Burning Bright: Gap Year Week 24

For the last eight years now, my family and I have rung in every new rotation of the sun in Bangalore. New Year’s Eve there is not just a tradition—it’s a certainty, and to suggest anywhere else for the celebration feels vaguely blasphemous. Continue reading “Burning Bright: Gap Year Week 24”

Abstractions from the Embers

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A fire smoulders on a dark night in Bangalore, India.

we burn with unapologetic fury

against the dark, the dark,

the creeping creeping dark;

sing with unrestrained vigor

into the silence, the silence

the humming humming silence;

live with undimmed spark

for the light, the light

it grows and it grows and

it grows

 

Alight

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A Wire-tailed Swallow lands on a branch by a lake on my last birding excursion of 2015.

Tit for Tat

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A coal tit I spotted in Bangalore this summer perches on a fence.

Note: this post is scheduled.

Swamphen Days

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Barcelona’s Llobregat Delta proved to be a fruitful trip for me. However, birds I could identify were in a minority – which, thankfully, included this Purple Swamphen. I can now profess myself to be intimately familiar with this species, after having documented them in the Sandpit Swamphens, based on observations of them in Bangalore this summer.

Looking back on this European individual with a summer’s worth of observations under my belt, these pictures become doubly fascinating. Not only was I afforded a very good glimpse of its exceptionally long toes – which aid in gripping hard-to-balance reeds – but also its foraging behavior, as it brings a nice tender shoot to its mouth. Both of these are characteristics I didn’t see in India, perhaps due to the different habitat – that was deep water with a mat of water plants over it, whereas Llobregat is shallow water.

I think it’s safe to say even after hours and hours of observation, I’ve only scratched the surface of these undoubtedly fascinating birds.

Out of Frame, Out of Mind

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While I wasn’t planning on posting today, apparently it is World Photography Day, and what is a blog for if not to honor obscure days named in celebration of hobbies, often with even more obscure purpose.

This is a (somewhat accidentally) experimental photograph – it is a fight between a drongo and a black kite, albeit a rather one-sided one. (Hint: the drongo’s winning.) Whether it is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ I am ambivalent; but photography is as much about the glorious duds as it is about the heart-dropping shots. At least, today I can say it is.

Some Little Miracles

GrebeChick_ProcessedLogomy dear, you are a

tiny Tintoretto, a gangly

watermelon-striped

ball of feathers and hope

that against waves of

crushing odds

has managed to keep its

head above water.