HIMALAYAN OAKS & LANGURS

Carrying the baton from the previous blog EXPOSED ON A LIMB, am sharing these lovely pictures of a group of Himalayan Langurs spotted on a Mighty Oak.

Be charmed or should I say Enchanted.

safe mode
Safe Abode

The Himalayan Langur ( Scientific name Semnopithecus ajax ) is significantly Larger when compared to the Langur we see in the Plains of India.

It is also called the Dark-Eyed Himalayan Langur.

yummy fruits
Yummy Fruits

The Endless Tail is a key characteristic of these very intriguing Monkeys.

tail shot
Mighty Tail

The Mighty Oaks  ( Scientific name Quercus leucotrichophora) provide a safe Haven to these Gorgeous Langurs as well numerous other species.

Observe the Upper and Lower Sides of the leaves don a different hue of Green.

oaks and langurs

Hanging onto the Mighty Himalayan Oak

All the pictures above were taken on a lovely walk on The peaceful Camel’s Back Road in Mussoorie, Uttrakhand, India.

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EXPOSED ON A LIMB

Earlier Blogs titled LAST STAND and CONICAL CYPRESS  may kindly be read to get a sense of Continuity.

These Majestic Towering Coniferous Trees are Native and Unique to the Western Himalayas.

The Himalayan Cedar ( English), Deodar ( Hindi) , Cedrus deodara ( Scientific Name)  belongs to the Pine family Pinaceae.

Reaching out to the clouds

Reaching OUT

The Deodars  ( Deo meaning that of the Devs or Gods) are revered by Hindus and is repeatedly mentioned in ancient  Hindu scriptures.

Do the branches not show up as  Steps to the Skies Above  or the Abode of Gods.

step up
Step by Step

These Large Globular  Green Cones are  Female Cones and will be the bearers of Winged Seeds when they Mature.

The Pine Like Needle leaves indicate it belongs to the Pine family but the Cones clearly reveal another Genus.

acorns on a limb
Female Cones reflecting Woman Power 

The Male Cones were not spotted by me on the Tree and had left the ladies  unattended.

The Camera catches this young male taking a Power Nap. Am Inspired.

snoozing
zzzzzzzz Snoozing zzzzzzzzz

Am taking it easy too and will complete the post after taking a Power Nap. Till then Enjoy the Splendour of this Ancient Confirerous Tree through pictures.

I did fill in the blanks subsequently  and I hope the young man recovered from his Siesta as well.

CONICAL CYPRESS

Enchanting Forests of Conifers cover the slopes of the Lower Himalayas at altitudes between 1500 to 2500 metres ( 7500 feet) .

Do read previous blogs titled LAST STAND and M’I’STICAL HIMALAYAS connected to the changing landscape in the Himalayas.

The Pictures below are of a true Greybeard , a Lonely Cypress, in Kasmanda Palace, Mussoorie, Uttrakhand, India.

See  how  The Cypress  towers above the Conical Tower of this nearly 200  year old Palace in Bright Sunlight.

lonely cypress
A Conical Turret and The Cypress Tree

Dark Clouds cast dark shadows and the mood over the Cypress turns to Grim.

dark light
Dark Clouds Approaching

Light begins to fade and even the Cheerful Red Cones turn to shades of Grey.

darkness
Hungry Dark Clouds eat up the Light

Outstretched arms of The Hapless Lonely Cypress as Grim turns to Eerie , the SunLight is gradually blanketed out by Ominous Clouds.

hidden
The Silver Lining as Darkness embalms all

The pictures remind me of Fairy Tales , Wizards and Witches and a Childhood long gone by.

 

THE LAST STAND

I apologize to all the readers of this blog that I was only able to post pictures.

This has unintentionally generated a lot of curiosity as to why the title is :The Last Stand”.

Sikkim is an extremely small Himalayan state abutting three countries namely Nepal, Bhutan and China ( Tibetan Plateau)

The unique location of the State makes it a Biodiversity Hot Spot.

As you drive from the nearest Airport in Siliguri, West Bengal located in the plains of India upto the Lofty  Himalayan Range, you will drive through spectacular Forests which will vary sharply with a shift in Altitude.

From Lush Green Forests to Conifer Forests at altitudes at 1500 to 2000 metres till the Last Tree at about 4500 metres, the Flora changes as if by Magic.

The Last Stand is the end of the Tree Line in the Eastern Himalayas at altitudes of 4500 metres or 14750 feet.

Do see the Trees give way to Meadows and Rocks which will ultimately cede to the Snow Line or region of perpetual Snow and Ice.

tree line
The Last of the Conifers

Trees are unable to survive the severe cold in the high altitude regions of the Himalayas.

The Himalayan Larch seen below is bereft of leaves even in the month of May.

A Mountain Spring from the melting Snows and barren Rocks can be seen in the backdrop in the picture below.

broofs and trees

Conifers and Himalayan Brooks

The Conifers cede to Alpine Meadows above 4500 metres . You can see the Last Conifer in the backdrop which could be a Sikkim Larch or Himalayan Larch ( Scientific Name Larix griffithi ).

A native Rhododendron hugs a Mountain Brook as it mutates to a Shrub at these altitudes.

conifers and more
Conifers, Rhododendrons and Prayer Flags

As I look above to the Abode of Gods I see a Crown of Conifers garlanded by Buddhist Prayer Flags.

flags and conifers
Conifers at 15000 feet.

I thank all the readers for their curiosity and interest on the Fate of these Gorgeous creations of Nature.

It is However the Last Stand against extreme Climates led by Conifers. Be Enchanted in the incredible diversity of Flora ( and Fauna) as  you drive from Sea Levels to mind boggling heights of over 7000 metres or 21000 feet in the Himalayas in Sikkim.

 

YAK AND “YETI”

The Himalayas are home to many many a Unique Species of Fauna, one of which is the Realistic Yak and the other the Mythical Yeti.

Lovely Green Meadows near the Tsomgo Lake ( do see a previous blog titled LAKE OF SNOW)  in Sikkim, India are grazing grounds and home to the large and furry Yaks( Scientific name Bos grunniens).

green himalayas

HIMALAYAN GREEN

Yaks are native to this region  and can be seen only at high altitudes above 3500 metres in the Himalayas in India.

A large number of Yaks are heavily decorated and domesticated. While many like to ride these Majestic Himalayan Bovids around  the Tsongo Lake , I am personally against riding these animals.

The unpredictable mist envelops all including the Yak and his chaperon.

yeti in the mist
MIDST OF MIST

I was lucky to spot this majestic Yak ( I think he is Mr. Yak) having a snack cum drink of Rice water.

meal time
SNACK TIME

The Enchanting “Yeti”  however remained elusive , staying from the sight of  My Camera, and remains to date hidden within the pages of Spellbinding Himalayan Folklore and Myths.

 

 

 

 

LAKE OF SNOW

High Altitude Lakes in the Lap of the Himalayas  are mystically fascinating .

Formed almost entirely by melting snow, glaciers and brooks and streams The Tsomgo Lake in Sikkim is located at a height of 3870 metres ( 12700 feet) in Sikkim, India within touching distance of the Tibetan Plateau.

Most of The Himalayan Peaks overlooking the Changu ( or Tsomgo) Lake rise above the Tree Line and thus barren and bereft of Trees. Have a look.

treeless mountains
Melting Himalayan Snow

The  banks of the Enchanting Tsomgo Lake supports Unique Alpine Flora. The weather here changes rapidly and the Mists and Low Clouds play Hide and Seek.

The Sun appeared magically enabling me get the following picture. Observe the Snow turning into the Waters of this Lake ,  which is highly revered by Buddhists and Hindus.

changu lake
Tsomgo Lake in the Summers

Within seconds as though by the will of a Magic Wand the Lake and Himalayas disappear as Dense Clouds cover  Changu Lake.

The Spellbinding Lake changes colour with changing Seasons and even Freezes entirely during the Winters when temperatures fall rapidly.

mist cloaks
Mists Cloak the Lake

The Sun appears again revealing a Himalayan Path girding the Lake.

At the deepest it is about 15 metres or 50 feet.

the banks
Still Waters Run Deep

Watch out for the next blog to be Enchanted by Yaks and Yetis at Tsomgo Lake.

ORCHIDS OR ALIENS

Orchids have Mystical Looks and appear to be  more than flowers to me . It seems they Look into your Soul, Stretch out to you with their Knotty Stems and Leathery Leaves.

gentle orchids
Lavender Beauties

If you reach out and touch the petals of Orchids they seem “Alien” . Are they from Planet Earth?

lavender
Orchids Reach Out

The Knotty Stems reminds me of a Hollywood movie titled E.T. The sweet Alien had Knotty fingers which remind me of the Stems of these Gorgeous Orchids.

noodles or stems
Knotty Stems

The featured image and pictures above are of cultivated Orchids photographed in the Himalayan State of Sikkim, India.

The Gorgeous Orchid in the featured seems to be looking right through you right between the eyes. Enchanting or Scary ?