Mountains, Nature

Wistfulness and birds in the mountains…

Wistfulness of birds... Plumbeous water redstart (Phoenicurus fuliginosus), female

Wistfulness is a state of poetic realms, tinges of sweet sorrow sprinkled over the cocoon of contentment… so it feels rather amusing when one manifests it on to animals (in the guise of anthropomorphism) at first, but it makes at sense at times, when formal discourses on solutions to the evolution of evolution and genes and memes become too sophisticated, such harmless, rather useful, attributions are necessary to keep oneself from becoming senile…

Wistfulness of birds... Isabelline wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)
Isabelline wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)

With fidgety creatures such as birds, wistfulness is very interesting… the briefest of moments in a life of seemingly non-stop hunting and foraging… the smaller ones akin to urbanites, making a beeline for everything, large raptors and ground dwellers are the nonchalant kind, ruminating on life (and food) from high perches, with brief bouts of acrobatics lest things get mundane…

Wistfulness of birds... Himalayan bluetail (Tarsiger rufilatus), female
Himalayan bluetail (Tarsiger rufilatus), female

‘Tis the former that punctuate the high mountains with some frolic, for rest of the animals are too shy… with small, chirping birds there is this sense of gregariousness… the larger landscape otherwise is steeped in a kind of grandeur and the quiet, cold sobriety that comes with it… the rivers gurgle and bounce around though, one could say, but they are cold and unforgiving too in their ‘umwelt, so their visual leisure is negated by a sense of physical foreboding…

Wistfulness of birds... Robin accentor (Prunella rubeculoides)
Robin accentor (Prunella rubeculoides)

When these otherwise tireless workhorses stop awhile, on rocks or riverside, one finds them wistful… as if in the melee of ceaseless activity, the thought of contemplating something existential emerges, and disappears as soon as it did, the bird off to another of the countless perches… the proportionality of their craniums makes us notice them that wee bit more maybe, as much unique as similar to us…

Citrine wagtail (Motacilla citreola)
Citrine wagtail (Motacilla citreola)

In mountains more than anywhere, they make us rue our inability to fly or hop (especially when you lamely try to stalk them for a photograph)… solving the rigours of undulations aerially… but they get bogged down too at times, and the otherwise askance looks give way to those of wistfulness, cautiously empathizing with the living brethren on the quandaries of the ‘meta’, before taking to the air again…

Pink-browed rosefinch (Carpodacus rodochroa)
Pink-browed rosefinch (Carpodacus rodochroa)

Musings on birds, hiking in the Himalaya…

Author: 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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