Posts Tagged ‘videos’

Kolkata, Jorhat, Kaziranga, 07-130517

May 19, 2017

We visited Kolkata

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had an evening admiring the Victoria Memorial,

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enjoying puchka

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jhaal mudi

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and visited the family who brought me up.

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We visited Pradeep and Sulakshana Barthakur at their home in Jorhat, where they run a centre for children. (Pokamura, 7km from Jorhat)

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The location is

here

Their home is a veritable garden of Eden which they share with all kinds of beings:

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Bronzeback Tree Snake

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Blue-throated Barbet

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We went to Kaziranga National Park, staying at Wild Grass resort.

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Hog Deer

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Red Jungle Fowl

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Elephants

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Rhinos

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Swamp Deer (bArAsinghA)

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Here’s K1’s beautiful depiction of the elephant safari,

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where we saw so much of wildlife.

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The Flickr albums are:

Blr-Kol and visit

Kol, Science City and Gariahat Mod

Kolkata-Jorhat

Jorhat, 100517

Wild Grass, Kaziranga, 11,120517

Jorhat, 130517 morning

Jorhat-Guwahati-Bangalore, 130517

It was a memorable trip and I enjoyed it very much, through my own experience and that of my family.

Captivity over freedom: Grey Francolins, Jigani Lake, 181216

December 18, 2016

Something strange on the 3rd Sunday outing to Jigani kere today.

We saw a young man with 2 Grey Francolins in a cage, and when I walked up to the group, everyone told me how they voluntarily came back into the cage when the young man let them out. Well, once again, the young man let them out, and this time, both birds flew quite a distance before landing in the field. I couldn’t believe that the Francolins would be captive again…but stood and watched the young man approaching the area where they were,they voluntarily came back into the cage when the young man let them out.

On this video, you can see the first Francolin just inside the cage, and the second walk in to the cage, with no force or persuasion! DoSomething strange on the 3rd Sunday outing today (Sun, 18 Dec 2016) at Jigani kere.

We saw a young man with two Grey Francolins in a cage, and when I walked up to the group, everyone told me ho the birds get so used to captivity that they prefer it to an uncertain freedom?

Here’s the Francolin, outside the cage:

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Here’s the video:

Regarding the outing, the

eBird checklist for Jigani kere is

here

eBird checklist for Hennagara is

here

the FaceBook Album is

here

and the Flickr album is

here

“Top” fun…no electricity required…and it’s a lot of fun! Blr, 131216

December 14, 2016

I decided to show K2 how tops work, and I wondered if I still had the old skill. The first two tries did not work, but on the 3rd attempt…

(I had to throw the top and then pick up the camera!)

Here’s K2 demonstrating the best way to enjoy a spinning top.

Here’s the top:

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Obviously, watching it upside down between one’s feet is good:

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Then he comes closer, only to be stopped by my warning not to touch it!

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We had an hour or so of this…I hope, one day, to see him very proficient with the top,too!

Traditional pastimes for children, which are delightful, and require no electricity!

Mottled Wood Owl, Lalbagh, 120816

August 12, 2016

Every now and then, the “experts” start fussing that the

Mottled Wood Owls

of Lalbagh have “disappeared”. Immediately, of course the birders and bird photographers of Bangalore are blamed (interestingly never the hundreds of walkers and visitors that go past the place where the owls are.)

So, after a couple of reports that the Owls could not be found, one of them delighted me in its usual copse behind the giant Bauhinia creeper.

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The sexes are alike, according to the Wiki entry, so I don’t know if this is a he or a she!

I took a short video as it hopped across, out of sight in the very low light.

The music is “Night Vision” which is what I needed to see the Owl in the low light…and the band playing it is Bird Creek, which, too, I thought appropriate!

Click on the name of the bird to find out more about this beautiful creature that shares one of Bangalore’s lung spaces with us!

Rescue and Release: The Slender Loris, Devarayana Durga State Forest, Tumkur District, 010514

May 2, 2014

I’ve been lucky enough to spot the

SLENDER LORIS

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at several places in Karnataka: the campus of the Indian Institute of Science, the Ramakrishna Mission Ashram at Shivanahalli, and at Nagavalli village, in Tumkur District.

Yesterday, we got a call from

B V Gundappa ,

affectionately called “Gundappa Sir” or “Gundappa Master” (he teaches in Nagavalli village), who has been caring for these shy, elusive creatures, and raising local awareness about them, so that they are not poached or killed.

Here are some facts about Slender Lorises, which are called “thEvAngu” in Tamizh, and “kAdupApA” (baby of the forest) in Kannada, from the wiki:

The gray slender loris (Loris lydekkerianus) is a species of primate in the family Loridae. It is found in India and Sri Lanka. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.

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Despite the slew of studies on their behaviour and ecology in the last decade, they still remain among the least known of all primate species] Like other lorises, they are nocturnal and emerge from their roost cavities only at dusk.

They are mainly insectivorous. In southern India, the nominate race is often found in acacia and tamarind dominated forests or scrubs near cultivations. Males hold larger home ranges than females. They are usually solitary while foraging, and it is rare for them to be seen in pairs or groups. However they may roost in groups of up to 7, that include young of the recent and older litters. Adult males and females have individual home ranges and sleeping group associations are usually composed of a female and her offspring. They communicate with a range of vocalizations and also use urine and scent marking.

Although considered a Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and classified under Schedule I (Part 1) of the Indian Wildlife Act, 1972, the threat to these primates is increasing. Loris is used to make love potions, treat leprosy and eye ailments.Habitat fragmentation is also a threat to the loris population, as well as loss of acacia trees, which is a preferred tree species for the loris.

Well, that’s all the information. We were privileged to be able to see this animal in daylight!

Gundappa Master said that an adult male had been found in the home of a villager in Hebbur, about 11 km from his home. By the time we reached his place, he had rescued the creature and brought it home. It was decided to release the Loris in the heavy-foliage Devarayanadurga State Forest.

We were eager to take a look at the little fellow before we took him to the release area, and Gundappa Sir opened the shoe box in which he’d kept him, ready to be taken on his journey to freedom.

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An arm and a leg show themselves:

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At last, we could see the little primate. He didn’t seem stressed at all.

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Gundappa Sir sets off on the release. The sack contains a Bronzeback Tree Snake, also rescued from a village house, to be released.

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We went to the Devarayana Durga State Forest, and went into the interior area, away from the road. Here, in a rocky clearing, Gundappa Master opened the box again:

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Gundappa Master takes out the little primate on a twig.

Here it is, climbing around on the twig:

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In Tamizh, we say, “thEvAngu mAthiri muzhikkAthEy!” (Don’t stare at me like a Loris!)…now you can understand that!

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Yash (in the pic), Gopal and I took photos. Chandu was content to enjoy the moment.

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Gundappa Sir has been dealing with these animals for many years now, yet treats them with gentleness.

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He shows the animal on the twig; it’s an adult male, about two years old, he says. (I am asking in the video.)

In the video above, you can also see the Loris using its urine to wet its feet. Gundappa Sir said that this was partly territory marking behaviour, and partly to cool its feet. Something else that I learned about this creature!

He puts it on a small bush, first, and it looks around, getting its bearings:

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He finally releases the animal into a tree with plenty of foliage, where it proceeds to promptly hide itself:

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Off it goes:

Shortly after its release, the Kadupapa was hidden in the foliage. A pair of huge eyes looked out at us for a while..and then he was gone, the Baby of the Forest, elusive as ever.

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Here we are, trying to see whether it might be a leopard that is causing so much of alarm calls amongst the Hanuman Langurs around:

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Now we are satisfied (we didn’t see any leopard) and happy!

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Here’s a warm salute to Gundappa Sir and the beautiful animal he works to protect.

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Hosakote kere, Karnataka, 230213

February 23, 2014

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Kamal pinged me past 10pm yesterday…and off we went,early this morning, to Hosakote Kere, with Vasuki, and having picked up Binu on the way, too.

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At the MCS (Mandatory Chai Stop).

We stopped at the bund of Hosakote Kere, with the sun still low in the eastern horizon, silhouetting the swallows…

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A

BLACK-WINGED KITE

sub-adult seemed to have wings of black…and silver…

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There were already other photographers at the kere:

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And we joined them:

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The marshy area of the kere was aglow with green algae:

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I followed some PLAIN PRINIAS through the bushes:

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Several WOOD SANDPIPERS waded around:

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It seemed as if this GREATER CORMORANT was lifting its wings in benison:

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PHEASANT-TAILED JACANAS strutted their paisley shapes about:

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a vee-formation of Cormorants went past:

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At full zoom, my camera caught these two SILVERBILLS on a little pot!

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A GREY-BELLLIED CUCKOO delighted us very briefly:

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A GLOSSY IBIS sat in the reeds

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All of a sudden, a huge flock of ducks appeared in the sky, wheeled around, and came to settle in the waters of the kere. We watched, spellbound:

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Two SPOT-BILLED PELICANS landed, and floated lightly about:

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BLACK-WINGED STILTS were in plenty:

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It was a stunning sight when at some mysterious signal they all took off:

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There were many LITTLE GREBES:

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A great sighting today by Kamal was of the

GREAT REED WARBLER

in the reeds of the lake. Alas, he could not get a shot.

There were many fishermen on the kere, in plastic coracles (though I saw the traditional bamboo ones on the bank, too.)

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The trishool of the Gangamma temple was decorated:

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The temple is the Om of the Goddess!

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You can see Shiva sitting with Parvati, with Ganga on his head:

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Everywhere, TENT SPIDERS had spun a mist:

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We took a breakfast break, and went to Sri Krishna Upahar on the main highway:

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On the bund, a borewell was being dug, and rice and freshly-caught fish were ready for cooking:

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Birds:

Babbler, Jungle
Bee-eater, Small Green
Bulbul, Red-vented
Bushchat, Pied
Bushlark, Jerdon’s
Coot, Common
Cormorant, Great
Cormorant,Little
Coucal, Greater
Crow, House
Crow, Jungle
Cuckoo, Grey-bellied
Dove, Laughing
Dove, Spotted
Drongo, Black
Duck, Spot-billed
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Great
Egret, Intermediate
Egret, Little
Flowerpecker, Pale-billed
Francolin, Grey
Garganey
Grebe, LIttle
Harrier, Eurasian Marsh
Heron, Grey
Heron, Indian Pond
Heron, Purple
Ibis, Glossy
Jacana, Pheasant-tailed
Kite, Black
Kite, Black-winged
Kite, Bramhiny
Koel, Asian
Lapwing, Red-wattled
Lark, Ashy-crowned Sparrow
Moorhen, Common
Moorhen, Purple
Myna, Common
Myna, Jungle
Oriole, Eurasian Golden
Parakeet, Rose-ringed
Pelican, Spot-billed
Pigeon, Blue Rock
Pipit, Paddyfield
Prinia, Ashy
Prinia, Plain
Robin, Indian
Roller, Indian
Sandpiper, Green
Sandpiper, Wood
Silverbill, Indian
Sparrow, House
Starling,Rosy
Stilt, Black-winged
Sunbird, Purple
Sunbird, Purple-rumped
Swallow, Barn
Swallow, Red-rumped
Swallow, Wire-tailed
Swift, Asian Palm
Tailorbird, Common
Wagtail, White-browed
Wagtail, Yellow
Warbler, Blyth’s Reed
Warbler, Booted
Warbler, Clamorous Reed
Warbler, Great Reed

Sorry, didn’t keep track of butterfies today. Was somehow tired and a little sleepy, off my form!

Photos on my FB album,

click here

I took two short videos; one, of a shimmering black line of Swallows, and a white line of Egrets:

Another of a flight of ducks, swirling over the lake, not landing but wheeling around:

Let me close with a pic of this bAginA (offering) that someone had made. A baagina usually contains a packet of arshina (turmeric), kumkum, black bangles, black beads (used in the mangalsutra), a comb, a small mirror, baLe bicchoLe, coconut, blouse piece, dhaanya (cereal), rice, toor dal, green dal, wheat or rava and jaggery cut in a cube form. The baagina is offered in a traditional mora (winnow painted with turmeric).

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The Marsh Harrier, 28 and 301213, Karnataka

December 30, 2013

Oh…apparently it is now called the

EURASIAN MARSH HARRIER

Its scientific name is Cirrus spilonotus….and they do remind me of the cloud that bears the same first name.

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It’s a winter visitor to our country, amongst others…it breeds in the grasslands and wetlands of southern Siberia, northern Mongolia, north-east China, Manchuria and Japan, and migrates for the northern winter to South-east Asia, the Philippines and northern Borneo.

It’s a magnficient bird, as it soars on the wind-currents.

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It’s lovely to see the “headlights” on its wings.

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You can see two of them here:

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We watched them for quite a while, on both days.

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The Wiki entry says:
Like all marsh harriers, it favours open, wet environments.

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It is frequently seen drifting low over ricefields, (and lakes!)…interspersing long, watchful circling glides with two or three slow, powerful wingbeats.

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We watched the waterbirds keeping a wary eye on the predator gliding above them at Hosakote kere (lake), when we visited on 281213:

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I got one gliding to a landing at Hennagara Lake:

I enjoyed my observation of these beautiful raptors….and I hope you do, too.

The genius of Lalgudi Jayaraman

August 14, 2013

Lalgudi Jayaraman was truly a musical genius, one of the top-class violinists I’ve known… and a very creative musician. He was a close family friend was a long time, and I was privileged to hear him practising when he came and stayed with us, and often saw the process of his creating some of his thillanas.

I’m choosing one very tiny fraction of his creativity here, where he makes the “sAhityam” of Subramanya Bharati’s poem about Krishna’s mischievious deeds come alive with his mastery over his instrument.

I’ve included the translation, to help you appreciate how he elicits the meaning of the words…

The lyrics are transliterated

here

But I want to take it a little at a time. The song, “ThIrAtdha viLayAttu piLLai”, starts at 13’43”.

theeraadha vilaiyaattup pillai – kannan
theruvilae pengalukkoayaadha thollai

Kannan (Krishna) is an unceasingly playful boy. He is an unremitting nuisance to the girls on the street.

(theeraadha)

thinnap pazham kondu varuvaan – paadhi
thinginra poadhilae thattip parippaan

He’ll give (me) fruit to eat…and as it is half-eaten, he’ll snatch it.

(Listen to Lalgudi playing this bit..you can *hear* the fruit being snatched, lightly, the first time, and sharply, the second.

15’23”, 15’33”)

ennappan ennaiyaan enraal – adhanai
echchir paduththik kadiththuk koduppaan

When I beg him, he bites it with his mouth, making it “ecchal”,and then give it back. Here, Bharatiyar’s words themselves give the effect of biting off, and Lalgudi follows the words (“sAhitya bANi”

(theeraadha)

azhagulla malar kondu vandhae – ennai
azha ahach cheydhapin kannai moodik kol
kuzhalilae soottuvaen enbaan – ennaik
kurudaakki malarinai thoazhikku vaippaan

He’ll get me a beautiful flower, and after
teasing me to tears, he’ll say, close your eyes,
I’ll set it in your hair…he’ll
make me blind, and set the flower in my friend’s hair instead

(theeraadha)

pinnalaip pinninrizhuppaan – thalai

(Listen to this part. You can hear the in-and-out “plaiting” of the hair!

17’32”, 17’38”, 17’48”)

pinnae thirumbumun naer senru maraivaan
vannap puduch chaelai thanilae – puzhudi
vaarich chorindhae varuththik kulaippaan

Before I can turn my head back, he’ll vanish
He’ll cover my new, colourful saree
With dust and trouble me to death

(theeraadha)

pullaanguzhal kondu varuvaan – amudhu

He’ll bring his flute…
(now…hear Lalgudi’s violin become a flute!
18’32”, 18’46”, 18’56”)

pongith thadhumbu nal geedham padaippaan

He’ll create music that overflows with nectar

kallaal mayanguvadhu poalae – adhainaik

(As if we are drunk on liquor…listen to the slightly tipsy effect:

19’26”, 19’30”)

kanmoodi vaaythirandhae kaettiruppoam

We’ll listen to it with closed eyes and open mouths

(theeraadha)

This is from one of the LP records produced by HMV; there was also “nAjIvAdhAra” in Bilahari on that record, and the Thilang thillana.

Accompanying him on the violin in this rendition is his sister Srimathi Brahmanandam, who is, in my opinion, an even more talented violinist than he was, but whose talent was overshadowed in those days of male chauvinism…Gopala Iyer’s son was favoured over his daughter. (I saw it happen, I am not reporting hearsay.)

Nature Trail at Lost Valley and Busch Conservation Area

July 20, 2013

Devin Peipert picked me up at 5.15am this morning, and we went to the Lost Valley:

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On the way, dawn was lovely:

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We crossed the Missouri river:

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The trail looked green, cool and inviting:

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We walked around, using our binocs:

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We saw many wildflowers:

The
BLACK-EYED SUSAN

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un id wldflwr  busch 200713

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This one seems to be of the Begonacae sp, common in India, too:

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This was a “regular” mushroom:

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and this was a conch-shaped mushroom that I’ve never seen before.

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I made Devin put his hand next to it for scale:

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Some berries (blackberries? I don’t know) caught our attention:

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The Thistle may be a common weed, but it’s so beautiful!

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We saw several

DRAGONFLIES

and I caught this one:

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The woody vines looked beautiful:

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This was the only (lousy) shot of the

ACADIAN FLYCATCHER

that I got, far away in the heavy foliage:

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Several

WOOD THRUSHES

foraged along the path,but were quickly driven away by hikers:

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We watched a few

EASTERN TOWHEE

foraging, and I got a quick video of the “turning-the-page” action:

As we came out, an

INDIGO BUNTING

sat on the wire to bid us goodbye:

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We then went to the Busch Conservation Area:

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The water body, full of yellow lotuses, was a sight for sore eyes…

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3 yellow lotus,  busch 200713

On some of them,

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS

were feeding; this is behaviour I’d not seen before.

A small (probably DOWNY) woodpecker was doing the same on the lotus blossoms!

On a tree branch (an unusual perch, Devin says) sat a

BROWN THRASHER (the state bird of Georgia):1

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Here’s Devin, talking to Those At Home:

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And enjoying some masala chai:

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It might not have rained bird-sightings, but it was a most enjoyable morning!

For the photos on my FB album,

click here

Circus Flora, 150613, St.Louis

June 16, 2013

Circus Flora, this year, put up a theme of “A Trip To The Moon”, based on Georges Melies 1902 film, Le Voyage dans la Lune.

You can read all about the production

here

My friend Ruth Hartsell had volunteered for the Circus Flora show on the 15th of June, 2013,so I volunteered, too. The show is from 1pm to 3pm, and we were present, as required, at noon. We had a detailed briefing by the House Manager, Harold (Scott and he share the task, dividing up the circus seating area between them). We were told how to read the tickets, how to deal with potential problems (eg. people arriving with tickets for the same seats…check if the dates are different), and so on. We cleaned the area and the seating, and could help ourselves to a snack of baby carrots, have plenty of water, too.

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We cleaned the area and the seating, and could help ourselves to a snack of baby carrots, have plenty of water, too. Here’s Ruth cleaning the chairs (I did my part, too, I was not merely photographing her!)

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I was very thrilled when Harold announced that at this show, photography and videography was allowed; usually, it is not. My job was to hand out programs to the patrons as they entered, and welcome them; I did this with great enjoyment, but also got in a few nice scenes.

These two were not part of the circus either on the afternoon that DnA went, or this one. However, they constantly keep practising their knife-throwing. Here they are picking knives after the practice:

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The Flickr account has several more photos, which you can see if you like.

I am posting several videos that I took, you can click on any of them if you have the inclination.

magic man

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Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix were hilarious to watch. Johnny went to the Ringling Clown College in 1971, and all his dogs have been rescued from pet shelters, and then trained.

The St.Louis Arches are a troupe of young performers, 12 to 21 years old, coached by Jessica Hentoff, and others. They have their “home ring” at the City Museum.

They have been appearing with Circus Flora since 1989; since 2007, they have been collaborating with the Galilee Circus, a Jewish Arab youth circus from Israel. This is their 24th anniversary!

Kellin Quizz is all of 16 years old, and he too comes from a City Museum background, where his mother runs Circus Harmony, St.Louis’ only comprehensive social circus school. He trains with Richard Kennison.

The Flying Wallendas have their own Wiki entry, and their website is

here

Here’an image of the concentration Toni Wallenda brings to his performance:

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(That’s what zoom is for, on cameras!)

I could not identify these two acrobats, but enjoyed the performance very much:’

It was amazing to see such a large group juggling together:

Lisa Dufresne brought out her horses (or ponies, I don’t know which is the right technical term):

The

Flying Pages were pretty amazing, too!

Here’s a cross-over, executed by Jill and Kerri Pages:

The musicians in the band were excellent, too:

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Here’s the rapt audience:

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Let me close with these images….

a pic of the Flying Wallendas:

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Here’s Di, another volunteer, who made that lovely St.Louis hat she’s wearing:

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What the circus dog said when his trainer asked him to multiply 3 by 2 by 75:

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And one of the heart-stopping moments on the trapeze:

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Hope you enjoyed Circus Flora as much as I did, and thanks to them for making it possible for me to share these moments with you!