Archive for April, 2008

Good to see….

April 30, 2008

http://bangalore.metblogs.com/2008/04/30/calligraphy-exhibition-at-ethos-art-gallery/

Bandipur flora

April 30, 2008

Two of the flowers on the Bandipur JLR campus:

beautiful flower on bandipur jlr campus 270408

I wanted to use the backlight on that lovely creeper and its flower; they are trained to grow around the cottages.

and this one below is the Pongaemia tree (HongE in Kannada), which is a common avenue tree in Bangalore, also; biodiesel is supposed to be extracted from this tree.

pongaemia tree blossom bandipur 260408

It is just about at the end of its flowering cycle now; a few weeks ago, the roads were carpeted with these flowers!

Bandipur flora

April 30, 2008

Two of the flowers on the Bandipur JLR campus:

beautiful flower on bandipur jlr campus 270408

I wanted to use the backlight on that lovely creeper and its flower; they are trained to grow around the cottages.

and this one below is the Pongaemia tree (HongE in Kannada), which is a common avenue tree in Bangalore, also; biodiesel is supposed to be extracted from this tree.

pongaemia tree blossom bandipur 260408

It is just about at the end of its flowering cycle now; a few weeks ago, the roads were carpeted with these flowers!

Gold, Mammals and others at Bandipur….

April 30, 2008

First, the gold that I struck in Bandipur. Gold comes in many forms in the forest. Here’s a GOLDEN DRAGONFLY:

golden dragonfly bandipur 260408

And then there was the gold shower of the INDIAN LABURNUM, with its cascades of petals everywhere:

indian laburnum in flower

And of course, the gold of the sunset as we finished the evening safari, shot (with some difficulty) through the foliage:

sunset bandipur 260408

Then come

the mammals

Birds at Bandipur…..

April 29, 2008

Well, since That Mammal is still grimly determined that I will never see its visage (or even a twitch of its tail), let me share all the other wonderful sights of Bandipur…. Here are some of the birds (all pretty common, no Darwinian discoveries here!) that I saw.

Very common at this time of the year is the BLACK-RUMPED FLAMEBACK WOODPECKER (Dinopium benghalense…dunno why it’s called “Din-OPIUM”!!), which can be seen flying about, and boring the tree-trunks (you can see a small piece falling to the ground from its work, if you look carefully!)

Black-Rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense)bandipur

Also fairly easy to sight were the CRESTED SERPENT EAGLEs; this one was sitting not too far away for a brief while:

crested serpent eagle on brach bandipur

more…if you like…

What’s the significance?

April 29, 2008

Can’t understand why….

http://bangalore.metblogs.com/2008/04/29/whats-the-significance/

Is it to ward off any “evil eye”? Doesn’t seem likely, either…has the KSRTC confiscated a ghatam from a Carnatic musician and put it up there as a lesson to him?

Chilli, and other discussions

April 29, 2008

I felt really bad when debbieann and charleshaynes rather suddenly pulled up their stuff and left Bangalore; I was, of course, able to keep in touch with them through their LJ’s, but when I realized they were going to be back in Bangalore for a few days, I was very keen to go and meet them. So there was also udhay, themadman and Aadisht , whose LJ username I just cannot remember, even though I had no alcohol…but that’s OK, since he seems far more active on Blogger. I also met Biju , and exchanged notes with Vidya .

Conversation started with, and kept touching on, the Bhut Jolokia , which Gautam had brought from a friend’s restaurant, in pounded/ground form. The smell of it (not too close with those nostrils!) when the little dabba was opened was heavenly; and Charles added it, a teeny bit at a time, to a small glass of vodka, and the experiment was, probably, to see at what point of time steam appeared out of the taster’s ears… Charles had also brought along some Red Savina habanero pepper ,but this was cut down and “tempered” with onions and ground.

I wonder if there are specific names for all the chilis I scoop up in the local market? I am sure,but there is no consistency in what I get and I settle for the what I can get. In general, the rule seems to be “the smaller, the deadlier”….I wonder if anyone can throw light on these chillies.

And while talking to Aadisht, I did wish, once again,that I had been on the Bangalore Photowalk , which I missed, alas, due to the Bandipur trip…seems to have been a great outing. Good going, skthewimp…am going to join you next time.

The economics of running a restaurant, and pricing dishes, were also talked about, and Madhu convincingly proved that Darshinis operate on a higher profit margin than he does, appearances to the contrary!

There was also a conversation on age, and feeling old. As, easily, the oldest person present, the only point I made was that if one’s health was good, age was indeed in the mind. But it tickles me that age is always with a negative connotation, and as one who can say so with authority, that is not true unless one suffers from ossification of either body or mind. Every age that I have passed through has had its difficulties and compensations, and I would not exchange each for anything. But I guess, different strokes for different folks…but was I really so afraid of getting older as some of those present seemed to be? I think not…

PS. The rice noodles I had were really excellent. Though it may be causing Madhu a lot of effort, I am happy that Shiok is moving *somewhat* closer….

What an Orrible Lot You Are

April 28, 2008

I go with a heart full of hope (and greed, yes…everyone ELSE has seen the SIT)…to Bandipur, and of course, how many SIT’s do I see (remember, chirdeepshetty saw 5 once)…how many? Think of a number, subtract it from itself, and that will be the answer….

Focus doesn’t help. Nothing ever helps.

But what DOESN’T help at all is helpful phone calls every now and then, full of suppressed (and not-too suppressed) glee, asking, “Saw any tigers?” “What happened?” “Seen anything?” and so on…Amogh meeting me at 4.30pm and saying, “Well, I might as well go home now, there are going to be no more tiger sightings now that you are here”, swiftly-hidden smiles from all and sundari…I have taken to grunting now instead of replying! 🙂

I may not be the only one never to have seen an SIT (er, that’s south Indian Tiger, if anyone has not yet known of My Quest), but I am certainly the funniest one. Even Swarna Venkat, who had never seen one, came over last week, and sighted one…

Oh well. But everything ELSE in Bandipur is ALWAYS awesome. And speaking of grunting….. here’s a lovely conversation I saw happening between two WILD BOAR:

“Hist! hist! You heard the latest? It seems Piggy and Porky were…..”

have you heard the latest?

“Hmmm…wait…sniff-sniff-sniff….”

you stink 270408 bandipur

“You STINK!! you rotten PIG!!!!Just stay AWAY from me!”

just keep away...

“Hmm…this solitude is WILDly BOARing…..”

boring portrait 270408

and to end this post on a beautiful note (there will be more posts about the other birds and mammals, never fear!)…here’s another portrait:

The eye of the peacock Bandipur 260408

More to follow, but off now to take care of other stuff….!

Coincidence….

April 25, 2008

When I was in St Louis, I would, once in a while, buy the New York Times newspaper and bring it home. Once, when I did this, and was reading it, I came across an article on migrant birds being possible carriers of the Avian flu…and there was a picture of BAR-HEADED GEESE which was credited to M.Niranjan , who was not mentioned by name in the article.

I mailed Niri (I met him through the JLRNTP) at once, and it was very nice when he came home with Deepak to collect the newspaper.

The coincidence?

When a few of us had gone to Devarayanadurga, the TV Channel, “Kasturi”, had taped an interview with some of us (anirudhc, mamtanaidu, and Seshadri) and asked me to say what we were doing in the place, and to request for a hit Kannada song. Of course I requested a song from “Mungaru Male”!

And last Saturday, when I was sitting near my front gate, idly photographing the Brahminy Kite and wondering when I would get back in my flat, being locked out…Niri phoned and told me that he had just switched on the TV, and I was on the air with my friends, asking for the song! “Quick, quick, switch on the TV!” he said. I told him that I was giving our security guards some company for a while!

How funny that when one person has something to do with the media, the other person spots it, and it works in reverse, too!

Don’t miss this entry on Niri’s blog!

Here’s a BLUE-TAILED DRAGONFLY at Namada Chilume, Devarayanadurga:

blue-tailed dragonfly nAmada chilume 050408

Faults….

April 25, 2008

I think
I am looking deep within me,
But I never see my faults.
When I think I am overlooking
Someone else’s faults,
I am actually
Looking them over carefully…
My sense of superiority vaults;
My criticisms run in a groove…)
I wish I had the ability to see
What could be better in me,
Than to keep looking for ways
That others could improve.

Buttering oneself is so much easier than bettering oneself.