17 Nov

at rangaswamy betta

An early morning trip on a May morning did not turned out to be unfruitful at all. A small group of four planned a morning to be a good time to visit dry deciduous forests towards south of Bangalore. Rangaswamy betta being one of the closest hill of considerable vegetation and elevation, we decided it would be a good place to look for some orchids, if lucky we might get to see some in bloom as well.

The morning dive to the top of the hill in the misty morning is a experience by itself. We could spot quite a few plants of Vanda testacea in bloom on certain Terminalia trees en-route. Having a temple at the top of the hill, a bit of crowd is expected at the top. Since our chosen timing was early morning for the visit there were hardly any people around and that made it a quiet place.

tree in the morning

As we proceeded further towards the top of the hill, we could see the trees having Luisia plants. On our one of the earlier visits we were able to see the plants. But our time of visit was of a non-flowering season for the Luisia species there. However this time around the we were lucky enough to be on time for the bloom. We could actually see Luisia zeylanica in full bloom all over a tree. This brought something wonderful to our morning experience on the hill top.

Once we were content with the photographs and observations of the flowers we moved a further to a place where we had seen a Polystachya concreta plant on our earlier visit. We we reached this jack fruit tree just next to the temple, to our dismay we saw the very branch which hosted the single plant had been cut off. That ended our search for this plant. Apparently being close to temple and God did not prove to be safe enough for this species there.

Tree and Luisia

We went around further taking more photographs of the place. As the Sun started coming up it was time for us to head back and get back to the city. Having seen both Luisia flowers and tree branch cut, it was outing which ended with a mixed feeling of gain and loss, mostly loss!

16 Sep

connectedness

..an abstraction of experience into different kinds of touchlessness. We experience, as no historical period has before, disembodiment and dematerialisation. The almost infinite connectivity of the technological world, for all the benefit it has brought, has exacted a toll in the coin of contact. We have in many ways forgotten what the world feels like. And so new maladies of the soul have emerged, unhappiness which are product of the distance we have set between ourselves and the world. We have come increasingly to forget that our minds are shaped by the bodily experience of being in the world – its spaces, textures, sounds, smells and habits – as well as by genetic traits we inherit and ideologies we absorb. A constant and formidably defining exchange occurs between the physical form of the world around us, and the cast of our inner world of imagination. The feel of the hot dry wind on the face, the smell of the distant rain carried as a scent stream in the air, the touch of the bird’s sharp foot on one’s outstretched palm: such encounters shape our beings and our imaginations in ways which are beyond analysis but also beyond doubt. There is something uncomplicatedly true in the sensation of laying hands upon sun-warmed rock, or watching the a dense mutating flock of birds, or seeing snow fall irrefutably upon one’s upturned palm.

~ Robert Macfarlane in The Wild Places

16 Aug

roadkill

no blood spread! no last night’s speedy vehicle! and definitely no one tried to cross the road! But still there is blood, blood on our hands!

Roadkill

At least six species of orchids on the fallen tree next to road!

Some destructions are the way of Nature keep things in balance, some like roads, plantations, neglects are not. Trees fall all the time. Some of old age, some ‘cos of the calamities like flood, lightning etc. And nowadays mostly due to another type of (un)natural calamity, human activity.

Sometimes you get a feeling that all the ‘thinking’ or ‘will make you smart’ knowledge by the education without foresight and not considering the bigger picture and connection is alienating the very species which is supposed to be a good example of evolutionary process if anyone interested enough to study. When do we stop confusing Knowledge for Wisdom?!

There seems to be another dimension to this act; that of the discipline and self respect! It appears to be lacking more and more as the days go by. We do things just because we can! or rather we don’t have that control over the self to stop as soon as we realise it. Or we have left out the self-respect and the pride of being sensible out and away.

There is a gap in understanding which leads us to not to see the connection between each of the species in the ecosystem. In the top-down view of building understanding unless one spends considerable amount of time reading, most importantly listening to one’s surrounding, it is next to impossible to attain that state of understanding and harmony with surrounding. Blame it on the forgetfulness and ‘ill-respect to traditional knowledge’ of the society or blame it on the selfish economy driven pseudo communities!

The anthropological knowledge developed when the race was small enough where it could sustain easily itself not being thought about now. What’s more, its been blatantly forgotten or overridden. The key to connection and survival, has been with us all the time and it appears like we have ignored it quite nicely as well, no matter what’s our excuse be!

10 Jan

to see

“I am drawn to the story of Polynesia because it reveals so much about the issues and misconceptions that both inspire and haunt us to this day: the sheer courage that true exploration implies, the brilliance of human adaptation, the dark impact of conquest and colonialism. It reminds us, too, of the need always to be skeptical about the tenacious grip of academic orthodoxy. Knowledge is rarely completely divorced from power, and interpretation is too often an expression of convenience.”
~ Wade Davis in The Wayfinders.

01 Aug

living real

“People came into a world like this, rich, natural, but not without danger. The prospects for real trouble here are low, but the prospects for feeling alive are guaranteed. Many people are shadowed most dangerously by beasts of their own imaginations. Being here is real. That’s why this silence, coiled and charged, speaks volumes. Too often, we let fake things stalk us. Accept no substitutes for real experience, real friends, true love, and real bears. Either you set the bar high and keep striving or you create a danger greater than any Griz sneaking up on you: letting real life sneak away”
~ Carl Safina in The View from Lazy Point

13 Mar

to read

“… though in random variation there are orderly patterns, patterns are not always meaningful. And as important as it is to recognize the meaning when it is there, it is equally important not to extract meaning when it is not there. Avoiding the illusion of meaning in random patterns is a difficult task.”

~ Leonard Mlodinow in The Drunkard’s Walk