It was very enjoyable to go and meet the participants of the latest NTP, which happened at Bannerghatta over the weekend. Chandu and I set off, and it seemed that hardly a few kilometres from my home, the Karnataka Forest Department had decided that the forest had begun, though we were still in the middle of a lot of apartment buildings:
As the JLR jeep took us towards the property, I enjoyed the sight of the
GREY HERON on the rock in one of the ponds:
Chandu and I sneaked in quietly into the hall where the program was going on:
In the evening, Karthik wound up the "theory" session and we wanted to leave for the nature trail..but alas, Nature had different ideas, it was pouring with rain! Everyone teased Sheela for not being in control of the weather as she had seemed to be earlier:
We sat and asked Karthik for a few tips on how to behave in the forest, and listened to his anecdotes:
Here's an overview of all of us listening to him:
I couldn't resist taking this portrait:
The NTP definitely sets one on the path of learning more about the natural world!
As we stopped to look and listen, a rainbow came out like a benison over our heads:
The path steamed with drying moisture:
The rain-bearing clouds looked beautiful and billowing:
The sight of the people walking across the sheet rock was lovely, too!
Almost immediately, we started on what I call Life Under Foot...small forms of life that are under our foot, and under a foot, or even an inch, in size. Here's a small
This spider was intriguing:
Update: Karthik says this is a Araenid spider (orb-web weaver)
Such interesting sights, of course, inspire the use of macro photography
A lot of lovely sights met my eye on the nature trail; the
BAUHINIA PURPUREA tree was blooming (it's called "kuzhakkattai mandArai" in Tamizh)
I couldn't get the id of this tree, but the fruit looked so intriguing, like snake gourd!
Update: Karthik tells me the scientific name of the tree is "Radermachera xylocarpa" (Heaven help me!) and the common Tamizh name for the tree is "Cow's-horn Tree" (makes more sense!)
We came across a couple of
these are wild animals, but are used to human presence and do not feel it as a threat:
It was nice to watch them feeding unconcernedly:
And of course I couldn't resist photographing the photographers!
Alas, all too soon it was time for Chandu and me to leave (before the gates closed)...and we asked to be set down just outside the gate, near the pond.
As we expected, we had a wonderful time before we finally left...there were a couple of
led us a dance as they hopped from tree to tree:
And Chandu says the sight of this little jewel, the
SMALL BLUE KINGFISHER
making fishing sorties, made his day!
I introduced him to that old denizen of the pond, the
all around were the
which have become pests now:
Chandu wanted to see an
ASIAN PARADISE FLYCATCHER
and this female obliged:
Finally, it was too late to delay any more, and we rode home through the sunset as it glowed over the JLR Bannerghatta Restaurant:
Another lovely stint in the Bannerghatta Zoo area…..meeting new people, and learning fresh bits of information from Karthik!