Vaathsalyam

We have many kinds of love in our culture, and Vaathsalyam is the love of a parent (particularly the mother) for the child.

Bandipur has always seemed to show me scenes of this vatsalyam more than any other wildlife sanctuary…

When we drove in to Tusker Trails, there was a snafu about our rooms, and while it was getting sorted out, the rain started pelting down too. We roamed around the property with our cameras, and I loved the sight of this mother cat with four identical kittens, one of whom she is licking over while the other suckles:

Cat mother and kittens Tusker Trails Bandipur u

Later, as we were on safari, we had the good fortune to have this mother and child cross our path:

Elephant mother and child

They both stopped at a fairly dry waterhole and the mother started vacuumming up the mud to throw on herself, while the calf suckled:

Elephant Mother and Calf Suckling

As we were watching the deer, we noted this Red-Wattled Lapwing sitting completely still on a hummock of grass; the reason became clear when suddenly, four chicks scrambled from under her body and came out to “graze” on the grass under her watchful eye! Here’s one emerging…

Lapwing and Chick

The Sambhar young ones were also brought by the herd to the “dining table” that the grassland was:

Sambhar family

In the Tusker Trails resort, I saw this Great Tit picking up food (little worms or eggs from the bark of the tree) before flying off to feed its nestlings nearby….

grey tit  shot going to feed nestlings u

Even this mother House Sparrow had her baby along and was looking for food. You can identify the baby by the pink inside its beak, if you look carefully:

Mother House Sparrow and Baby

And even the father was doing his bit of “hunting/gathering”!

Male House Sparrow picking up food

And a Brahminy Starling also thought this choice morsel of a bug would be appreciated by the babies, I caught it just before it flew off:

Brahminy Starling

And the last, but NOT least, of the mammals I saw feeding their babies? As we were in the Gopalaswamy Temple in Gopalaswamy Betta (hill), I heard the familiar plaintive cry of the juvenile Homo sapiens, pointing to a source of food (in this case, a snack stall) and off the mother went to take care of the young one! You can see him pointing out where he wants to be taken….

gopalaswamy devotees

Well, that was my mothers-and-babies post, and I thoroughly enjoyed all the time I wasted on making it! And I changed my userpic for this post because…that’s MY bebby….

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