Day 5, VTP, Kudremukh Thu, 220514

June 2, 2014

The official account:

Thursday, 220514, Day 5

Early in the morning, the volunteers went on Foot Patrols with the Forest Guards and watchers, and returned in time for lunch to BNC. There were a few minor incidents of falls, tiredness, and an unexpected encounter with feral cattle which charged! These experiences were much livened by an artist having sketched several scenes, a poet having penned some lines about the experience…and much shared laughter.

Post-lunch, the volunteers were debriefed, and exchanged notes on what they had seen, experienced and learnt. Many felt that the Forest Department personnel should be paid regularly, appointed as permanent staff, and provided with better equipment, especially footwear. Dr. Ramesh then explained some of the restrictions under which the Forest Department works, and about the preferences of some of the FD personnel.

Since several people were tired, there were no evening sessions.

Today was a day we saw several creatures, both in the air and on the ground..and Life Under Foot (and under an inch) was very much in evidence.

I started with this



An utterly beautiful, yet tiny, beetle caught my eye:


So did the exoskeleton of this CICADA: DSC05006 A COMMON FOUR-RING sat on the forest floor: DSC05007 A tiny mushroom bloomed delicately: DSC05018 this plant of the Oleotropus sp was fruiting: DSC05023 These fan mushrooms looked lovely, too: DSC05024 Having finished our walk, Kiran and I took a ride with the JLR vehicle to Kalasa. On the way, we saw this lovely building: DSC05035 In the Western Ghats, the architecture shades into the Kerala style, principally with sloping roofs to let the rain run off. Flat terraces on roofs are not possible. Here's the Kalasa grAm panchAyat office (village council) DSC05043 A pavilion marks one part of the main road: DSC05045 Life goes on at an easy pace in Kalasa. I didn't notice any crowds pushing aside these cows to get into the medical clinic! DSC05046 The roof details were sometimes lovely: DSC05047 On the road, we met this lady and her daughter Saranya, selling fruits from their garden: DSC05055 Kiran wanted me to photograph this fruit, which we could not get a name for. DSC05056 I love WATER-APPLES (called jhAmrool in Bengali) and I bought some from the lady, but they were less juicy and more fibrous than the ones I have eaten in Kolkata. DSC05064 I brought enough back to share with everyone at lunch. We went past various signboards to landmarks: DSC05058 We were happy with our ride to Kalasa and back, and Kiran and I "rescued" a tired Prasad Natarajan (the artist referred to above!), who had become dehydrated...we brought him back to the camp, happy with our good deed for the day! A power nap and a drink of watery buttermilk soon set him to rights.

Click here for my FB album of Day 5