Oh to Stand and Stare: Wild in the Not-so Wilderness

I’ve been planning to write a blog filled with photos of my shoot of Wild Life in the Not-so-Wilderness, but my ‘very busy’ schedule kept putting it off. Today I came across this post titled “The Disease of Being Busy”: https://onbeing.org/blog/the-disease-of-being-busy

I wondered, “now have I caught this disease as well”. 

Remembered the famous poem we read in school by W.H Davies:
“What is this life, if full of care, 
We have no time to stand and stare”.

Am on a brief holiday in London and still keeping busy! How awful! I must write this long due blog! So here I go. It was some effort to find all the photos taken at different times, on different devices. Many lost or stored on hard drives I cannot access here. Still I must! 

In a Buddhist Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s I met Keshavan! The Temple had a Bodhi tree, apparently taken as a sapling from the famous Bodhi Tree at Gaya and planted by a monk. Obviously the elephant was not named Keshavan. Elephants are very important in temples in Kerala. Keshavan was a well known elephant in Guruvayoor Temple. 

Keshavan of Buddhist Temple, Colombo 

Our travel to Ladakh was a treat in more senses than one. A fascinating terrain and changing weather. Hence I have two posts on Ladakh in this blog. But the range of animals we saw was fascinating too. Here is a small sample of what we saw! Wild Ass – I do not have to travel to the Wild Ass Sanctuary in Banaskantha, Gujarat! Even the Ladakhi camels beat the Gujarat ones with Two Humps! Beautifully decorated and very comfortable to ride. The mountain camels were not as tall as the ones in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan and hence less scary to ride! 

Wild Ass,  Hunder Desert, Ladakh 
Two Humped Camel, Hunder Desert, Ladakh

And the cutest of all was the little Lyapa, Baby Donkey, at Chang La Pass, Ladakh. Lyapa was a little baby donkey character in one of my daughter’s story books. All baby donkeys are now Lyapa for us!

Lyapa the Donkey, Chang La Pass, Ladakh 
Mountain Bull, Ladakh

 Lyapa was different from our Gujarat donkeys with a lot of fur perhaps to protect them from the cold. The Mountain bull was short and very hairy too. 

On the bank of the Pandong Lake, made famous in the movie Three Idiots, stood well decorated Yaks. They were meant for tourists to ride on, but it was too cold and windy on that day for that! 

Yak, Pandong Lake, Ladakh
Grazing sheep, Connemara, Ireland

Joy to watch, stand and stare, at the sheep grazing in the Kashmir Valley along the mountain streams and on the pastures of the Connemara in Ireland.

Sheep, Kashmir Valley
Nilgai, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad

A few years ago, on home turf, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad we found a bunch of Nilgai! Nilgai is an Indian name for an antelope. They were very shy and ran as we aimed the camera at them. Later when we visited the site, many bungalows had come up and the Nilgai was missing!

And my favourite wild life around me are the Langoors! I have photographed and videographed them in all moods, but unfortunately the videos are too long to upload here. 

While trying to make a video of the langoor and her playful baby I figured how difficult a job it was. I admire the patience of the wildlife photographers who must be waiting in the bushes for hours in order to get one live shot of the wild animal! My little baby langoor who was dancing up and down the branches of the tree decided she did not want to move when I aimed my camera at her!!
So here are some still photos.

Langoor,Baby Langoor,  IIM Ahmedabad

Langoors, IRMA, Anand

Ducks, Azhagam Lake, Kerala

The ducks and flock of ducks in Kerala. The flocks of ducks in the Vembanaad Lake are part of duck farming on the fresh water backwaters in Kerala. 

Flock of ducks, Vembanaad Lake, Allepey, Kerala

The Indian Institute of Mangement, Ahmedabad, as many such green campuses are a sanctuary for birds who do not find any green cover in the cities. Here is a sample:

Parrots on the roof top, IIM Ahmedabad
Peacock, Backyard, IIM Ahmedabad
Domesticated Peacock,
 Backyard, IIT, Delhi
Red-naped Ibis, IIM Ahmedabad
Red-naped Ibis, IIM Ahmedabad

And finally, a wood pecker, pecking on the damp walls of neighbours at IIM, Ahmedabad. This woodpecker has truly adapted to his urban surroundings. He no longer needs wood or a tree for pecking. Pecking on the damp walls affected by saline water and capillary action is good enough for him!! So much for inclusive urbanisation!

Woodpecker, IIM Ahmedbad

More on the urban trap:


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