Wednesday, 20 June 2018

In Search of You, a poem

Dawn, A Poem

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Birds Spotted in Dhela Zone, Jim Corbett Park, Uttarakhand

Dhela village and the Dhela Zone of the Jim Corbett Park is a treasure trove of birds, especially the little ones that seem to be rather elusive and difficult to capture on camera in the plains. I was particularly drawn by the activities of  Sunbirds, Bee Eaters and Scaly Breasted Munia Birds while staying in the Corbett Treat Resort in Dhela Village. Most of my time was spent photographing the antiques of these birds. Of great interest was the sight of a female sunbird feeding her chick.

I have never been able to get really close to the Sunbirds pictured above in the plains more so because I have never seen them sit still for a second! At the Resort, I was able to take quite a few photographs of these rather twitchy birds (I used a 55-250mm lens for all of my bird shots).

Munnia Birds are the cutest birds I have seen. They are so 'cute' and so playful. The ones that I saw at the Resort seemed to belong to a closely knit community, and they seemed to be very expressive of their emotions.

The Female Sunbird doesn't have the bright purple hue of its male partner and it might be difficult to distinguish it from the green warbler.

The sight of a Green Warbler Mother feeding her chick was an amazing sight. The mother seemed to have brought her chick an insect that was too big for her chick.

The Green Bee Eaters seemed to be present in large numbers, though they seemed to be shyer than the other birds and kept particularly away from the Resort Fence.

The Green Pigeon also found in the plains of North India, and Delhi NCR Territory can be seen in the forest area. They like their cousins could be found perched high up in the tree branches of the Dhela Village forest area.

Doves are commonly found in the farmlands in the Dhela Village. This one seemed to be not very shy of my camera and me.

Fly Catchers can be found in abundance and this might also because of the abundance of insects in the area. When my family and I visited the Dhela Village in the Jim Corbett National Park it was in the second week of  June, and surely the weather was very hot. It was perhaps for this reason that I was able to spot these birds mostly in the mornings before the sun had reached its Zenith.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Eco-Tourism in the Jim Corbett Park and Foothills of Uttarakhand

Come May, June and everyone from the plains rushes to the mountain destinations, especially Mussoorie, Nainital, Shimla and Manali. Unfortunately, this places a lot of strain on these tourist hotspots. Getting stuck in a traffic jam a couple of kilometres from Mussoorie can be a daunting experience what with locals making fun of the poor tourist stuck in the traffic. The Mussoorie crawl can take ages to clear and then when you reach the town, you are faced with another daunting task, that of parking your vehicle in a parking lot a couple of kilometres from your hotel.

It is because of the fact that some of the most popular tourist destinations have become crowded areas that people have begun to explore other options, options that are easily accessible, far from the madding crowd, places that offer some peace of mind. These options are often located in lesser-known villages far away from city centres. Often these locations have resorts that are close to villages. One such location that we visited this year for our summer vacations was a resort in the Dhela Village before Ramnagar. The Resort, Corbett Treat, is just adjacent to the electrified fence of a portion of the Jim Corbett National Park and it offers peace of mind.

While visiting the Jim Corbett National park, one is likelier to spot a wider range of wildlife than in the more populated areas of the hills. We were lucky to spot a tiger while driving back to our resort on the way back from Ramnagar. For people like me, the greatest attraction of visiting a hill station lies in the ability to spot a wide range of flora and fauna. While it might not be just about spotting a tiger, it might be something as simple as watching Munnia Birds playing or a Sunbird sipping nectar!
Eco-tourism is a growing trend not just in the plains but also the mountains of India. Resorts are being built close to villages and they provide employment to the youth. The reduced amounts of pollution, the sight of large vistas of farmlands, farmers sowing seeds or even harvesting provide a suitable break for eyes that have seen nothing but concrete jungles and madly driven cars. The sounds of birds calling to each other, crickets making a noise in the bushes, or perhaps even the call of a tiger is a big draw for discerning tourists.

It is the small pleasures of looking at nature in all its glory that makes you want to visit a place that is not overcrowded, I mean you become so fed up of the mad rush of the towns and cities, that it gives you great joy to connect with nature. The chameleons are so big, the flowers so fresh, the air so clean and what better than to see the clear sky with the stars shining at night!

You hardly get to see a bumble bee in the plains and seeing two is luckier still! Looking at the farmlands stretching till the horizon, or even the scarecrows in the fields all of these sights can be most welcoming at times.

While on an early morning walk you might come across strange sights in the field like for example, I thought there was a very tall woman standing in the field, but then when I got closer I noticed that it was a quilt that had been draped on to a pole!

The earthy scents, the sight of dew-drops on leaf ends, the quiet passage of a gust of wind, these are the treasure that one is bound to miss out when visiting crowded towns in the mountains.