Un-Pheasant Truth

The sparse brown brush was fast fading into a parched and shrivelled tangle as the once sinewy roots now groped for traces of moisture in the dusty grit and gravel. A haze of sooty flecks hung in the air settling slowly as a deathly shroud over the singed leaves. Unfamiliar sounds brutally assaulted the tenor … Continue reading Un-Pheasant Truth

‘Crab’tivated!

Dawn was just beginning to peep over the horizon and the salty tang in the air, typical of the marshy terrain, was laden with crisp, cool notes of the early winter period. Chocolate brown leaves crunching deliciously under our merciless shoes were the only sounds as the birds waited in anticipation of the moment when … Continue reading ‘Crab’tivated!

Beat it!

(Admission: This photograph is not of a quality acceptable to be publicised. It is only a memento of a fleeting, yet striking incidence that I have often read about, but never had an opportunity to experience first-hand until now.) The Lotus Lake is a small, neglected, natural water body within the bounds of Aarey Forest … Continue reading Beat it!

A Whiff of the Wild Western Ghats

The figures waving at us from way up in the lush hills before us appeared only a few millimetres tall and that was my first moment of realisation that we had somewhat (?) fallen behind the rest of the ten, 15-to-50s friends headed due north-northwest trekking along the Duke’s Nose trail from Kurvande village, Maval. … Continue reading A Whiff of the Wild Western Ghats

No Ground Rules

Passing through a green pasture, men cutting grass,I knew what was to be, a scene I would not let pass.Cause I spied a black drongo, on a perch a keen eye,soon there would be drama, a silent hue and cry. Soon the field cleared, egrets and mynas flew in,poking amid the stubble they let the … Continue reading No Ground Rules

Yet I Dare Hope

When my nest won’t be tangled, and my tree not likely strangled, while my river will flow undefiled, my forest allowed to grow wild, my pastures left free to forage, my wings not bound in cordage, will ever I wake up to this sight, or forever sleep filled with fright? [In the frame: Pied Myna … Continue reading Yet I Dare Hope

Nowhere to Fly

Skies overcast, Aves downcast, Forests fading, Men invading, Foliage lost, Steep cost, Boughs stripped, Fronds ripped, Nest unshielded, brood yielded, Refuge blown, Battle zone, Darkness ahead, Forsaken fled, Whither retreat will your wings weary, We will always leave your eyes bleary… [In the frame: Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) in silhouette; Aarey Forest, Mumbai] – Narendra … Continue reading Nowhere to Fly

Beyond the Wall

A fragrant green bog, wisps of a chilled fog, merry gurgling stream, frogs soak and dream, the silent shallow stills, frilling those lofty hills, carpets of furry moss, hollow logs lie across, the musty loamy soil, where tiny insects toil, a rustling forest floor, a grunt a howl a roar, light whistling breeze, the busy … Continue reading Beyond the Wall

The Sentinel

A profusion of clumsy rustling on a carpet of dry leaves under the scrubby vegetation somewhere to my left told me that I was in luck. And as the collective patter of feet came closer, my eyes naturally began to scan the tops of the scrawny trees which, with their few green boughs, would be … Continue reading The Sentinel

A Lot of Bull(bul)!

The gradient was not that steep for the mildly experienced climber that I am, but the lack of level ground to get a firm footing was turning into a trifling issue. I had climbed about halfway up the rocky slopes and, wedging my feet in the space between the crevices of adjacent boulders, I lowered … Continue reading A Lot of Bull(bul)!