On a warm summer day in my home town I took my son-in-law PJ to favorite place, Rattlesnake Creek, one of the many canyons in the front side of the Santa Ynez mountains. I have walked this creek many times, never once seeing a rattle snake. I even chose it for a botany project in college long ago – chronicling the regrowth of plants after a brush fire. Read more…
It has been a few months since I gave a safari report. It is not that I have not had any in that time. It is more that I have been too busy with my new business and my safaris have been short and family related. This month I took a safari that is both of those things (short and with family) but incredibly beautiful. So I would like to share. Read more…
When it comes to vehicular safety, be careful what you wish for. Read more…
I have returned home. I have uploaded some more pictures. I have a lot of catching up to do at home so more narrative will have to wait. The pictures have captions.
Thanks for following my journey.
Here are a few pictures from my weekend safari. The Park is a zoo with many creatures in cages, lots of monkies running free, lots of people and some “wild” animals in forested paddocks that you can tour in rickety old buses. Once again my camera battery went dead and my spare was back in the parking lot. So I had to switch to my camera phone and the pictures are lousy. So this is a small set. My friend Jim took some photos and I may get them from him to add to these. In particular, I am hoping that he got a good shot of the king cobra (in a cage). It was formidable. And some shots from the butterfly garden which seemed to have fewer butterflies that the gardens around it. I have several but they are not worth showing. Aren’t you glad I told you about what I do not have to share? Here is what I have.
This is all the video I have from my encounter with a troupe of monkeys in the coffee plantation in Chikmangalur. As they appeared high in the trees above us, my camera battery died. I squeezed a little bit of video out and gave up. Just then our driver appeared, bumping down the mud road. I was able to retrieve another battery and catch a few more frames before the troupe moved on.
The video only shows a few individuals. There were about 30 in all including some babies. They are attracted to the jackfruit, though these trees they are swinging through are above the fruit. We startled them away from the fruits at first. The hooting you hear is from the monkeys mostly, though my hosts did a little bit of hooting to stir the monkeys up.
My best guess is that these are Bonnet Macaques, common to this area. Here is an excellent closeup of a mother and baby made by Satya PicMaker: http://www.treknature.com/gallery/photo150446.htm. I got nowhere near this close to the fellows, but it was still fun to watch them jumping through the trees.
Bangalore city driving is interesting. Vehicles of all shapes and sizes move like a school of mixed fish species. Honking means something different than in the US. It means “Here I come. Get out of the way.” Drivers do not look to the side, ever. And they only stop when it is absolutely necessary. They just nose into the river of vehicles and claim a space. Most cars are small. Whole families (mom, dad, child, baby) ride on a single motorcycle.
Driving in the India countryside is just plain scary. I got a chance to experience it last weekend and again this weekend on the way to some temples. I was not doing the driving. I was in the back seat, the guy with the white knuckles. Read more…
In the spirit of Infinite Regression, I saw one this weekend. A stairway landing with a giant mirror on each side, facing each other. Look in one and see yourself reflected infinitely deep as your image bounces off the other. I was transfixed. And barefoot. And a long way from home.
The stairway is in the Palace of Mysore, in India. I am here on a business trip. My hosts took me siteseeing. Here are some pictures: mysore
Here are a couple of other observations that I shared on facebook.
Imagine this scene: a river of traffic at rush hour in Banagalore, every kind of imaginable vehicle swimming in and out. From the left, two open trucks squeeze in ahead of us, each filled with very rusty propane tanks. Behind us is a small procession of men with a shrine – drumming, singing and lighting very large firecrackers. I was wishing I could remember the words to any prayer from my youth.