Nature

Birds in searing summers…

Birds of India - Indian roller

Birds, for all their niftiness, can’t find their way around an unrelenting sun at times… ‘tis a leveller of sorts, this heat… you may fly but I can sweat… a feeble attempt at one-upmanship over the avifauna, for when the heat reaches its zenith, every natural adaptation needs a pinch of luck to concoct the …

Nature

Hornbills, the plain kind…

Hornbills of India - Indian grey hornbill

I’m yet to roam in landscapes with those exotic, exquisite hornbills… until then, grey hornbills are all one gets as their everyday fill of these avians… gazing out of the window on a sultry city afternoons or running through foggy mornings, their laboured flight more often than not catches the eye, making them, even if …

Mountains

Where ice turns to water…

Nichnai glacier covered in ice, Kashmir, India

There’s a distinctive dynamic to these places, where ice turns to water up in the high mountains… as if the elements take a deep breath and all is still, a burble here and there, an avalanche or a rockfall in the distance… the elements go about their business in an eerie silence, and every small …

Mountains, Nature

On those romancing cold rocks…

lichen

Cold, is all that they are, rocks in the high mountains, some basking in stasis, others churning in that slow glacial procession… concoctions of pressure in myriad forms, sharp volcanic outbursts or a gradual buildup of sediment… flaky or smooth, jagged or rounded, monoliths or pebbles, blunt prose or poetic allegories, they’re cold, all cold… …

Nature

Lepidoptera, and their lilts…

Common five-ring

Lepidoptera, the order of insects comprising butterflies and moths, are a strange lot… not only do their physical forms metamorphose rather unrecognizably from birth to adulthood, interestingly, so does their relationship with us… the adult being an avid pollinator but the caterpillar might be an agricultural pest, although some weave silk too… ‘twas the Chinese …

Nature

Sleepy owl musings

Brown fish owl

Fathoming the universe, yet still baffled by dreams, such are the vicissitudes of life… the more we know, more the contradictions… sleeping birds being a case in point… for a species used to crumbling into that suspended space of consciousness for hours, there a tinge of envy as one sees the avifauna managing with just …

Nature

Prinia, prancing…

Prinia, prancing… that’s my mumble on spotting this busy bee of a bird, flitting impatiently across bushes with the tail moving in a rather autonomous manner, like a music conductor’s baton waving furiously to navigate a busy section of the symphony… well adapted to the chaos that is urbanity, its dismissiveness to the idea of …

Art & Culture, Mountains

Temples of busy bee valleys…

Temples of Uttarakhand

Temples, those that have been wizened by the meanders of civilization since medieval times, are more often than not draped in a bemused solemnity… been there, seen that… the tomes of religion remain the same, but their interpretations are forever in a state of flux… the monuments lie somewhere in the middle… tangible testimonies of …

Nature

As above, so below – musing on an eagle & a francolin…

Contrasting birds comes rather organically as one scours a landscape for their activity… and so was the case as one mused upon an Imperial eagle and a Grey francolin, diametrically opposite for the most part but then there are some similarities the more one thinks about it… while one bestrides the high skies and canopies, …

Nature

Sandpiper and its saunters…

The sandpiper, like the rest of its wader brethren, is a busy disposition, tiptoeing pensively along the shore, looking for something beyond food it seems… reading passing scribes on the water or pondering over the lay of the land… there’s a melancholy in its demeanour, maybe those long migrations add up after a few years …