Category: Nature

Mountains, Nature

A Riverine Rote – Trekking in Sainj Valley

Trek to Raktisar, source of Sainj River, Great Himalayan National Park, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India

Mountains, Nature

On lichens…

There’s little that lichens can be likened to, for in the realms of science where order and categorization are the sanctified decrees, they tramp around like atheist in a papacy, a concoction of symbioses so abstruse that one is often flummoxed by the humility of their existence despite all the biological pomp beneath… Fungus, algae, …

Mountains, Nature

on mules…

One should stick to trails that aren’t suitable for mules, if a higher degree of isolation is what one seeks in the mountains… for where the beasts of burden can trudge, humanity eventually finds a way to carve out an abode, be it villages dotting valley floors or transhumance in the higher climes… while in …

Nature

a lizard yarn…

Predatory instincts work on an interesting dichotomy – stealth builds upon the slowest of movements and translates into a narrative of high speed leaving hardly any space between the transition… with the agamids, ‘tis the slow, tentative footsteps contrasted with a ferocious tongue, a tentative rustle between the bushes, never hastening when in attack… for …

Nature

On monsoons and mating rituals…

As the sky grows overcast, ‘tis time for the shrill, raspy chatters of Baya weavers to fill up the tree tops, yet another one of those elaborate and enchanting courtship rituals of the avifaunal kingdom… the seemingly fickle constructs of grass it calls a nest swaying at the slightest of breeze yet sturdy enough to …

Mountains, Nature

On blues of the blue sheep…

Himalayan Blue Sheep, Ladakh, J&K, India

Quite literally, the blue sheep lives on the edge… marvel many a folk at the sheer nonchalance of the caprid in the face of vertical walls… yet ‘tis a rather ironic quest for safety, for even the most exceptional climbing skills or large herd numbers fail to get them out of that twitchy demeanour – …

Mountains, Nature

on pine…

‘tis the season when pine burns, and we lament the colonial lumberjacks whose commercial legacies reverberate through the plumes of smoke afore the horizon, the natural transcends into the political and the tree is duly vilified… its canopy an invitation for the sun and cigarette butts to raise an inferno, its dry, acidic leaves a …

Mountains, Nature

on gluttonous meadows…

Meadows of Devi ki Marhi in upper reaches of Kalihani River valley, Himachal Pradesh, India

come the cusp of rains receding into autumn, those mountain meadows are a sight to behold… while the rest of the senses are trying to figure out the nitty-gritty of navigating through the chaos beneath that seemingly innocent carpet of green… the outdoors from a macro perspective prefer dressing up conservatively for most part of …

Mountains, Nature

on avifauna and the mountain…

Common Hoopoe, the avifauna of Kumaun Himalayas, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, India

what does the mountain seek from a bird?… music for one, since most of the other fauna seems too preoccupied with wrapping its mortality into complex layers of camouflage… the avifauna is smug, teasing the wayfarer into rummaging through the thickets for a glimpse of the song… simply on the dint of its ability to …

Nature

on the benevolent bumblebee…

Bumblebee, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, India

a bumblebee doesn’t bite, hence ‘tis affable… the logic is simple and infallible… for what looks rather pompous with bulging bodies swaying twitchily on wings of underwhelming proportions turns out to be a rather humble and sincere disposition after all… the bee not only defies its physiology and the physics associated with it, but displays …