GOLDEN GRASS

 

The Jaswant Thada  at Jodhpur forms a gorgeous backdrop to this clump of desert grass. (  stipagrostis maybe, am not sure) .

The lady in pink is wearing the colourful attire of women in Rajasthan.

the golden grasslands
The Golden Grass of Rao Jodha Desert Park

 

This picture was taken the Rao Jodha Desert Park now home to hundreds off species of grass.

A close view showed  up three types in this cluster including a butterfly.

The featured image is a close up of one of the golden spears.

Golden Grass
Morning Sun playing Midas

The Golden Grass is probably at the end of a short life which begins with the onset of the scanty rainy season.

It hold together the soil on the hills and provides a home to numerous insects and small birds.

the grass of the rocky desert
Grass and Rock hand in hand

I have not had the patience to identify the scientific  name.

Maybe some knowledgeable botanist  could help .?

CELEBRATING ENCHANTED FORESTS

Long have I Wished to share the divinity I experience through the  Enchanting Spells of Nature.

The Joy I experienced in the Magical World of Nature had to be shared.

A year Ago and out of the Blue I met two bloggers at a restaurant in Delhi and the world of blogging opened up to me.

Thus , a year ago, was born The  blog “Enchanted Forests”.

All that I will share and have shared  to date links Nature , India and Mythology in an attempt to showcase a Wonderland I experience daily.

You will find all your senses bloom , each ray of the sun and caress of the wind will be like the touch of the Divine.

Lets celebrate together and take Flight.

lets fly together
lets fly together

TODAY AM ADDING THREE ADDITIONS ONE MONTH AFTER THE FIRST POST.

The awards are nominations thus far , so  I guess have to work hard for these coveted awards.

Nominated for the Liebster award

50 Posts

blogger recognition award
Blogger recognition award

One year in the World of Blogging ,I have found my sense of Peace and Joy.

Am particularly grateful to the thousands who have chosen to subscribe  to the blog and leave their footprints by re blogging, linking  and sharing, through  comments and views on Enchanted Forests.

SHADES OF GREY

Two earlier posts SPELLBOUND and BALLS OF SUGAR reveal the location and will thus not dwell on the same.

The Grey Pelican ( English),   Pelecanus philippensis ( Scientific name)  is a major competitor to Fisherman and I can imagine they would not be entirely pleased to find it anyone close to their domain.

This Island in the midst of the Yamuna was entirely inhabited by Cormorants and four  Pelicans.

a-bird-island
Bird Island

Swimming in solitary splendour soaking in the breathtaking Landscape in the background as a thick Fog descends on the banks of the River Yamuna in December.

The Enchanting Grey Pelican is unique to the Indian Subcontinent and parts of South East Asia.

mustard-fields
The Motorcylcle and Mustard Field as backdrop

The Grey Pelican is unfortunately  a Near Threatened Species and is usually seen in Solitude or small groups.

swimming-ashore
Swimming Ashore

I have learnt the Grey PELICAN is also called the Spot Billed Pelican, however I have no picture in which I can clearly discern the spots. I thus wonder if if I have identified the species correctly.

Yet I am happy to share the splendour of nature with all the readers across the world.

SPELLBOUND

The location is the temple village of Bateshwar,  Bah, District Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India  as mentioned in the previous blog titled Balls of Sugar.

The River is the Yamuna which flows within a mere 5 kms of the River Chambal at this point which in turn is now home to the Endangered Gharials.

I was spellbound by the beauty of the Landscape and had the pleasure of  watching an Indian Cormorant skim over the River as it competed for Fish with the Fishermen.

fisherman
Cormorant in Flight 

Mustard Fields in bloom, Silhouettes of Large trees , a foggy Winter morning and a Cormorant in Flight kept me Spellbound.

skimming-the-surface
Spellbinding Landscape and the Cormorant

The Sun filters through the Fog and the Flying  Cormorant has a Pelican for company and a new competitor for Fish as well.

not-alone
In the Company of a Pelican

The pictures say it all, need I say am Enchanted ?

 

BALLS OF SUGAR

A few kilometeres from the Enchanting Riverine Sanctuary of the Cursed River Chambal flows the River Yamuna. In sharp contrast this River is revered and thus the temple village of over 108 temples, Bateshwar ( 60 kms from the city of the Taj , Agra) ,Uttar Pradesh  lies on the banks of the Yamuna.

Mountains of White Sugar Balls can be seen decorating all the shops that lead to the Temples which dot the region in large numbers.

These act as Magnets for many a Winged Species, have a look .

three-kinds
The White Sugar Mountain attracts all

The Indian Honey Bee ( English), MadhuMakhi ( Hindi), Apis cerana indica  (Scientific name) finds nectar in these White Sugar Balls or Ram Ladoos which double up as  offerings in Hindu temples.

bee-on-suger-ball
All in Brown

Another species with a striped Abdomen but as engrossed as it’s cousin above donned in Brown.Both belong to the Genus Apis.

yellow-abdomen
Yellow Stripes is fully Immersed in Sugar balls

The Wasp ( English), Tattaya ( Hindi)Ropalidia marginata (Scientific name) is no close cousin to the Indian Honey Bee but finds common cause in these Balls of Sugar.

wasp
Yellow Jacket

We were are all engrossed, Winged Insects, Bees & Wasps in the Balls of Sugar and the cameraman with them.

Enchanting I would say, do you agree ?

EARTH HOME

The mere mention of the  Ravines of Chambal would send a shiver down the spine of those acquainted with the terrain and the infamous reputation that goes along with it.

Have mentioned the CURSED  CHAMBAL RIVER, in previous posts and would request the readers to check them to familiarize themselves with the region.

During the BIRD FESTIVAL ( do read previous posts, the titles of which are a bit fuzzy) held in the CHAMBAL Riverine Sanctuary in December 2016 we did spot many abodes or burrows of Dacoits who once Ruled this Area.

Have a look at the Chambal Terrain in the picture below.It was very foggy and misty and the picture reflects that to some extent.

the-chambal-ravines
The Mud Ravines of Chambal

While we were being shown the abode of an Infamous Dacoit in the Muddy Ravines, we saw the abode of a feathered friend as well, a Solitary Spotted Owlet ( English), Ullu ( Hindi), Athene brahma ( Scientific name).

Can you spot the Owlet at the doorway of his Home of Earth ?

home-of-dacoits
Doorway to the “Cave  Home” of an Infamous Dacoit

It has been over a month since I penned my last Post or Blog and am delighted to be Home and at the Desk once again. feel rusted though and the words do not flow so easily, forgive me please.

The Dacoits have long gone, and now buried in the pages of history, but my alert  feathered friend carefully checks out all visitors to his EARTH HOME.

home-in-the-muddy-ravines-of-chambal
A Lucky View

Naturally I was riveted by the Owlet and forgot all about the Dacoits .

I was as I say “Enchanted”.

 

 

 

 

FOUR RED HEADS

The Wetlands near Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, India are probably the last Bastion where these extremely Large and Outstanding Red Headed Cranes  are found in large numbers.

A flock or family  of  Sarus Crane ( Scientific Name Grus antigone) seen in flight over the Wetlands in an area irrigated by the Rivers Yamuna and Chambal.

sarus-and-goats
Goats and Cranes

The Sarus Cranes are the Tallest Flying Birds on Planet Earth and native to the Indian subcontinent.

The Wetlands are gradually being eroded and precious Habitat is being lost to Agricultural lands bearing Sugarcane.( can be seen in the backdrop in the picture below).

Soon this family of Four may not have a Home to return to ??

sarus-and-one-bird
Four Sarus Cranes over the Wetlands

As flocks of different species hover in the skies above , I wonder how one would react if you see your home shrinking with every Setting Sun.

dusk
Returning to a shrinking Home

Do read earlier blogs like URBAN FORESTS ( for close ups of this bird) , WETLANDS & STORKS IN FLIGHT as well to be truly Enchanted.

STORKS IN FLIGHT

Wetlands are a remarkable natural  Habitat for Birds and this region near the Chambal River Sanctuary ( location of The Bird Festival)  and in close proximity to the township of  Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, India  is no exception.

The Rural countryside is peppered with tiny lakes and water bodies which lie in the midst of fertile agricultural lands.

The featured image is a silhouette of a Painted Stork seen through the foggy twigs of a Tree at a time when the Sun was about to set over the Wetlands of Etawah.

The brightly headed Rosy Wood Ibis or Painted Stork ( Scientific Name  Mycteria leucocephala  ) in colour.

through-trees
Painted Stork

The Wetlands  and Agricultural fields can be viewed in the picture below just as a Woolly Necked Stork  ( Scientific name Ciconia episcopus  flies above .

wetland
The Wetlands

A pair of Indian White Necked Storks or Bishop Storks ( Scientific name Ciconia episcopus )  return home as the Sun Sets and a Misty Fog ,fueled by agricultural Bonfires, descends over the Region.

ready-to-land
A Pair

Both the Storks in the pictures above are fairly large sized Birds and find the Wetlands an Enchanting Habitat in which they co exist with several other species including the Sarus Crane mentioned in preceding blogs.

Unfortunately such Natural Habitats are increasingly threatened by the Expanding Numbers & Greed of Humanity.

 

THREATENED PREDATORS

 

Pictures of the endangered Gharial are from the Chambal River Sanctuary near Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

All seems quiet calm and safe on first glance, is it not?

serene-chambal
Serene & Calm Chambal

Yet below the surface lurk deadly predators.

silent-predator
In Stealth they Prevail

The Gharials  are however health conscious and abhor red meat , fish being their staple diet.

fangs-on-display
Fangs on Display

The Signature beak like snout is the Unique distinguishing characteristic of these Gharials, now under threat of being History and hence protected in this Riverine Sanctuary.