Posts Tagged ‘walk’

Morning walk, 080717

July 8, 2017

The morning walk, in cool, cloudy weather, is a great joy.

I start by buying the Deccan Herald (the news is always the same, but I love the Saturday cryptic crossword). I walk under the shade of large trees, watching the vegetable, fruits and flower vendors setting up for the morning.

DSC03999

Joggers, walkers, and others pass me or fall behind. Several people stand on the grass, contorting themselves into good health.

Barbets and Koels welcome the morning as they clear their throats, prior to singing their familiar songs.The screech of a squirrel as the resident Shikra catches it. A snatch of Venkatesha Suprabhatham from someone who has apparently not heard of earphones.

The White-Hair-or-No-Hair brigade sitting in easy companionship, with steaming cups of darshini coffee, and the morning papers. Youngsters employed in call centers leaving, looking bleary-eyed.

I come home, tear off yesterday’s sheet on my Murugan calendar, and give thanks for the new day that lies ahead. And yes, I have filled in a few words in the crossword!

Advertisements

Safety and security, STL, 170814

August 19, 2014

Yesterday I went to

<a href=”http://www.academyofsciencestl.org/calendar/functions/popup.php?ev=2456888&readFile=0&readSQL=1&showCat=&oc=1″&gt; this event </a>

at the St.Louis Zoo auditorium.

I had not read in detail about the extinction of Passenger Pigeons in the US (where a population of several billion birds was wiped out, purely because of human intervention), and it was a revelation to me.

However, I did not want to call on DnA to pick me up from the Zoo auditorium and I walked back. As I did, I mused on safety and security. There was nothing different about my walking back at about 9pm from the Zoo auditorium, across Forest Park, back home, I usually do it during Muny shows, Shakespeare-in-the-Park, or the Royal Philharmonic on Art Hill (it took me about half an hour, you can go to Google maps and look at the St.Louis Zoo, and look for Christ Deliverance Ministry, Enright Ave…you’ll know where I walked) I usually cut across the grass, not always keeping to the roads. I was wondering, yesterday, if walking in the dark was a wise thing to do. Then I told myself that the fears were mostly in my own mind and perception…in fact, it was probably safer now than before the Ferguson incident,
(here’s a video of John Oliver’s take on it:

…actually, with so many police cars on the prowl ! I walked uneventfully back home. (It does help that I am a “black” person, not white, I suppose, in this area!)

So much of our fears are in our own perceptions, coloured by our own prejudices…where should we draw the line between genuine concerns and our own timorousness?

The trouble in the US is the stupid gun culture. I might be walking far away from any know source of trouble, and might get cut down by a stray bullet! Well, at the end of it all, I believe it’s Fate…and I walk briskly, not loitering. And when I’ve got home safely, I like the feeling that I didn’t give in to the feeling of “Oh, what might happen to me!” and just call DnA to leave their hectic chores and come and pick me up!

But IF something had happened, I would have been reviled for my foolhardiness…how to know, in advance, if my fears are well-founded or groundless? No way, alas, but to put it to the test, and walk home!

The Green Heron, Forest Park, 100814

August 11, 2014

It felt good to be out, after a killer few days, walking in Forest Park. I strolled on(thanks to two fractured big toes,and a sprained ankle, my walking is only strolling these days) towards the Prairie area, and the stream.

I was amply rewarded by this

GREEN HERON

fishing in the waters of the stream; I saw it sitting there, in an attentive pose:

DSC07690

Then, as the fish was sighted,there was this flurry of fishing:

DSC07691

The fish was well-caught:

DSC07693

The Wiki entry says the Green Heron, (Butorides virescens), is “is relatively small; adult body length is about 44 cm (17 in). The neck is often pulled in tight against the body. Adults have a glossy, greenish-black cap, a greenish back and wings that are grey-black grading into green or blue, a chestnut neck with a white line down the front, grey underparts and short yellow legs. The bill is dark with a long, sharp point.” Such beautiful colours, named just as a bland “Green”!

“Green Herons are intolerant of other birds when feeding,” says the Wiki, but this Heron I saw was right next to three Mallards, and seemed pretty tolerant of their presence.

One of the amazing facts about these birds, is that “sometimes they drop food, insects, or other small objects on the water’s surface to attract fish, making them one of the few known tool-using species. This feeding method has led some to title the green and closely related Striated Heron as among the world’s most intelligent birds.”

I left this intelligent bird to the rest of its breakfast, and walked to see what other delights Forest Park had for me…and as usual, Forest Park did not disappoint me!

DSC07695

Midsummer’s Eve, Linkoping, 200614

June 25, 2014

Though I’d asked Prashanth in the morning, he mistook the midsummer’s eve Maypole dancing to be taking place on the next day; at about 4pm, he realized his mistake, and we set off to the place where it was taking place.

IMG_1156

Here’s a video of the dancing that he took last year:

And of the music:

Though the dancing had finished, the maypole was still up:

We saw the Love Pavilion:

IMG_1164

IMG_1163

IMG_1179

There was a small stream:

IMG_1174

There was a pretty wooden bridge across it:

IMG_1165

Perhaps this gentleman was going over his memories, with that reminiscent smile on his face?

IMG_1166

There were plenty of flowers blooming:

IMG_1212

IMG_1168

IMG_1190

IMG_1177

IMG_1194

IMG_1195

this Silverpil tree (Salix alba)

IMG_1200

IMG_1199

had some beautiful bracket fungi:

IMG_1196

IMG_1198

It is the custom on this day to wear crowns of wildflowers:

IMG_1171

But that doesn’t mean one can’t be in touch with modernity!

IMG_1176

The birds were there, too!

IMG_1170

There were some Vikings around:

IMG_1191

Some kind of game with wooden skittles was being played:

IMG_1162

I looked at some pretty old architecture:

IMG_1202

IMG_1216

IMG_1217

IMG_1218

IMG_1219

This is the Stora Hotel:

IMG_1223

IMG_1220

IMG_1221

IMG_1222

Here’s coffee… by George!

IMG_1224

I loved this window:

IMG_1226

This one is from 1912!

IMG_1211

IMG_1213

IMG_1204

IMG_1207

With some serpentine touches:

IMG_1205

Some shop windows looked inviting:

IMG_1208

IMG_1209

So did this art gallery (it was closed, of course)

IMG_1210

Of course, the Tourist Bureau was closed, too!

IMG_1215

Let me close with this flower (probably a Columbine?)

IMG_1180

we then walked towards the Linkoping Cathedral…but that’s the next post!

A walk in Linkoping, 170614

June 24, 2014

We started with the Linkoping Station.

IMG_1008

Where the trains went to and fro busily:

IMG_1006

where the amount of lumber being transported on one train was awe-inspiring:

IMG_1004

PC ( Prashanth Chengi) was getting ready to click, too!

IMG_1010

This sculpture looked as if Casper the Friendly Ghost and his friends were having a picnic there:

IMG_1012

Here;s PC with the station in the background:

IMG_1014

I clicked this

EURASIAN TREE SPARROW:

IMG_1018

and this

EURASIAN BLACKBIRD:

IMG_1022

But that was when the (European, not Eurasian!) buildings caught my eye:

IMG_1028

IMG_1034

IMG_1039

IMG_1042

IMG_1045

this is not a black-and-white photo!

IMG_1046

IMG_1056

IMG_1060

IMG_1063

IMG_1028

IMG_1066

The same place, later in the dusk:

IMG_1071

Some smaller touches were lovely, too:

IMG_1062

IMG_1031

What does this design mean?

IMG_1050

I don’t know the story behind this statue:

IMG_1047

I wish telephone manhole covers were always this interesting!

IMG_1055

Sometimes, the best fashion is no fashion at all:

IMG_1064

Magnet Madrass? 😀

IMG_1065

this funeral parlor was right next to the Income Tax office!

IMG_1032

I agree, bingo can be rotten, especially when you have ONE number left and everyone gets all the prizes before you:

IMG_1051

Cobblestones are quaint, but they ruined the wheels on one of my suitcases!

IMG_1044

Dusk falls only by about 10.30 pm:

IMG_1058

Prashanth treated me to dinner at “Yogi”:

IMG_1067

He had prawn Biryani, but the thought of the bill was apparently enough to prevent him from smiling:

IMG_1068

But he smiled when I reminded him that we were celebrating his successful completion of both Halv-vattern (150 km) and the full Vatternrundan (300 km) on successive weekends!

IMG_1069

We walked past this lovely seat on our way home:

IMG_1076

Life in the balance. Galibore, 150214

February 19, 2014

DSC08981

She walks along the road
Calmly, with her headload
Balanced perfectly, her food
Carried in her hand.
Is her life as balanced?
What does she think, as she trudges along?
How far does she have to walk?
How often does she do this?
These questions occur to me..
I do not know what questions, what thoughts,
What issues dominate her life.
Life, it seems to me, is like this:
You pick up your load, and your sustenance,
And carry both along.
No idea what the next turn will bring.
The path winds forward, and you just keep walking…
Until the day you stagger, or drop.

“Field Notes”: Guided Walk in Forest Park, 201013

October 23, 2013

On Sunday, the 20th of Oct, I went on

a walking tour of the nature reserve areas of Forest Park

with

Peter Van Linn

of Forest Park. Here he is, with Bob Duffy of the St.Louis Beacon:

DSC00509

Here we are, heading out on the path:

DSC00529

We walked through the prairie grasses:

DSC00521

Peter talked to us about native and exotic plants and trees, the re-routing of the Des Peres river underground, the inter-connection of the various man-made water bodies in the park. I learnt something I did not know before…that all the water bodies in the Park contain tap water…the Des Peres river flows underground right through the park, and does not surface at all!

However, converting the habitat was one of the efforts undertaken by Forest Park Forever. Through controlled burns such as the one

the controlled burn of 2011 referred to here in The Beacon

he said that they were trying to convert this particular area into a prairie/savannah, but thanks to earlier-planted trees, and resurgence of plants, pines such as this beautiful one

DSC00563

were very common.

He told us how bare, or even dead, trees, support wildlife. This picture of a leafless tree with many

AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES

on it

DSC00571

and this, of a

RED-HEADED WOODPECKER

pecking at the trunk of a tree, illustrated his point:

DSC00551

Here’s some dead wood in a picture I like:

DSC00555

Does this look like a bird walk? Because of the presence of Jocelyn Clogston (who took me to Rockwoods Reservation the first time) and her friend, Tom Bailey, who pointed out quite a lot of birds, it did, indeed, become one, too!

We saw this

TUFTED TITMOUSE

eating its breakfast:

DSC00564

Tom pointed out this beautiful

RED-SHOULDERED HAWK

waiting patiently for prey:

DSC00557

DSC00550

This

EASTERN PHOEBE

delighted us with another one, swooping along, catching insects:

DSC00545

The usual

RED-TAILED HAWK

did a fly-past for us:

DSC00542

I got an

AMERICAN GOLDFINCH,

duller at this time of year, having lost the bright yellow of summer..

DSC00536

A

NORTHERN FLICKER

sat high on a tree:

DSC00532

Even the Robins and the Starlings are looking different now:

DSC00531

Tom showed me several Yellow-rumped Warblers, but I couldn’t photograph them.

Here you can see the various kinds of land: prairie, shading into savannah,shading into woodland (it’s not thick enough to call a forest)

DSC00580

I was still riveted by sights such as these:

this (thanks to help from Fran Fulton)

VARIEGATED FRITILLARY:

DSC00511

at the outset of the walk;

this

DELAWARE SKIPPER

on a

CHICORY flower:

DSC00582

and this

GRASSHOPPER:

DSC00576

Tom told me that this

WOOLLY BEAR (Isabella Tiger Moth caterpillar)

DSC00520

was supposed to presage the severity of the winter to come, by the width of its brown band!

These aphids on the milkweed seed-pods

I walked back, enjoying the fall colors:

DSC00585

DSC00539

I peeped in on the

Orphan Car Show

(Apparently,Packard, Hudson, and Studebaker automobiles are considered glass and steel “orphans” because they are no longer in production.)

DSC00588

Let me close with the Halloween display at the Visitors’ Center:

DSC00587

and the

NEW ENGLAND ASTERS

that bloom in the fall:

DSC00574

It was a very enjoyable morning.

On the water, St.Louis Symphony Orchestra, Art Hill, Forest Park, 140913

September 22, 2013

DSC07961

When water is light
When one’s thoughts gently float
On a dream of delight
Serene, upon a boat…
Under a near-full moon
That’s scudding through the clouds
Quiet upon the water: soon
Away from the shore, the crowds…

Which way?

August 7, 2013

DSC03545  180713 creeper pole wall

I could go up that fence in two ways. Be stiff, uncompromising, straight up. But that might mean, I’d be wooden, and dead.

I could compromise, bend to the needs of the terrain, and grow in lateral ways. I’d be green and thriving, but I might not be straight.

Are there any simple answers to how I must meet a situation? What’s good, what’s bad? Depends upon me….

Forest Park Forever/Audubon Society monthly birdwalk, 030813, Forest Park, St.Louis

August 3, 2013

We gathered and walked out of the Visitors’ Center:

DSC04957

Mark took us to see the Charles, the male

GREAT HORNED OWL:

DSC04958

A male

AMERICAN GOLDFINCH

delighted us with flashes of yellow:

DSC04963

DSC05006

In the distance (across Lindell Blvd) we saw, through the cloudy weather, a

GREEN HERON

almost in silhouette:

DSC04968

On the same tree, a

RED-TAILED HAWK

also sat; it was very pale indeed, even for a juvenile:

DSC04970

Meanwhile, I learnt that this is

POISON IVY:

DSC04971

(Throughout the walk, Amy, Jim and others taught me a lot about the plants and trees that I saw.)

We followed the course of the creek, and we saw a

NORTHERN FLICKER

and a

MOURNING DOVE

on the bank:

DSC04977

Pat is a heroine in my book; she turns out for the walks in spite of having a lot on her plate to deal with:

DSC04979

Was this a

WREN

or a

SONG SPARROW?

with just the silhouette to go by, we were not sure…but the song decided us that it was the latter.

DSC04982

That delightful summer visitor,the

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD

made several appearances (all, alas, high up on trees, where we could not see the shimmering colours!)

DSC04986

The

IRONWEED

was in flower:

DSC04987

We followed the Kingfishers down the creek:

DSC04993

The

WATERLILY

and the

WATER PRIMROSE

looked pretty in the water:

DSC04994

This wildflower looked beautiful with the raindrops!

DSC05003

As did this one, which Marilynn Motchan id’d the next day at Rockwoods Reservation, as

SENNA:

DSC05004

We saw several

EASTERN KINGBIRDS

(and some Eastern Phoebes, too)

DSC05008

Another Green Heron came and landed behind the reeds, and proceeded to make a meal off a frog.

DSC05010

I spotted these

APHIDS

(Amy Witt id’d them for me) on a plant…they looked beautiful!

DSC05018

Here are the flowers of the plant:

DSC05020

Some of the native grasses are as beautiful as carefully-bred cultivars!

DSC05021

Waterlilies, both white

DSC05022

and pink

DSC05023

were a treat to the eye.

These are called SEA OATS, but I agree with Jim Wilson…when we are near the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers, RIVER OATS is a better name!

DSC05026

This is the

BOTTLE-BRUSH GRASS:

DSC05030

Jim told me that when

POKEWEED

turns this wonderful magenta, it’s poisonous to humans:

DSC05031

As we crossed a muddy ditch, we saw this

JEWEL PLANT (also called Touch-me-not) blooming:

DSC05038

I was also very happy to see the first few

MONARCH

butterflies of the season:

DSC05042

This

PEARL CRESCENT

was also beautiful…

DSC05074

Brenda spotted this beautiful

COOPER’S HAWK

in the air, being mobbed by several other birds:

DSC05050

The walk came to an end with Karen announcing Audubon Society free birdwalks for September and October:

DSC05051

Bradley, Mark, Brenda and I continued onwards for another look at the Great Horned Owls. It’s long been a running joke that Mark always spots Barred Owls, and I have never seen one, yet. This morning, too, he arrived with a shot of one that he’d just seen…and when we went there, of course, the Bird Had Flown! (That’s what I call “Avian Flew”!) We teased Mark that he’d probably taken that photo in Yellowstone and come down to meet us!

We saw the Red-tailed Hawk sitting on a tree again (near the Visitors’ Center)…and this was a really amazing sight. The other birds were very perturbed by the Hawk..but a tiny Hummer sat on another branch of the tree, quite unconcerned!

DSC05063 rt hawk and hmng bd 030813

The Hawk sat on the left-hand-side of the tree, and the Hummer, a tiny dot,on the extreme right.

Here’s the Hawk:

DSC05066

Here’s the Hummer in closeup (thank goodness for the huge zoom on my camera!)

DSC05058

We saw this

MALLARD

mother with her children:

DSC05069

And we wound up watching Sarah, the female Great Horned Owl, and then, one of the young ones, in the wooded area:

DSC05070

For my FB album with more photos (esp of the variety of plants),

click here

Bird List:

Blackbird, Red-winged
Dove, Mourning
Flicker, Northern
Goldfinch, American
Grackle, Common
Hawk, Cooper’s
Hawk, Red-tailed
Heron, Great Blue
Heron, Green
Housefinch, Common
Hummingbird, Ruby-throated
Kingbird, Eastern
Kingfisher, Belted
Mallard
Owl, Great Horned
Robin, American
Phoebe, Eastern
Sparrow, Chipping
Sparrow, House
Sparrow, Song
Starling, Common
Swallow, Barn
Swift, Chimney
Wren, Carolina
Woodpecker, Red-headed
Yellowthroat, Common