Saturday, 9 November 2019

Real forest

When I entered this forest, my first reaction was that this is how a matured forest looks like.... Diverse in every possible aspect. Shapes, sizes, color, flora, fauna......Everything. It's a different world in itself. It is self sustaining, life giving. 

This is a kind of forest that our plante needs. It is not just a forest, it's an ecosystem. Here everything is dependent on the other things. Here everything is part of the nature and is reciprocal. It is all balanced and nature atrophies and renews itself in its due course through the normal functioning of the ecosystem. 

Throughout the world, we have destroyed much of these natural ecosystem. In most of the places around the world, the destruction is still going on. One justification I hear pretty often is that 'we will plant another tree'. But one tree doesn't make an ecosystem, neither does a bunch of trees. Ecosystems can be produced only by nature, not by humans. Cutting old matured forest and hoping to replace it by planting a few trees is nothing but an ignorance. 

Friday, 8 November 2019

Fascinating elephants - Part 3

Elephants would be arguably one of the planet’s most beloved animals. In addition to poaching, habitat loss and conflict with human populations are key threats facing Elephant populations.

In 1989, CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) banned the international ivory trade. Yet poaching for ivory has been steadily increasing, with 800,000 African elephants killed over the last three decades. Even though measures have passed aimed at reducing the poaching of elephants for their ivory (which is worth up to $1500 per pound), these animals are still being poached at a faster rate than they can reproduce.

In 1989, the U.S. Congress passed the African Elephant Conservation Act, which was aimed at improving elephant African elephant populations. Parts of the act include reducing the ivory trade and supporting African conservation efforts. Unfortunately, Trump administration reversed a ban on elephant trophy imports in 2017, saying that hunting African elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia “will enhance the survival of the species in the wild.”

Climate change projections suggest key Elephant habitat will become hotter and drier, so poor foraging conditions may threaten the survival of more calfs in the future.


Thursday, 7 November 2019

Fascinating elephants - Part 2

Elephants are pivotal to their ecosystem.

On average, elephants spend about 16 hours of each day eating everything from grasses, small plants, and bushes to fruit, twigs, tree bark, and roots. Part of the reason they eat so much for so long is because they ultimately digest very little of the food they eat. So they need to consume more food in order to ensure they are properly nourished.

While they’re migrating in search of food, elephants spread seeds around the land where they have eaten, making them an important part of their ecosystems. 

In addition to eating massive amounts of food, adult Elephants drink 30-50 gallons of water every day. During the dry season they’ll dig to find water, making huge holes in seemingly dry stream beds with their feet, trunks, and tusks until they reach the water supply. In this way, they also create watering holes for other animals to drink from.

Elephants are known to be social creatures, and female elephants in particular. Elephant herds are matriarchal, with older females taking turns taking care of the calves and protecting them while traveling from place to place.

Elephants from the same herd will often use touch to greet each other, either wrapping their trunks around each other or giving each other friendly “hello” taps on the body.

Research has shown that Elephants communicate over long distances using a sub-sonic rumble that can travel over the ground faster than sound through air. Other Elephants receive these messages through their feet and trunks. Scientists believe that this is how potential mates and social groups communicate with each other.

Elephants often pay homage to the bones of their dead, gently touching their skulls and tusks with their trunks and feet. When an Elephant walks past a place where a loved one once died, it will stop in its tracks, sometimes for several minutes.


Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Fascinating elephants - Part 1

Elephants would be arguably one of the planet’s most beloved animals. In the next couple of days we want to talk about these fascinating animals. African Savanna Elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal on the planet. Their sheer size is not the only thing that is unique about these animals though it is a "big" factor.

Bull Elephants (males) can grow up to 13 feet tall at the shoulders, measure up to 30 feet from trunk to tail, and weigh up to 14,000 pounds. Perhaps that explains why Elephants are the ONLY mammals that cannot jump!!!

An elephant’s trunk weighs around 400 pounds and contains around 100,000 different muscles. But, thanks to the elephants special physical features like finger-like appendages at the tip, they’re also nimble enough to pluck a single blade of grass. Elephants are either "lefties" or "righties"- They’ll favor that tusk when fighting other Elephants, picking things up, or stripping leaves and bark off trees. Elephants can also use their trunks to breathe (like a snorkel) in deep water. In this way, they can swim fairly long distances.

If you’re on safari and see an Elephant lift its trunk in your direction, it’s probably smelling you. Elephants have terrible eyesight, but a very keen sense of smell. All baby Elephants are born blind, but they can stand up almost immediately.

Such fascinating animals are elephants!!!


Tuesday, 5 November 2019

What's in a name?

Whenever I see a pretty flower or a bewitching bird, my first question will be what's the name of this beauty? But more often than not, I won't remember any of these names.

But as Shakespeare said, what's in a name? "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". Does hibiscus name do justice to the tall and proud stamen? 

I have learnt that even though the naming of the flowers or birds is a temporary pleasure, the joy I get by spotting it, is a joy unbound. At the end, I will never know everything but I wish I can at least see/ experience everything.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Lion King

"Everything you see exists together in a delicate need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope." My favorite quote from the movie The Lion King.

Lion King for me is a childhood memory. Few of those experiences that shape up our way of thinking for the rest of our lives. But I didn't know how much it mattered to me until I saw it again, the new one.

A movie, made for kids, shared this wisdom 25 years back, wishing to educate young children about the value of biodiversity, value of ecosystem and everything in it. It probably managed to influence a few kids and made them really care about the environment enough to do something about it, but may not be enough!

The case is just as strong, if not stronger, today. Environment is in bigger trouble than it has ever been. The planet has faced bigger anthropogenic degradation in the last few decades than ever before. More people than ever before now roam the earth thinking they have the right to rule her without a single clue about how the whole system works. At this time, one of the biggest hope is our children. Being the future generation, their awareness have the ability to finally turn the tide in favour of the environment. 

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Green, at home

I love being in the nature. The best times of my life are spent inside forests looking for animals or on the mountains marveling at its grandeur or by the sea listening to the waves crashing on the shore. But unfortunately, my profession is such that I live in a concrete jungle where the only touch of green I see are some grass and shrubs poking out between cracks in concrete.

I always craved the green when I was in the city and lived from one vacation to the other dreaming about my next destination when I would be in the nature again. So finally I decided if I can't get my beloved nature inside the city, I will try to get some in my home. So I started indoor gardening. Before I knew it, I fell in love with my plants.

It isn't even a drop in the ocean of green that we need to create. But it still is something. Now however hazy my surrounding is due to air pollution, my house air is clean and I can breathe at my heart's content again. However materialistic and meaningless my city looks, I have more green at my home than any other color. Everytime my plants grow a new leaf, I feel proud. I feel they must love me just as much as I love them to accept my home as their own.

And yes, I have donated lots of my useless materialistic stuff that I had acquired over the years, gathering dust at some corner of my house, to make room for my new friends. And I couldn't be happier.