Once Upon a Time ,Wild Deer , Elephants and Tigers would have roamed these Hills now overtaken by domesticated Cattle and numerous “Crying Trees “.
The Para Rubber Tree ( English), Hevea brasinlliensis( Scientific name) was first planted in India by the British from the Americas ( Brazil in South America) in the early 20th Century .They felled the Naturally Occurring Rainforests and replaced them with Rubber Plantations to harvest Natural Latex. ( this act was replicated across South East Asia as well )
A Rubber Plantation on the slopes of the Western Ghats in District Pathnamthitta, Kerala, India as it exists today after over 100 years.
This Plantation is close to the Konni Elephant Rescue Centre mentioned in previous blogs titled BABY ELEPHANTS and MAMMOTH BATH.
The Rubber Trees in Plantations across Kerala are native to the Amazonian Rain forests and a rich Natural Source of Rubber.
The trees are wounded by repeated Cuts to release a Milky latex which is collected in Coconut Shells.
Is it a wonder they are called “Caotchoue” by the Native Americans which literally translates to Crying Tree.
As you can see in the picture above there are several angled cuts on the Trunks of the trees.
Vast Lands which once supported an astonishing range of Flora of Fauna were laid waste and replaced by Rubber Plantations to commercially harvest Natural Rubber which oozes from the Core of these Crying Trees.
The Milky Latex is collected in little Cups made from Coconut Shells.
First the Rainforests were felled and replaced by Plantations, then the forest dwellers like the Elephants chained and finally the Trees were made to Bleed.
I understand that the closest competitor to Natural Rubber is Synthetic Rubber which is derived from Petroleum. Thus when the prices of Crude Oil fall so do the prices of Rubber.
As we all know Crude Oil prices are scraping the bottom of the Barrel and that spells a death Knell for the Rubber Plantations as well.
The Backwaters of Kerala provide the perfect Home to these Gorgeous Rust and White Birds Of Prey.
Coastal Plains, Estuaries, Marshes, Swamps , Lakes and Rivers describe the Landscape of Poovar and Ashtamudhi ,Kerala, India .( do see the pictures in earlier posts titled THE OCTOPUS LAKE and TRANQUIL WATERS)
These wetlands are the Native Habitat of The Brahminy Kite or Red Backed Eagle ( English), Haliastur indus ( Scientific name) which you will see Soaring above in the Skies along the entire Coast of Kerala.
The distinctive White Head and Rust Back make them extremely easy to identify. The photographs were taken from a Boat and the one below is of a Brahminy Kite perched high above on a Coconut Tree. ( you can see the Coconuts on the right)
I am not sure what has Ruffled the Feathers of the Kite but it seems to have it,s eyes fixed on something.
It is a soft photograph and a bit out of focus but am sharing it nevertheless as I find the silhouette and colouration of the Beak rather extraordinary.
From my experience Poovar is an excellent area for Bird Watching as the Foliage is extremely Dense and forms a Canopy over a maze of narrow and calm water Channels.
Thus when you are on a boat you could Spot a Bird perched on a Branch which arches above the waters.
It was the first time I saw a Juvenile Brahminy Kite so close at hand permitting the following picture to be taken.
You can clearly see the Head and Chest of the Teenager Brahminy Kite are still not Snow White as in the Adult.
“In Asia, from the Peninsula where Three Seas Meet , Comes the Ruler to whom Thursday is Holy, His Wisdom and Might all Nations will Greet, to Oppose him will be Folly Indeed.”
Am Overawed by the above prophesy of the famous 16th century European Seer we know as Nostradamus . The Prophesy was posted in similar but not exactly the same words by my friend Ranjit Devraj on my facebook account yesterday after he had seen my Post titled “Lost at Sea”.
The featured image above is the Southern Tip of the Indian Peninsula where Three Seas Meet. It is called the Vivekananda Memorial Rock at Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu ,India .
The Ancient & Holy City of Kanyakumari is located between the Cardamom Hills and the Vast Seas. The Catholic Church seen in the picture below however preaches Sunday to be Holy.
The name Kanyakumari is however derived from the Virgin Goddess in the Hindu Pantheon. The temple in the picture below at Kanyakumari is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati who slays an Evil Demon fulfilling a prophesy.
To date the majority ( over 80%) in India are Hindus and Thursday is a Holy Day on which certain deities are worshiped across the country.
Am fascinated how a Prophesy could so accurately describe a region I was blogging about hundreds of years ago.
Believe Him or Not, Nostradamus has me Spellbound. Thank you Ranjit.
When you stand at the End all you experience is The Vast Oceans and Seas till as far as the eye can see.
Standing at the tip of Southern India at the Vivekananda Memorial Rock at Kanyakumari am overwhelmed by the Vast Oceans and Seas that stretch beyond the Horizon.
As the Crow flies there is no land mass between Kanyakumari, the last Indian Town of Southern India , and The Ice Continent Antarctica.
Only the waters of The Laccadive Sea and the Indian Ocean separate the Indian Sub continent and Antarctica.
With the Indian Ocean to the South, the Bay of Bengal to the East,the Arabian Sea to the West and Monsoon Clouds in the Skies above, the tiny Blue Fishing Dhow is happy to scurry home to the Indian Land mass in sight.
“Kanyakumari” is a Spectacular Coastal Town steeped in Mythology and History.
As I gazed out at the Never ending Waters on all Sides I was simply “Lost at Sea“.
The Adorable Babies you see in the Pictures in the Blog are of two orphans who were rescued by the Forest Department from the Konni Forest of Kerala.
The Large Wooden Cage you see in the background called Aanakoodu in Malayalam ( the local language in Kerala) is the current home of these Babies located in the Elephant Rescue Centre in Konni,Pathanamthitta District, Kerala.
A Large Open Enclosure outside the Aanakoodu is the Play Ground for these Baby Elephants who seem to enjoy the freedom from their respective cages.
A She Elephant was also rescued from a nearby forest , but her heavy metal chains and her reaching out to me (for Help ? ) make me wonder if they are Really Happy being Rescued.
Observe Her Eyes in the picture below, they seem to Speak Volumes. What do you read??
Have posted a blog titled MAMMOTH BATH from this very Rescue Centre a few days ago with pictures of a Tusker having a Bath, who was also in Chains.
I wonder what Ominous Futures hangs over the Baby Elephants who will be used by the Forest Department to promote what is labelled ECOTOURISM.
Tourist will Ride on these Elephants after being trained by a process which is both Cruel and Torturous.