Plant and Insect Walk, Arikere Reserve Forest, 281214

On Sunday, wanted a walk but not a long or very bird-focused one, so I decided on a plant/tree/insects walk in the Arikere Reserve Forest, and it was very nice indeed, because a very knowledgeable and enthusisastic group came all the way from R T Nagar! Thanks to Achyuthan, Aditi, Ansu, Ganesh, Janani, Jayesh, Maryam, and Shahram. I also had my friends Rewati, and her son, the young insect expert Pranav…and Prem Garg joined us a little later, a birding trip of his having fallen through.

L to R: Maryam, Shahram, Aditi, Jayesh, Achyuthan, Ganesh, Janani,Ansu and Rachna (Neelu)

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It was a walk where all of us pitched in with what we knew..and it wasn’t even a walk, it was a slow inching forward, looking around and down, instead of the “up” of a birding trail.

Someone (well, the Forest Department..the blue/green boards are theirs1) has gone to town with the slogans, nailing them to the trees…this seemed especially meant for me and the other camera-toters:

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Ganesh and Janani started off identifying the

madhunAshini creeper

which I had seen earlier on my

Banavasi visit

Here’s the creeper:

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(er, the creeper is on the right)

Ganesh showed us the Simarouba tree and sent us
this link

to Dr Joshi’w work on its cancer-curing properties.

and Janani and Ganesh are offering us honey to compare the before-and-after-chewing-the-leaf tastes:

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I wonder if we can find the other plant in my Banavasi post…the Kattuka Rani, here, too!

Janani keeps a meticulous, well-drawn field trip record:

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(er, by the way..this is MY field trip record!)

She often conducts an initiative called GreenConnect, where she gets groups of people to connect to trees. Here she is, with the children, enjoying one accommodating tree:

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Other things caught our attention too. Here’s a Dragonfly, the

RUDDY MARSH SKIMMER:

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Pranav was excellent at putting little creatures into the “bug box” for observation, for a while, and then releasing them. He got this beautiful spider, with a little silk still attached to her spinerets….

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then it was replaced by a little cockroach, probably one that is in the fields and not our domestic (yeuughh) one to which my love of wildlife does not extend.

We saw this dry-season form

EVENING BROWN

(thank you, Nagraj Veerasami, for confirming the id)

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looking for all the world like a dry leaf.

This

TINY GRASS BLUE

(thanks to Rohit Girotra for telling me which Blue it was)

was so very difficult to see in the grass…such a tiny beauty!

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There was a

COMMON PIERROT

too.

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We heard a huge racket from the Eucalyptus trees and found these

BLACK KITES

mating and also bringing materials to start building their nest.

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Rewati did the bird spotting (I was literally jobless on this walk!) first, a Shikra and then this beautiful

GREATER COUCAL:

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I felt this was a very apt description of us humans:

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We had to leave early as Neelu had to pack and catch the train back to Chennai, and on the way out, I was able to spot this exquisite

Scoliid wasp

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We then met up with Rajesh (Neelu’s, Rajesh’s and my parents lived in the same apartment building in Chennai and that was the origin of our friendship!)….and had breakfast which included this yard-long

PAPER DOSA:

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Rajesh then gave Neelu a ride on his supercool wheels, and she was thrilled!

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My FB album is

here

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