Tag: biodiversity

Nature

Lark, hark…

Ashy-crowned sparrow lark

Lark – a bit smug, this one, the Ashy-crowned sparrow lark, especially the male, the missus still (relatively) demure and consenting… flitting around open fields looking for grains or reaping the rich entomological harvest of the monsoons… quintessentially restive, forever grouchy… happy as a lark? na… not this one for sure… For Shakespeare and Chaucer, …

Nature

Cuckoo, rains and morality…

Jacobin cuckoo

Cuckoo, harbinger of rains, keeper of time… some resident, some migrant, all parasite… ‘tis a rather intriguing avian, the cuckoo… biologically, culturally, philosophically, or etymologically… at times endearing, at times appalling… ‘Twas a Jacobin cuckoo that we’d spotted, meandering through a rather sultry afternoon in Orchha looking for birds… as is the norm with this …

Nature

Birds on the run…

Crested lark

Birds … busy bees… forever restive yet surprisingly gallant at times… singing to beckon or wailing out alarms… never a dull moment in the avifaunal kingdom… thus one tries to kill the tediousness of doing lap after lap around this wide-open field lying amidst a slew of real estate projects in various stages of completion… …

Nature

Vultures and their veils…

Egyptian vulture

Vultures, the gore in their subsistence often veils the nobility of their purpose and the mostly dire circumstances they face in this tumultuous phase of the Anthropocene… diclofenac brought that into the limelight for a while (a problem that is now manifesting in other forms), but that’s only for the woke, one reckons, while wondering …

Nature

Tahrs, ruminating…

Nilgiri Tahrs

Tahrs, they ruminate… like most of their ungulate brethren, both literally and figuratively… jaws in their slow, perpetual drawl… scuttling along hurriedly to bite the grass and then standing and gazing dreamily as they work on the cud… like most prey, their existence is marked by a stoical acceptance – expecting death at every step, …

Nature

Agamas and their melancholy

Peninsular rock agama

Agamas, I somehow tend to find a kind of melancholy in their expression… maybe ‘tis a because of the head being held up high but in edginess rather than pride… or the furious activity one can feel even as they stand stock-still… in their reptilian universe, agamas would be the average Joe (or Jane), a …

Nature

Pipits, the rarer kind…

Pipits - Nilgiri Pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis)

Pipits are ubiquitous, and pipits are confusing… among conspecifics and congeners like larks, they mercilessly expose the novice birder… drab plumage, scrappy flight, there’s nothing to make them stand out, one muses, but for that restive disposition they move around with, bustling busybodies rummaging through the grounds, loath to fly and trying to compensate by …

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, 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… …