JLRNTP-1, 06,07,08 August 2010

August 9, 2010

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:

KFD 0 080810

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: grey heron bg 080810 Chandu and I sneaked in quietly into the hall where the program was going on: ntp classroom 080810 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: pouring rain ntp 080810 We sat and asked Karthik for a few tips on how to behave in the forest, and listened to his anecdotes: sk's anecdotes 080810 Here's an overview of all of us listening to him: I couldn't resist taking this portrait: sk 080810 The NTP definitely sets one on the path of learning more about the natural world! the path of learning 080810 As we stopped to look and listen, a rainbow came out like a benison over our heads: nature with rainbow 080810 The path steamed with drying moisture: steam from the road 080810 The rain-bearing clouds looked beautiful and billowing: clouds 080810 The sight of the people walking across the sheet rock was lovely, too! sheet rock ntp 080810 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 TOAD: small toad 080810 and a GRASSHOPPER: grasshopper 080810 This spider was intriguing: Update: Karthik says this is a Araenid spider (orb-web weaver) spider shell 080810 Such interesting sights, of course, inspire the use of macro photography macro photography like this: mushroom 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) Bauhinia purpurea 080810 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!) un id fruit on tree 080810 We came across a couple of GAUR: gaur 080810 these are wild animals, but are used to human presence and do not feel it as a threat: gaur feeding 080810 It was nice to watch them feeding unconcernedly: And of course I couldn't resist photographing the photographers! snapping the gaur080810 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 WHITE-BELLIED DRONGOS swooping about: white-bellied drongo 080810 the COMMON IORAS led us a dance as they hopped from tree to tree: common iora 080810 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 CROCODILE: croc zoo area pond 080810 all around were the AFRICAN SNAILS which have become pests now: african snail 080810 Chandu wanted to see an ASIAN PARADISE FLYCATCHER and this female obliged: apf zoo area 080810

Finally, it was too late to delay any more, and we rode home through the sunset as it glowed over the JLR Bannerghatta Restaurant:

sunset jlr rest 080810

Another lovely stint in the Bannerghatta Zoo area…..meeting new people, and learning fresh bits of information from Karthik!