Source: A COINCIDENCE ?
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.
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.
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.
Elephant safaris are very special, make sure you do not miss out on this experience.
I prefer to make friends with the elephants before they take me into the depths of the forest.
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.
Some are scared to enter the water.
The crossing in progress as many swim across.
This Buzzard is all eyes.
The ants are busy making their homes from leaves and are least interested in the activities of others.
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.
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 PINE ( Tamarix 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.
The monsoon clouds and gentle breeze made the moment memorable.
The entire forest of flowers swayed in the gentle breeze teasing the bees, out on an aerial survey.
Am unable to identify the tree ? Any comment?
NOW IDENTIFIED as ATHEL PINE ( Tamarix aphylla )
Source: 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.
Experts please identify the breed.
Have been nominated for an award. Am happy, what the award is about, am clueless.
What is not as abstract is that I posted all of 50 blogs. All within a month.
The Monsoons , sprinkle of colour and a close look transformed this Hibiscus bush to the EXTRAORDINARY.
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)
Check up Google or read Wikipedia, many interesting facts will be revealed about this lovely flower.
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.
The Sarus Cranes bond for life, they are MONOGAMOUS for LIFE. Both male and female take turns in nursing their eggs.
The mating display is spectacular and can beat any Opera in the World hollow.
Do notice the backdrop as well , it is their natural habitat. Now they are 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.
It reminds me of the movie AVATAR in which vast forests of the planet Pandora are destroyed. The difference being: this is for REAL .