A COINCIDENCE ?

HOLD TIGHT

Source: A COINCIDENCE ?

A SECRET FOREST AND THE MIGRATION WITHIN

Sambar cross a river in Satpura

Source: A SECRET FOREST AND THE MIGRATION WITHIN

A SECRET FOREST AND THE MIGRATION WITHIN

Am letting you into a closely held secret, by revealing a National Park in the heart of India. It is only here you can see tigers and leopards roam free without being accompanied by hordes of tourists.

You approach the park, not by car or jeep but, hold your breath, by boat . Designated  boats  of the Forest Department  take  you across  the lovely river  DENWA to the Madai entrance of the park.

The banks of the rivers are very scenic and you need to watch out for the water birds; resident and migratory.

River Denwa
Denwa River and the Satpura National Park Jetty

The Satpura National Park is unique in numerous ways .It is the only Park I have been to which you can explore by foot, by boat , on and elephant and by road on a jeep.

It is a mere 3 hours or  200 kms from Bhopal ( we took 6 hours  as we stopped all along  the way. Have written about Bhopal and the drive to this National Park in separate blogs ( do check out http://www.travelwithmukul.wordpress.com) .

We stayed at the unique  Forsyth Lodge, where I spotted vultures , horn bills,and numerous carnivorous PLANTS.

Forsyth Lodge
Forsyth Lodge

A tip to all who are reading this blog is:  ensure you have a great guide . The key is to have a guide who knows both the flora and the fauna of the region. Go for the guides who belong to the region as only they can help you discover some of the hidden treasures of forests.

A good guide  ensures you savor every moment in the forest and leave you completely mesmerized . Saleem was such a guide who showed us plants and birds I would never have noticed.

brilliant naturalist saleem
Saleem at the Forsyth Lodge

Elephant safaris are very special,  make sure you do not miss out on this experience.

the staircase to elephant point
the  elephant ramp

I prefer to make friends with the elephants before they take me into the depths of the forest.

Elephant and I
Elephant and I

We were fortunate to see this larger than usual ,herd of Sambar crossing a river.  This rugged and extremely diverse forest encompasses both rivers and mountains.

I christened it as THE MIGRATION IN INDIA.

Male Sambar beckons his followers
Male Sambar leads the way

Some are scared to enter the water.

In two minds
In two minds

The crossing in progress as many swim across.

astute swimmers
astute swimmers

This Buzzard is all eyes.

oriental buzzard
oriental buzzard

The ants are busy  making their homes from leaves and are least interested in the activities of others.

red ants
red ants

This spectacular forest in Central India has captured a special place for itself in my heart for all time to come.

The entire region is a treasure trove and the drive back to Bhopal took us to Bhimbetka.

Before I sign off i leave you with this glimpse of the rock shelters of  Bhimbetka. A fantastic  Paleolithic site over a 100,000 ( a hundred thousand) years ago. . It is also where I sighted my first  Egyptian Vulture.

BHIMBETKA
BHIMBETKA

AN AERIAL SURVEY OF A FOREST OF FLOWERS

Old Rose ? Pls identify this gorgeous tree

Source: AN AERIAL SURVEY OF A FOREST OF FLOWERS

AN AERIAL SURVEY OF A FOREST OF FLOWERS

The pictures that follow beautifully  describes the magic of nature through wildflowers.

This gorgeous tree was bursting with old rose colored flowers near the wetlands near Greater Noida. NOW IDENTIFIED as ATHEL PINETamarix aphylla 

For the drones buzzing in delight  it was  indeed a FOREST OF FLOWERS. The fragrance of the flowers was driving  them crazy with joy. They flew, jumped and cartwheeled all over the flowers.

flowers drive them beserk
flowers drive them berserk

The monsoon clouds and gentle breeze made the moment memorable.

step back
the larger picture

The entire forest of flowers swayed in the gentle breeze teasing the bees, out on an aerial survey.

Is it not gorgeous
Is it not gorgeous

Am unable to identify the tree ? Any comment?

NOW IDENTIFIED as ATHEL PINETamarix aphylla 

HUSH, WALLS HAVE EARS

A short drive off the Yamuna Expressway , in a farm at Village Parsaul in Greater Noida.

It seems the horse was actually listening to our conversation.

Do notice how the tips of the ears are turned inwards.

Walls do have ears
Walls do have ears

Experts please identify the breed. 

Have been nominated for an award. Am happy, what the award is about, am clueless.

Nominated for the Liebster award
Nominated for the Liebster award

What is not as abstract is that I posted all of 50 blogs. All within a month.

50 Posts
Yeah, 50 Posts

RECIPE FROM ORDINARY TO EXTRAORDINARY

The Monsoons , sprinkle of  colour and a  close look  transformed this Hibiscus bush to the  EXTRAORDINARY.

a pink hibiscus catches my eye
a pink hibiscus catches my eye

The relativity usual red hibiscus was pink,  interesting.

A closer look, wow all the components  including the stigma are shades of baby pink.

A drop of the monsoons and Nature had cooked up what  was SPECTACULAR.(EXTRAORDINARY)

Oink all the way
Pink all the way 

Check up Google or read Wikipedia, many interesting facts will be revealed about this lovely flower.

ONE, NO TWO, OH THREE, SORRY IT’S A PARTY OF FOUR

When I started blogging a month ago , one of the first posts were those  of these magnificent birds called THE SARUS CRANES (Grus antigone ) .Posted them under a title URBAN FORESTS, do check it out.

They are the largest flying cranes ( males grow upto 6ft )  in the WORLD .   To know more check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarus_crane.

Unfortunately these could be last sightings of this unique and very special  Crane in this location as the area has been earmarked for “ high-rise buildings “.

These romantic and gorgeous  Sarus Cranes are  losing their habitat rapidly and are marked VULNERABLE by IUCN. They are, as you read in Wikipedia , Google etc,.  Unique to  INDIA.

The joy of spotting and locating these birds in the wetlands and paddy fields is unparalleled..It is neither  a zoo, a national park,  or  a bird  sanctuary , these wetlands are their homes.   They come and go as they please, in  absolute FREEDOM.

You will visit them in their homes without any tickets or permissions.

In order to give an idea of the size of the Sarus,  is this picture of a single  male Sarus Crane with two crows for company.

SEE THE SCALE
  ONE

The Sarus Cranes bond for life, they are MONOGAMOUS for LIFE.  Both male and female take turns in nursing their eggs.

a couple , its two
a couple , its two

The mating display is spectacular and can beat any Opera in the World hollow.

oops missed a step
oops missed a step

Do notice the backdrop as well , it is their natural habitat. Now they are three.

three
                                   three

Sorry, it’s a party of Four.

Pack your cameras and rush before  blocks  of cement and tonnes of Steel are poured on these rich wetlands and  fields , converting  their homes into  our homes.

four
 sorry, it is a party of four

It reminds me of the movie AVATAR in which vast forests  of the planet Pandora are destroyed. The difference being:  this is for REAL .

32 ANGELS, A CITY OF HOPE, AN UNWED MOTHER AND THE TEMPLE OF THANKSGIVING

32 ANGELS, A CITY OF HOPE, AN UNWED MOTHER AND THE TEMPLE OF THANKSGIVING.

The gong