Tag: nature

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 …

Mountains

Ice stupa and its summer farewell

Ice stupa in Ladakh, India

Ice stupa, a progeny of the climate crisis… perhaps nothing is as adaptive as traditional wisdom when it comes to making the most of limited natural resources, but then this cul-de-sac called the Anthropocene comes about, leaving communities flummoxed, and livelihoods in peril… ‘Tis always enlightening to see subsistence farming in Ladakh, mushrooms of green …

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 …