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a morning forage…

It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds. 

Aesop 

Dawn in the higher meadows is usually a boggy affair… the flora usually tends to gulps more dew than it can swallow in its nighttime reveries, leaving the camper to deal with a fair amount of squelch as one goes about morning chores… the avifauna doesn’t mind the quaggy environs one bit though, flitting and chirping with an urgency to feed before the treasures of the morning disappear in the haze that is noon…

Such was the grumble that accompanied the toothbrush as I wandered around camp looking for a hideout to dispense with the morning business, the sky was clear and the air crisp after a whole night of rain, and except for the troubles we would had in packing up a muddy, soggy tent, life was good…

Pink-browed rosefinch (Carpodacus rodochroa) (female), Riyali Thatch, Bada Bhangal Trek, Himachal Pradesh, India

We were surrounded by a field of potato, which in turn was surrounded by many rosefinches that seemed to be completely preoccupied with partaking as many dewdrops as they could before the sun rose higher and transpiration came into the picture… 

There was one pair that was jovial enough to be lingering about our camp, the male seemed be rather groggy, wandering around without any inclination towards breakfast, but the female was hyperactive, swinging vehemently in the grass and standing tall on the rocks, attacking the dewdrops with a vehemence similar to that of an indignant consort…

The birds kept us amused for the next hour and a half as the muleteer scampered hither thither to locate his wards that had wandered a bit too far at night, but bade farewell as the first slanting rays of the sun entered the valley…

Pink-browed rosefinch (Carpodacus rodochroa) (female), Riyali Thatch, Bada Bhangal Trek, Himachal Pradesh, India

Pink-browed rosefinch (Carpodacus rodochroa) (female), Riyali Thatch, Bada Bhangal Trek, Himachal Pradesh

Parth Joshi

Allured by the outdoors, the author is made up in parts of that quintessential lost soul wreathing under the pangs of biophilia in a desk job, a wannabe elegist mostly ending up in dungeons of poetasters and an optimist waiting for the senility of the modern world to fade away while sampling shoots and leaves.

In saner times, he has a keen interest in areas pertaining to tourism, history, agriculture and climate change, especially with respect to historical interpretations, emerging technologies and future livelihoods.

An avid trekker, runner, cyclist, birder and photographer, he is more often than not found gloating over anything hinterland, on foot or over computer monitors, and fantasizing solutions that can foster ‘inclusive’ growth and sustainable livelihoods for communities at the grassroots.

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