Oct 10 2009

I beat the alarm and at 6 AM, the staff came by with tea and coffee. There is nothing quite like a well made cup of tea (or coffee, for that matter) at the crack of dawn. Since the elephant ride has been nixed owing to the recent rainfall (an excuse that I don’t summarily dismiss, but about which I have some nagging doubts), we’re going on a motorboat ride along the Kabini. Its more of a bird-watching tour. It really doesn’t make sense for someone from Mysore to come to the Kabini River Lodge to watch birds, because the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctary just outside Mysore is quite the avian enthusiast’s paradise. Oh well …



1-Mist
A thick layer of fog over the Kabini has delayed our departure. I would estimate visibility at much less than a quarter-mile.



2-Boat
The fog is starting to dissipate. That’s our boat. We’ve been asked to hop on board.



3-City
A visual artifact of fog makes that thick forest on the opposite bank of the Kabini resemble a city scape. If the movie Idiocracy has the remotest ring of truth to it, it might very well be one in the year 2525, if not sooner!



4-Grey Heron
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)



5-Purple  HeronPurple Heron (Ardea purpurea)



6-FolliageThe foliage around the Kabini is remarkable in its own right and is primarily responsible for the rich fauna in the Nagarhole and Bandipur national forests.



7-Deer
What do you know .. even more tiger food – errr … deer! In the summer months, the boat captain said that they quite often spot tigers along the river banks. But with ample water deep in the jungle thanks to the rains they’ve had recently, there’s no chance of seeing one today.



8-Smaller EgretLittle Egret, (Egretta garzetta)



9-Greater EgretGreat Egret (Ardea alba)



10-StumpsRoll Audio 4: Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings“.



11-Snake BirdDarter or Snake Bird (Anhinga anhinga)



12-Osprey PerchOsprey (Pandion haliaetus). For some reason I thought that the Osprey was a uniquely North American bird and was pleasantly surprised to find it here.



13-Osprey WingThe osprey fluttered its wings, but decided not to bolt as we approached the tree with the engine cut off. It did eventually fly away though.



14-SambarWell at least its a different kind of deer this time. The Sambar (Cervus unicolor) shares its name with a rather spicy South Indian stew. I’m quite sure a tiger would not mistake one for the other!



15-Malabar-HornbillMalabar Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus)



After a sumptuous breakfast, we checked out and drove back to Mysore. I slept for a decent portion of the trip home, but I can safely assure you that I missed nothing of aesthetic value. I may of course have missed out on the occasional interesting street scene as we passed several tiny villages, for which I apologise, and I’ll try to atone for that, as I potter around Mysore tomorrow, my last day here.



PuppyI ran into this pathetic little huckster while walking down the street from our flat. We got to talking. His name is Robinson Thirugnanasambandham (a likely story. Who the hell is he trying to con?!). He is wanted on 4 counts of fraud, embezzlement, larceny and Grand Theft Biscuit in the neighbouring states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He followed me home. The security guard on duty at our complex said that he belonged to someone down the street and that he was just doing his “rounds”, hitting up people for scraps and a pat on the head! Shady Mongrel! (*scratches chin* Hmmmm now who does he remind me of?!). I ran up to get him a bit of cheese, but he was gone by the time I returned. The guard said that his owner came by and picked him up. I honestly hope so.



HSIt looks as if my old high school could use a paint job! Hopefully that’s not the least of its problems! Gosh its coming up on 30 years since I was in one of those classrooms! I’m sure the median age of the teachers is less than mine! Hey Get off-a my lawn, ya punk kids ….



HSSI do not recall that lawn in front of the open-air tage on which I once played a member of Robin Hood’s posse! I don’t think I had any lines in that play. I did play a crooked Navy commander in another play in the main auditorium (partially visible) in the background. Go ahead – call it type-casting! I’m really not sure what they use the open-air stage for nowadays. There was no one around to answer that question for me.

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