Tuesday, August 25

Jungle Tracks

All this month we've been on the road and this past weekend we were on jungle roads in the B.R. Hills ( Biligiri Ranganna Hills). Roads must be on my mind because I've taken more pictures of the jungle track when on safari than anything else.

The macademised road which winds up into the hills through lush tropical jungle. We were visiting the Biligiri Ranganna Hills for the first time. Its really very beautiful.
Its sunny one moment and pouring cats and dogs the next. It was noon when the picture above was taken. The mist was so dense we couldn't see a thing beyond fifty metres.

Dirt tracks criss cross the jungle. Everybody silent, scanning the undergrowth, branches and canopy for birds and animals. Will we spot a tiger, sloth bear or leopard? That's the question on everybody's mind.

Spotting animals in the dense undergrowth is difficult and takes experienced eyes and some luck. Most creatures are spotted close to the jungle tracks. When the jeep's engine is killed the jungle sounds can be deafening and like in the picture above you sit and observe the herd of Gaur grazing . The only other sounds are whispers and the rapid clicking of cameras.

Safaris into the jungle will take you past water holes. I always expect to spot a magnificent tiger or a herd of elephants cavorting in the water but haven't had that sort of luck to date, maybe the next time.

Alarm calls alert us to the presence of a predator close at hand.Everybody on the look out, until a leopard is spotted draped gracefully on the branch of a tree. The first leopard R and I have seen in the wild.It was a great weekend.Hope you're having a good week.

To see some magnificent pictures of the above mentioned leopard click here

Wednesday, August 19

TAST - Cast on Stitch

The Cast on Stitch was a new stitch for me. Its time consuming. With this stitch you need to remember less is more. Great stitch to add texture and dimension to ones work. Reminds me of a type of mushroom that grows on tree trunks.
I did a fair portion of this sample last night, while watching the stellar performance of Robert De Niro in What Just Happened.

TAST - Buttonhole Wheels

This stitch got the inspiration wheels turning. Thoroughly enjoyed making this sample.

TAST - Arrowhead Stitch

Not terribly inspired by the Arrowhead stitch and I've left off embroidering the head bit in Arrowhead!(it shall be rectified). I can see myself using this stitch in a border.

Thursday, August 13

The Wild Wild West

The Bombay I've experienced in the past has been the people choked suburban trains,shabby skyscrapers,masses of people who seem to function like clock work and the oppressive heat and humidity but Goregaon(East) is different.
The Aarey Milk Colony of Goregaon doesn't get its name from a dairy that existed a couple of decades ago and got swallowed up by the ever expanding city but R and I discovered its because of the many non descript dairy farms which function there at present.
Lush green hills dotted with dairy farms and skyscrapers how wild is that?

Buffalos are like enourmous sculptures. Hollows and bulges and the skin has a wonderful patina.

There's a hierarcy on these dairy farms.Gopi takes care of ten buffalos and nine others like Gopi report into a supervisor. Supervisors report into a manager.

I learnt that there are a number varieties of buffaloes, identified by their horns. This one with the magnificent curly horns is a Katiawadi. A native of the Gir Forest in Gujarat and is capable of producing 30 litres of milk a day.This one has shorter horns and is a Dilli.

Small little pick-up autos like in the picture above transport milk to collection centres and dairy processing centres. The driver was thrilled I asked him to pose.

A dairy farm can have 500 buffaloes and every little lane seems to end at a buffalo farm. That's a lot of buffaloes and so much milk.I hope there's someone making Mozzarella with some of that milk.

Three days in Bombay ( Mumbai) was quite an education.

Tuesday, August 11

I'm back

It's good to be back home, sleeping in your own bed and settling back into a familiar routine.
The Great Driving Challenge which took over our lives for the past month has drawn to a close for R and me. I'd like to thank all of you who supported us, can't tell you how much it meant to us to make it to the semi finals. We got to meet and interact with a number of interesting people and came away with an all expenses paid holiday at Fort Aguada, Goa even though we didn't make it to the top three. The travel bug has bitten us. We got off the plane from Mumbai and got home long enough to repack our bags and set off by car for a long weekend in theNilgiris with family and there's Goa to look forward to in September. When it rains it pours.

One week away and I've discovered significant changes around me. Some like my google reader which was close to exploding with 250 unread posts was quite over whelming. My blog now has 56 followers, which is a pleasant surprise and my plants are multiplying and growing so I must be doing something right. All very gratifying.

I've begun a fibre book inspired by our love for biryani. Come back and visit, I don't foresee disappearing and leaving my blogs unattended for a while to come.