Category: Travel

BirdWatching – Binoculars and Beyond


Birdwatching, also referred to as “birding,” is the activity of observing and identifying birds in their natural habitat and understanding their ways of life. Bird watching is a popular hobby. It allows the hobbyists to spend their free time leisurely and peacefully exploring the nature.

Birding is more than merely observing birds. It gives the enthusiasts an opportunity not only to identify different types of birds, but also understand and appreciate the beauty and harmony in nature. The activity hones such skills as keen observation, listening, exercising patience, and being in tune with nature, not to mention photographing.

Birdwatching can feel like quite a treasure hunt as one spots different types of the avian creatures for the first time, especially when they are of rare species. Birds are considered to be among the best ambassadors from the natural world, and birdwatching brings enthusiasts closer to nature. The activity helps people understand the various aspects of nature that contribute to making suitable habitats for different types of birds.

Most bird watchers start by identifying birds in their own area. As they become more familiar with the birds in their immediate area, they often expand the territory that they travel. As the bird watchers spot and discover different species, they are motivated to travel farther and farther. Some serious enthusiasts travel the country, even the world in pursuit of their hobby.

A basic bird watching checklist of items to have includes:

  • Binoculars: Helpful for closer observation of birds at a distance, without disturbing and affecting the birds’ behavior in their natural environment.
  • Field guide: A comprehensive field guide is immensely helpful in identifying the birds In the given region.
  • Journal and pen: Most avid bird watchers make notes of their experiences. Keeping a journal helps remember the location the birds are found in, what the birds look like, the sounds they make, the behaviors they exhibit, and other vital details.
  • Camera: Many bird watchers love to bring cameras with them. Snapping a few pictures of birds they observe in their excursions helps them identify the birds better and use them to get excellent photographs to help them document their experience.

A hobby that began in the early 20th century as enthusiasts used to observe and study birds by shooting them down, birdwatching changed into a more peaceful activity. With tools like scopes, binoculars, cameras, and field guides widely available, bird watching allows people to observe these exotic creatures while they are left to live peacefully in their natural environment.

Amita Vadlamudi’s favorite bird pictures can be seen on her Pinterest and Flickr sites.




The Evolution of Roman Architecture

Roman Architecture pic

Roman Architecture

With more than 35 years of experience working in the information technology industry, Amita Vadlamudi is knowledgeable about computer mainframe products and programming languages like HTML, JavaScript, Perl, and others. When not immersed in building and installing operating systems, Amita Vadlamudi enjoys learning about the Roman Empire and its ancient architecture.

The ancient architecture still found in Rome was paramount to its success back in earlier centuries. Even though the Empire may have fallen over 1500 years ago, its extraordinary builders and engineers evolved culture and architecture in a way that was unmatched for hundreds of years.

Sanitation and public health presented challenges to early Roman cities, and fresh water was required from farther distances. Around 312 BC, Roman engineers realized that stone, concrete and lead pipelines could move clean water into the cities. Although the Romans didn’t necessarily invent aqueducts, their civil engineers did such a great job of refining them that some are still used today.

Inca and Aztec Architecture

Inca and Aztec Architecture pic

Inca and Aztec Architecture

Amita Vadlamudi earned a bachelor of science degree in computer science from Saint Peter’s College in New Jersey. After completing her studies, she went on to work in the information technology industry for more than 35 years. In her free time, Amita Vadlamudi enjoys reading about history, and she takes a special interest in the Inca and Aztec civilizations.

The Aztec lived in Central Mexico from 1325-1523 BCE, while the Inca lived in Peru from 1425-1535 BCE. The Inca people mainly resided in the Andes Mountains, and the Aztec lived in Mexico Valley.

Though geographically different, the two civilizations shared architectural similarities. The Inca were known to build practical, uniform structures that were nice to look at. It is believed that they used three kinds of stone— limestone, diorite porphyry, and black andesite—that they beat into shape with bronze or other stone tools. The Aztec used primitive-like tools too in building their cities, and used an easy-to-cut volcanic stone, called tezontle, at the base of their foundations. Like the Inca, they also built their structures from limestone and other rocks in the area.