Showing posts from May, 2011

Yeoor after Two Years

The most sweltering summer that I have ever experienced is in India. The temperatures soar above 30C and humidity above 70%. Yet this did not bother us from exploring our backyard – Yeoor Hills, after almost two years. My last visit was in August of 2009 with a fellow botanist and a friend, and my first visit for 2011 was with this plant-addict as well. We met after two years too, and decided Yeoor to be our place of meet – a good old place where we used to hang out often. We cannot say no to Yeoor, not in the peak monsoon season nor in the scorching heat, it is a place worth visiting in all climes. Dry but not really Imagining Yeoor in summer is not hard. The trees will be stripped of leaves. The soil will have little to no moisture and dust will blow and leaves rustle whenever the wind picks pace. This is what I pictured of Yeoor in the middle of May, but it was completely the opposite. After reaching the top at 7 AM, we were greeted by an alarmingly large number of people with

How to Point-and-Shoot: Birds

Every bird watcher, amateur or expert, carries two key items while out birding – a binocular and a notepad. Without these, you cannot see a bird nor record it. If you do see a bird that you can’t identify without the aid of binoculars, it becomes hard to identify it later without noting the details on a paper. These were the primary tools used in the past by most famous birders, and are still the precious possession of any bird watcher. Nowadays, a new age of bird watchers is emerging; one that not only uses their eyes to sight a bird, but also a digital eye to capture it. This is the age of bird watchers with rather sophisticated tools – cameras. And just like cameras, bird watching has become more and more popular amongst people. However, when it comes to research, a camera is still a secondary option over the primary binoculars and notepads. This is rather debatable, as someone might consider camera to be more reliable when it comes to providing a proof for the existence of a bird

Toby Garter: A Short Video Documentary

Last year I was fortunate to observe a few Eastern Garter Snakes late in March. I had set out to track when and how life returned to Medway Creek , without expecting to find any snakes so early in the season. After stumbling upon many Garter Snakes and being amongst a few individuals that I photographed for the first time, I started following one unique fellow with a rather dark abdomen compared to the others around. His name is Toby and this is his story. Toby is just another male Garter Snake in this vast country who spent the cold months huddled in a hibernacula with his fellow mates. Now he is out and about, exploring the dense woodland surrounding a fragment of Medway Creek – a tributary of Thames River in London, Ontario, with one important mission – to find a mate and pass on his genes. (The script of narration is provided at the bottom) If you watched the documentary, you may have had the same question in mind – was it really a female or just a trickster male? I was quit