Sunday, February 26, 2006,11:23 PM

More River Tern pictures and story in Daylight Again

Daylight Again
Saturday, February 25, 2006,7:13 PM

If ever there's a beauty pageant for all species, humans don't really stand a chance (with all the make up)
What makes humans beautiful is the warmth they generate, not the intelligence.

Daylight Again
Thursday, February 23, 2006,9:12 PM
I am back home.

Back home after 10 days of chaotic travel, some days of peace and quiet in the company of animals, birds mostly, one festival, some discoveries, and meeting some friends and relatives. Have to sleep for 2 days, very tired, though I did not feel it while traveling. There's lot to say, lots of pictures to post and reply to comments on my previous posts perhaps tomorrow. Lot of catching up to do, No newspapers or TV. Don't know what happened, but every thing sems OK, and I am fine, no loss, no bad experiences, just pleasant memories to carry me through. Making plans to go to Varanasi even before I reached home. Been there before twice, I love the chaotic life. I want some more of it.
Its good to be back home.
My love to all of you.

Daylight Again
,7:22 PM
From my window seat

I love trains, I would spend my entire life in a train , there's so much charm and fun traveling through Indian country side, there is such a lot of activity, every one is busy doing something, playing cards or other games, boys and girls palying ANTAKSHARI (its a game of songs, sometimes it becomes a pain or noisy if it continues through the night) You have a steady flow of eats, hawkers selling almost everything, fruits vegetable (fresh from countryside) munches, books maps, toys, you can even get nail cutters safety pins, comfort is not my priority, but nothing like having a window seat. Now you have mobile phones, They suddenly remember their grand mothers and call them. Sometimes ten fifteen guys would be talking at a time, A railway coach is a mad house, in north its pretty chaotic., I have seen people cooking chappatis, though the railways are doing their best to put an end to it. In Gujrat people eat almost all the time, they bring large tin cans of food stuff. My journey back home was pretty comfortable. Here are some pictures taken from my window seat.

There is a steady stream of beggers, and you can do nothing about it, some times you see exceptional talent there, all sorts of tricks I have seen a blind man playing flute in Kovai Express from Jolarpet to Erode, I keep following him through all the coaches, leaving my things and camera bag on my seat, a stupid thing to do. I caught him once, we sat by the door our feet dangling outside the train and Kovai express going full speed and our friend playing the flute through the deafening noise of the tracks, bought him a coffee and gave him some money, At Erode he gets off the train, he doesn't ask if its Erode, he knows. Though I travelled through the same segment yeaterday but I did not find him. Amazing talent. Plays only film songs. Here the man is playing harmonium and the woman is singing, it was a pain. A real torture.

Daylight Again.
Saturday, February 11, 2006,8:06 PM

Don't tell me this is not orange, I can identify only primary colours. On top of a thin stalk the flower keeps swaying in the breeze, I go back and forth and click at a point. Depth of field is very low, when I took this picture never knew there's going to be something called digital. I used a 35-70 short zoom with extension tubes, my good old battered Olympus. poor thing is getting rusty now. Being very lazy digital cameras suit me.
Enough of storks, going after more birds on Tuesday. Have only one way ticket. going to the place I was born. I was born in a forest, Its no longer a forest now.
Daylight again.
Thursday, February 09, 2006,6:51 PM
Painted Stork, Mycteria leucocephala

These details are furnished by Suresh

The Painted Stork, Mycteria leucocephala. is a tropical species which breeds in Asia from India and Sri Lanka to southeast Asia. It is a resident breeder in lowland wetlands with trees. The large stick nest is built in a forest tree, and 2-5 eggs is a typical clutch.

The Painted Stork is a broad winged soaring bird. Like all storks, it flies with its neck outstretched. The adult is a large bird, 95-100cm tall, mainly white with black flight feathers. The head is red, and the long downcurved bill is yellow. The tail and legs are pink, and there is dark barring on the breast. Juvenile birds are a duller version of the adult, generally browner and lacking the bright colours of the adult.

The Painted Stork walks slowly and steadily in shallow waters or adjacent wet grassland seeking its prey, which, like that of most of its relatives, includes fish, frogs and large insects. It sweeps its head from side to side with its bill half open in water as it hunts for fish.

Where did the whole business of the stork delivering babies come from? To avoid the details of conception and childbirth, Scandinavian mothers used to tell their children that the stork delivered babies. The stork was a natural choice for the Scandinavians. Many houses had storks' nests on them, which gave the story credibility in children's eyes. Further adding to the appeal of the stork, is the bird's fidelity. Not only do storks return year after year to the same nests, but they are monogamous too. Storks also take care of their elderly or sick parents, an added benefit for parents trying to develop similar traits in their children.

Please scroll down for more pictures in following posts, Flight displays, Nest building, Take off, Speed, landing. and in Daylight Again Design, Bolshoi theatre posts

Hello ! What you doin there, why are you depressed ?

Life sucks, really sucks

No, it doesn't, Its a beautiful day. Lets go impress the guy with the camera. Lets go pose for him.

What do we get out of that, Do we get an Oscar ?

Hey man! just for kicks. Some thrills thats all. We have nothing better to do anyway.

Yea I flew past him but he didn't take my picture.

Perhaps you were too fast for him. Do a slow jig.

We perform mid summer nights dream instead ?

good idea.

Daylight Again

Wednesday, February 08, 2006,4:07 AM
For e2d

I've been missing something, next time I'll take pictures of local food I eat. This is typical Kerala food, little elaborate here in the first picture, advised for health concious people. all koottoos 'more kolambu' jaggery payasam banana chips and other things.

This is normal food, served on banana leaves, sit on the floor and eat if you really want to enjoy the food. there is some charm in having hot rice served on banana leaves. the aroma itself serves as an apetiser. Here it is white rice, usually you find red boiled rice, thick grains. yumm yumms with sambar.
Thought about this after reading e2d's kickass sambar

This is an old temple (recently renovated) in Aranmula, Kerala

This is a typical Kerala traditional house. The old style is fast disappearing.
the roof tiles used here are hard to get, they are called Mangalore tiles, suit the local climate. Cool in Summer. Tiles manufacturers are disappearing
Daylight Again
Monday, February 06, 2006,9:30 PM

I don't practice what I preach. I always tell my friends to check their own backyards before going to the north pole to take pictures. I have been ignoring my own surroundings. Decided to go to Vedanthangal, Been there 25 years ago. Kicking myself for ignoring the place hardly 80 KM away all these years, There are pictures below in different posts and in Daylight Again as well

On my way back from Vedanthangal took a train from Chenglepet, slow train. The entire coach was empty, I was the lone occupant, I had all the window seats to myself, chose one, sat down feeling hungry and tired. After some time a vendor came selling sundaal(chana) bought a good quantity for just 2 rupees. Ate a few and then I started tossing chana in to my mouth. Too much masti. I was missing the target by miles. tossing one by one. they were going north south east and west but none going into my mouth, hitting my nose my beard and some went as far as my ears, both sides, and some hit my forehead, and some missed my face completely. I didn't care as none was watching my stupidity. I can't be that bad, and I was beginning to doubt Einstein. nothing to do with the theory actually as I was moving with the train as well. I was getting angry now. I was looking for the chana vendor to buy some more. It was getting more like gambling addiction. But I had quite a few left. The train stopped at a Katanglattur. One chap walked in to the coach. The entire coach was empty but still, this guy chose to occupy the seat right opposite mine. Is he blind ? I am not a gorgeous fashion model, I am the ugliest gorilla on the planet, infact gorillas are better looking. This guy was ruining the game I was playing. I suddenly realised that I am hungry and I am supposed to eat the chana I bought. I ate a few. Our friend took out his mobile from his pocket. He was punching numbers. Yea I know now, he is trying to impress me with his fancy mobile. I peeped, it was colourful looking good, He stared at me, I quickly turned my face to the window. He was trying to call some one I think. and none called him. He held his pone little away from his face 6 inches away from from my chest and was admiring what probably was his new baby. Some more people got in at Tambaram, a family, one stupid father was allowing his kids to stick their hands out of the window of the speeding train.

Our friend sitting cross legged kept his phone on his thigh, took out his handkerchief and rubbed it cleaned it, I was expecting a geenie to come out of it and say hello. He put it back on his thigh, probably wanted me to see it.
I saw it and pretended not to see it.
It had a colour picture on the screen. I kept eating the
chanas, one last chana left, a big one and heavier too, saved the best for last. I thought I should impress this guy with my skill. Tossed the last one into my mouth. OOOWAA ! BULL'S EYEEE ! It went straight into my mouth and hit my throat like a bullet as the train came to a grinding halt, no no, not my throat, it hit the ceiling of my mouth rebound and got stuck in my throat. Painful. This guy was staring at me, Wondering how a silly old bearded goat would do a stupid thing like that, the chana stuck in my throat was irritating me. He didn't seem impressed with my great performance, well I was not impressed with his mobile either, I have seen better ones mister. I didn't have a mobile to show him, can't afford one.
I got off at Mambalam and coughed the chana out of my throat which was stuck there for nearly 10 kilometers.

Bought 2 packets of Boli for my niece nephew and sis. Boli is kind of sweet roti. Roti is never mind its a sweet thing to eat.

Daylight Again
Saturday, February 04, 2006,9:13 PM

Tall Chap goes 3 feet high, predominantly white, red head yellow orange beak, black white wings, they are huge for the size when open in flight. Long slender legs are pink too. Stylish chaps

You see pink on its tail, I don't know if its a tail. They are like pink brush strokes, hence the name painted stork.

They live in colonies. They don't mind living with other species on the same trees, They build nests close to water. Terrific body design. We copy them.

Owee Forgot, Our chap lives for 28 to 30 years, thats pretty good I think. Don't know anything more than this. If you have any more info please add.

Daylight Again

,6:53 PM

Males usually display their flying skills to impress the females, we do the same, You should see the headless college boys of my city Chennai, riding motor bikes in front of girl's colleges making a fool of themselves.

These birds can always go sit beside the female and talk to them sing a song and say I love you. or offer a diamond ring. No .. they HAVE to inpress them.

The female says I am not interested in the fish you brought for me, let me see your skill, show me what you can do. And the males go bonkers.

Instead of slowly landing on the branch of the tree, they make a circular low level flight at full throttle for no apparent reason like stupid college boys. ( This is my observation, I may be wrong) But its a treat to watch. Each time I found myself gasping a wow.

You can see the same style in skiing. Here the feet are streched straight when flying full speed. They bend down like a concord while landing.

Please don't forget to carry binoculars, but here at Vedanthangal you don't need binoculars to enjoy this flight displays. Spectacular it is, at a very close range.

,5:38 PM

I saw these two affectionately crossing their beaks, like a sword fight, no ..no fight OK ? very gently touching the beaks cris cross. Is this what 'Pecking' is ? Male attracts the female. The usual story of making a fool of themselves like we do. They have some rituals, like Ballet ?
I have seen some low flying displays. They fly full speed at low level.

You what ?? you could have hit a tree you idiot. You could've broken your beak trying to impress me.
I did that because I love you dear'
The female says your performance is no good, stop making a fool of yourself, go learn some better tricks. See Daylight Again for more Ballet.

Pink Pink Pink Painted stork starts breeding after the monsoon.
Don't just sit there brooding wasting your time, go get some sticks, the female tells her mate.

Where are you going ?
Just like that, to meet some friends, flight testing may be.
Enough of your flight testing., go get me some twigs and sticks.
After some nagging from the female the male takes off. Its usually the male which gathers sticks and twigs, and the female builds the nest.
Surprise surprise, males too take turns incubating the eggs.
Here they are collecting sticks to build a nest.

Daylight Again