Sunset

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Continue reading “Sunset”

Morning in the Ghats

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Mornings in the Ghats are an exercise in pastel. Continue reading “Morning in the Ghats”

Wildflower Wednesdays

Our hike in the Himalayas last August was not defined by its birds, surprisingly enough. Rather, it was defined by its flowers.

I tend to avoid flowers, except when as an attraction for butterflies, as a photography subject: stationary plants seem too easy, too facile. But the sheer range we saw in the mountains made me a convert, at least for the duration of the trip. The sheer range! The colors! The fields upon fields of them! (The fact I had no birds to distract me only helped matters.) And I found myself taking my camera out more and more in an endeavor to capture them. Over the next few weeks(? Months? Years? Centuries?) I’m going to be sharing my photographs with you every other Wednesday.

First up: the Cutleaf Buttercup. Not having access to a field guide (or the Internet) for that week, however, made us have to make up our own names. Thus, we named this, instead, the Kashmir Sun-glory. It’s a much better name, I think. 😛

Considering the amount we saw it, we needed a name for it. Meadows were blanketed with them – endless stretches of yellow, forever and ever, brushing the horizon, varnishing the slopes in gold. They brought a humanity to the vistas we confronted every step we took – took it down to the level of a single bee, humming its way from plant to plant; formed the ranges in the microcosm of a single petal drifting to the ground.

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For the Sound of Sunset

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and so the light rises,

over bone-still hills;

a river fills vast silences

with the thin whistling

of time and time again,

the susurrating trees

becoming their own

somnolent witnesses.

About a month and a half ago, because I suck at updating, we went for a hike in the Himalayas.

It was – amazing, as one might expect. The mountains, the trees, the rivers, the sky, the everything. It’s so quiet there – just the sound of the water and the wind. For miles and miles there is not a single living soul. Just you, and your breathing.

This is an introductory photograph, if anything. I played with it quite a bit in Photoshop – just to see where I could take it.

More stories, poems, and photographs will be forthcoming over the next few months. 🙂

Coup d’Oeil

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Car-window glimpses –

hints at something beyond

the fingerprinted glass

and constant humming

of movement and silence

in their endless dance,

because you love like this –

bittersweet heart-in-mouth.

You cannot do anything else;

no space forms for anything else

in disappearing tarmac behind

and knowledge of the gap between

possibility and reality.

In the Spanish, or possible French Pyrenees, this house up on a hill, the snow-capped mountains behind, presented an unimaginably picturesque site. It looked as if a postcard had been pasted over the car window.

You get the most peculiar sense of deja-vu sometimes when you’re travelling, especially when driving and there isn’t time to examine the feeling further – perhaps it’s a result of our constant exposure to information, so we see much more, but I’d like to think it’s just a connection to a landscape, to a place – like it’s ok to leave your heart there, half-way across the world.

What You Leave Behind

Hills_ProcessedThese are the Anamalais – the Western Ghats, the cradle of Indian biodiversity, and essentially distilled beauty. I am at somewhat of a loss for words to describe them further – rest assured, you will get looks at the parts of this magnificent whole as the days and weeks roll on.

One More Sound for One More Lovely Thing

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I think I am in love with the mountains, in all their forms – the breathless immediacy of Himalayan forests, the desolate rocky crags of the Great Rift Valley, the blushing greenery of Japanese hills, and now the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees. It is hard to explain what it is about them. The snaking tendrils of snow, or the contrast between the white and the dark, or the green fields, the bite of cold, the footsteps of the animals before you, the picturesque villages, bare trees – it is hard not to love it.

(The unbelievable amounts of raptors, from kestrels to booted eagles, inhabiting their peaks don’t hurt either.)

Serrated

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No… I’m not done with Montserrat yet. This time, I present to you the big picture, quite literally: these are the hills home to the famed church, and if you squint you can see it, about in the center (the jumble of [straighter] lines than the rest). The scenery of Spain is just so absolutely breathtaking and I really wish I could pay justice to it, in words or pixels.

Journal Journeys: Standing

As I mentioned in my last post, our jeep got stuck in the mud and we had to get towed out: this meant that we likely missed seeing a cheetah and an entirely different side of the Masai Mara. On the other hand, it also meant we had the chance to destroy quite a few pairs of shoes in some really gloopy mud that seemed to have been created for the express purpose of sucking up objects never to be seen again, like the Creature from the Black Lagoon– and also, you know, gaze in awe and wonder at the beauty of the savannah. And it also meant that we had to rush back to camp without actually seeing much. But that was amazing, too. Pretty much everything involving the words Masai and Mara together are amazing.

Saturday, 20th of July, 2014

“The wind is cool and presses my shirt to my chest, my hair to my head, my eyes to the landscape, and my heart to the Mara. To my right are storm clouds: grey beasts striding across gently undulating plains, occasionally white lightning cracks through them for a jagged, perfect second. To my left is the sunset. Though hidden behind wispy clouds, the lone acacias that dot the landscape still glow golden. Our jeep, tumbling over the trail at breakneck pace, scares off wildebeest–they gallop madly out of our way, manes and tails swinging, and the adrenaline that fills me as they do is exhilarating. Perhaps I’ve lost some feeling in my numb hand that’s gripping the railing, and perhaps ripe drops of rain are falling sporadically on my face, and perhaps the clouds promise more, but I am standing in a jeep, watching the wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles against the sunset, in the middle of the Masai Mara, and there is no other word for it than ‘spectacular’.”