a result of insufficient tear production, as well as abnormal tear composition or increased tear evaporation.

It is common in people working for long hours in front of a computer monitor mainly because the blink rate, which should be 15 times a minute, reduces a lot when one is concentrating on a monitor. It is useful to take a short break every hour or so and keep your eyes closed for a few minutes. Dry eye is also common after eye surgery, especially refractive corneal surgery like LASIK. Luckily, most of these can be treated adequately with lubricating eye drops, a whole range of which are available readily. 

Tears are comprised of three layers. The mucus layer coats the cornea, the eye’s clear outer window, forming a foundation so the tear film can adhere to the eye. The middle aqueous layer provides moisture and supplies oxygen and other important nutrients to the cornea. This layer is made of 98 percent water along with small amounts of salt, proteins and other compounds. The outer lipid layer is an oily film that seals the tear film on the eye and helps to prevent evaporation.

In addition to lubricating the eye, tears are also produced as a reflex response to outside stimulus such as an injury or emotion. However, reflex tears do little to soothe a dry eye, which is why someone with watery eyes may still complain of irritation.

The commonest reason for dryness is simply the normal aging process. As we grow older, our bodies produce less oil — 60% less at age 65 then at age 18. This is more pronounced in women, who tend to have drier skin then men. The oil deficiency also affects the tear film. Without as much oil to seal the watery layer, the tear film evaporates much faster, leaving dry areas on the cornea. Many other factors, such as hot, dry or windy climates, high altitudes, air-conditioning and cigarette smoke also cause dry eyes. Many people also find their eyes become irritated when reading or working on a computer.

Stopping periodically to rest and blink keeps the eyes more comfortable. Contact lens wearers may also suffer from dryness because the contacts absorb the tear film, causing proteins to form on the surface of the lens. Certain medications, thyroid conditions, vitamin A deficiency, and diseases such as Parkinson’s and Sjogren’s can also cause dryness.


Common symptoms are:
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Irritation
  • Foreign body sensation - 'feeling of something in the eye'
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision that improves with blinking
  • Excessive tearing
  • Increased discomfort after periods of reading, watching TV, or working on a computer.

Paradoxically a dry eye can lead to tearing. Glands in the eyelids (the Meibomian glands) secrete an oily material that lines the tears covering the cornea, the clear and extremely sensitive window at the front of the eye. The oily secretion retards the evaporation of the tear film in between blinks. If these glands do not function properly (e.g. in blepharitis), the tear film evaporates quickly leaving the sensitive cornea exposed. The tear glands then produce an excessive volume of tears as a reflex which overwhelms the tear drainage system (as in emotional crying). This often leads to confusion with patients failing to understand why they have been prescribed artificial tears to improve their symptoms!


Most people who suffer from dry eyes find relief from using artificial tears on a regular basis. Some of these products are watery and alleviate the symptoms temporarily; others are thicker and adhere to the eye longer. Preservative-free tears are sometimes recommended because they have fewer additives that could potentially irritate. When choosing an artificial tear preparation it is often useful to try a few different brands. Patients often find that they are more comfortable with a particular brand of artificial tear preparation. Also, patients often find that a watery preparation is more useful during the daytime (eg Systane Ultra, Tears Naturalle, Refresh, Ecotears, Just Tears) as they do not cause blurring, but a thicker solution (eg Genteal Gel, Lubrex Gel) is useful before going to sleep as it provides a longer period of relief.

If artificial tear preparations do not provide adequate relief it is useful to close the opening of the tear drain in the eyelid with special inserts called punctal plugs. This works like closing a sink drain with a stopper. These plugs trap the tears on the eye, keeping it moist. This can be done semi-permanently with a silicone plug which can be removed if required. By reducing drainage, more of your natural tears will remain in your eye to protect your vision and provide necessary nutrients to protect your eye.

There are also simple lifestyle changes that can significantly improve irritation from dry eyes. Make a conscious effort to blink frequently – especially when reading or watching television. Avoid rubbing the eyes. This only worsens the irritation.