Showing posts from October, 2021

The Forest Spirit and the Neo-Naturalist

The mosaic of the central Western Ghats, as viewed from Hassan, Karnataka Tea plantations, shola rainforests, and montane grasslands. That morning wasn’t any different. That gurgling stream, that timid click of the dancing frog, that flute-like song of the Indian Scimitar Babbler, that pressure-whistle of the invisible-under-the-canopy White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, and that low monotonous, shy greeting of the Malabar Trogon, underneath the dark canopy of the Ironwoods, Palaquiums, Syzygiums and Dipterocarps, the facies of the medium-altitude rainforest of the central Western Ghats, all of them together in a chorus refreshing mind-body-soul, would be punctuated by a long-drawn drone of the didgeridoo, making those of us raking the leaf-litter halt our time-specific chore for a moment. It was Day Three of the fourteen-day survey. That drone was another sound of the forest carrying another tune, primeval and raw, created by the damp, cold air of the rainforest understory reverberating