The official account:
Wednesday, 210514, Day 4
As several ranges were out of bounds, 5 Anti-Poaching Camps (APC) were selected, with BNC as the 6th one, for the participants to stay in overnight. Women participants were assigned to the Mining Area, and the other participants were assigned through a draw of lots. The 5 ranges were: Pandaramukhi 1 and 2, Sujigudde, Ganapati Katte, and Kurinjal.
Sarath made a presentation on Tracks and Signs, showing several slides of the various tracks, and other signs, that volunteers would look for, to read the “story” of what had happened in the jungle earlier. Several mammals and reptiles were touched upon. The importance of urine and fecal matter was explained.
Post-lunch, there was a presentation on trees, explaining the key id features volunteers should look for.
Participants then left for the APC’s, spending the evening and the rest of the overnight stay getting a feel of how the forest guards, the true foot-soldiers of the wilderness, work and live.
We started the day with this jewelled web on the fence of the nursery:
There were all sorts of interesting places to go to, from the camp:
But we were committed to our program!
We found this little crab scuttling along:
When the generator was running, everyone was also running to get their gadgets charged!
The kitchen staff (extra helpers had been hired)
worked very hard on this array of vegetables and fruits to provide us good food:
We went to the Kudremukh Iron Ore Corporation Limited (KIOCL), which was an abandoned town after mining was stopped by the conservationists.
It was eerie to see such huge scale of operations having been abandoned.
The huge silo brought back memories of the “mother ship” landing, from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”:
The devastated landscape was depressing:
And yet, Nature is beginning to make a comeback:
The beauty of the rocks there was breathtaking. One of these could have been put in an art gallery, and no questions asked!
Kiran, who is quite knowledgeable about rocks, pointed out the plant fossil in between the sedimentary layers of this rock:
At the mining area, we saw some
GREATER RACKET-TAILED DRONGO:
We decided to explore this road:
We were rewarded with several sightings; this
SAMBHAR STAG lay at his ease on the hillside:
The shola forests and the grasslands lay with wreaths of mist:
delighted us as they scurried along ahead of our vehicle:
I could not help clicking this tiny 8-footer inside the vehicle, too!