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on summer capers…

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself. 

-D. H. Lawrence

Rock Pratincole (Glareola nuchalis), Victoria Falls National Park, Zambia…

The avifauna seem to treat the seasons without a shed of diffidence that other animals might care to display… be it the sun or the snow, the heat or the hail, the elements seem to fail almost entirely in quashing the innate restiveness… true, they might seek shelter to avoid the temporary discomforts posed by a bad turn of the weather, but as the mammalian world resigns to its environs, the bird only agrees to only punctuate the terra firma, preferring to paint its joie di vivre on the larger and cleaner canvas of the sky…

Chewing on this train of thought while trying to sneak around a charm of finches foraging on the ground with little success on the fringes of Victoria Falls, I trudged onwards towards the falls, massaging the mild disappointment by framing the arid scape baking in the summer sun, before failing again to catch hold of a couple of darters who would not allow an iota of proximity in this bronze hued tapestry sans any camouflage…

Rock Pratincole (Glareola nuchalis), Victoria Falls National Park, Zambia…

Skipping across boulders and trickling streams that would be frothing mad in a couple of weeks when the rains set in, I stumbled across a gregarious Rock Pratincole throwing a rather measured gaze at the landscape… not surprising considering rains were around the corner and they usually lay eggs around rock embankments… interestingly, they carry water on the wings and sprinkle them on the eggs to keep them cool… 

The bird seemed rather miffed at its present set of circumstances, having foraged early in the dawn and now having to protect the brood with nothing to shield it against the sun… although they can feed on the ground, they usually hunt for insects in-flight… old world avians standing strong in a new world order, I surmised while turning back…

Rock Pratincole (Glareola nuchalis), Victoria Falls National Park, Zambia…

Rock Pratincole (Glareola nuchalis), Victoria Falls National Park, Zambia…

Author: Parth Joshi

Allured by the outdoors, the author is made up in parts of that quintessential lost soul wreathing under the pangs of biophilia in a desk job, a wannabe elegist mostly ending up in dungeons of poetasters and an optimist waiting for the senility of the modern world to fade away while sampling shoots and leaves. In saner times, he has a keen interest in areas pertaining to tourism, history, agriculture and climate change, especially with respect to historical interpretations, emerging technologies and future livelihoods. An avid trekker, runner, cyclist, birder and photographer, he is more often than not found gloating over anything hinterland, on foot or over computer monitors, and fantasizing solutions that can foster inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods for communities at the grassroots.

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