Mountains, Nature

meadows and clouds…

Meadows around Sunni Goth, Dhauladhar Ranges, Himachal Pradesh, India

meadows and clouds in the mountains… hard to find a more definitive example of a love and hate twixt the inanimate… lending a mood or soaking one wet, protecting from the harsh afternoon sun or fogging out the trail ahead… one of those fickle balances where only the right amount does the trick, a little bit here or there and the beauty becomes a curse…

Meadows after Nichanai pass, Kashmir, India
Meadows around Nichanai pass, Kashmir

unlike the woods, clouds come very visibly over meadows… if one is ascending they bring a bit of reprieve from the heat in the beginning, those isolated wisps taking turns in toying with the sun… yet they play for a bit too long and trepidation starts creeping in… what usually starts as an innocent dance on mountaintops can ride upon the winds to suddenly precipitate upon the wayfarer with a mischievous alacrity…

Meadows above Riyali thatch, Dhauladhar ranges, Himachal Pradesh, India
Meadows above Riyali thatch, Dhauladhars, Himachal Pradesh

sometimes there is this perfect cleaving of the landscape into two seemingly perfect halves of sun and shade, a yin and yang on display… no shadow sans light… a time when bad weather is still some distance away and there is this equilibrium, in sound as well as sight, the wind doesn’t howl but hums, the clouds don’t growl in unison but nonchalantly glide dispersedly… that is perhaps when meadows are at their most enjoyable…

Meadows of Asurbag, Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
Meadows of Asurbag, Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh

no other landscape displays such adroitness in transforming itself over any scale of time, from gradual change in seasons to sudden turns of the weather… a massif will at best shed or gain some snow, forest canopies seldom lose their silhouette, glaciers may be forced to retreat in a defined linearity, but meadows, akin to clouds, remain in a constant state of flux… from bursting with colours to be draped uniformly in an expanse of snowy white… from a soft carpet of green to miles of knee-deep slush…

Meadows around Gadsar pass, Kashmir, India
Meadows around Gadsar pass, Kashmir

due to bareness in their vegetation, meadows seem even larger than they are… like deserts but not as unforgiving… an endless trudge that one knows can only be broken down one step at a time… but clouds beg to differ, matching this immensity inch for inch… a sustained spell of wind and the seemingly infinite of land can be engulfed by the larger infinite of dark skies within moments…

Meadows at Raktisar, Sainj Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
Meadows at Raktisar, Sainj Valley, Himachal Pradesh

from wall canvasses to computer wallpapers, meadows occupy an important niche in environmental aesthetics as we derive an intuitive pleasure from their perception from afar… in their folds though, sometimes the going can be tough, as one struggles across thick, rock-strewn shrubbery or being hit by a hailstorm with nowhere to hide, but maybe as Kant would see it, the joy comes more from the perceived image, or pre-conceived notion, and despite whatever ill-tempered meadows one might encounter, the aftertaste is always one of beauty and serenity…

Sunni Goth, Dhauladhars, Himachal Pradesh, India
Meadows around Sunni Goth, Dhauladhars, Himachal Pradesh

there is no end to metaphors one can derive from mountains, and meadows are no exception… the interplay between them and the clouds is an exercise in cherishing the moment, one can’t be too grateful for the present for it can change in a moment but there is no point in being too pessimistic either…

Sarthu Pond, Jiwa Nala Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India
Meadows around Sarthu Pond, Jiwa Nala Valley, Himachal Pradesh

musings on clouds in meadows, treks across Western 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.


  1. Wonderful…one is caught in a dilemma if it is a travelogue or a poetry….I find innocent delight in your encounter with the nature and that delight inspires me to be in delight…regards

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