November 20th, 2006

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The GaurD'Ouvres

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"Well, the Bird Survey conducted by Jungle Lodges and Resorts was warm, wet, and wonderful, several "w"s that I will be explaining in the future, when I have a more time (it's midnight, and I am going on another trip tomorrow).....

I will post later about the birds, but  here is an animal  that is often to be seen in Biligiri Ranganna Hills...


Here's the Gaur, the Indian wild bison . Don't you like his cool haircut? Male Gaurs can weigh up to 750 kg....and all that muscle is developed on a diet, as you can see, of grass!


IMG_0161


This photo is, I must add, not photoshopped or post-processed, so it may not be very clear or good in terms of colour temperature...Well, to me, documentation is the goal, not the perfect photograph!

Q .How did I take this photograph?
A. Bi sonlight!

Couldn't resist that...


Will post my account of both the bird survey and our lovely trip to BR Hills and back...meanwhile, "Gaur" means "attention", too, in Hindi...so...iskO gaur sE dEkhO!

Goodnight all!
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The Wildlife Murals of Bandipur...renamed, hacked down, photo credits not given

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Well, you can read the article ( re-titled with a bad pun of course) in the Deccan Herald of Sunday, November 19th, 2006:


http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/nov192006/finearts1942320061118.asp

Photo credits have not been given (as usual.) Sainath Vellal took these pictures so that I could share these lovely murals with the world.

But do check out all the paintings  (and the excellent photos by  sainath at

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E booking of tickets through ICRTC

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I find the Indian Railways booking site still pretty user-unfriendly. I am unable to book round-trip tickets, and have to spend a lot of time on the "to" and "fro" trains. Also, very often, by the time I finish entering all the information required, it says my transactions have been timed out and I have to do all the work over again. And sometimes I am told a day or two later that my credit has had some problem (why I don't know) and that my booking is not through; by then, sometimes, I am under the 48 hour limit and have to physically go to the booking office.

There is the problem of cancellation, which is not properly explained. I share these questions with vyshnavi.

I know that when you book an e-ticket on www.irctc.co.in, cancelling it is pretty easy. However, can you cancel the ticket for just ONE person out of a group?

Now, what if the one person who cancels the ticket is the one who booked it in the first place? Like, suppose I have booked e-tickets for 4 people, and I have given my photo ID (yes, the ID is checked on the train, and they also do cross-check with the ID number you have entered!), and I cancel my ticket alone - will it affect the others?


Another grouse that I have had for many years is that while on overnight trains, I can choose my berth (upper, middle, lower, etc`), on day trains I am not allowed to choose my seat. When this can be so easily incorporated, why is it not done? Some years ago I had written to Southern Railways about this, and the reply I got was illogical : "We run so many trains from Bangalore every day so we cannot do this." What on earth do the number of trains have to do with it? If I can choose my berth, surely I can choose my seat on a day train as well?


Is there any way we can get replies to these valid questions? The site doesn't have good explanations for not-usual scenarios.....
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    none...it's the sound of the raindrips actually
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    ,
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The Wolf Spider and its Nest: the real websites

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I have been having problems uploading the pictures from the bird survey at BR Hills...but I saw so much else that was also fascinating...so here's my photo essay on the nest of the Wolf Spider.

The Wolf Spider makes a large web with a deep tunnel in it, where it rests, waiting for someone to "walk into its parlour" as the poem has it. Here's what the nest looks like:

IMG_0044 Wolf spider's nest


And heres' a close-up. The nests were looking extra wonderful with the raindrops glittering on the strands of silk. There were many of them around.



IMG_0090 wolf spider's nest and the raindrops






If you look carefully, you can see the spider sitting inside the tunnel.


IMG_0091 Wolf spider's nest close up


Now, here's the spider, outside:

IMG_0096 Bejewelled death trap


And at the entrance to the tunnel:


IMG_0089 Wolf spider outside the nest


And here's amoghavarsha's Nikon D80 with the macro lens, with the image of the nest ( I love this "image-of-image" stuff!) Amogh was also taking snaps, but these snaps are by me.....


IMG_0045 Photo of the wolf spider's nest


Well...that's the Wolf Spider and its Tunnel of Death (or Dinner, according to one's point of view!)

Arachnophile sunson....this post's for you! And if I think of "Arachnis" or "silk threads", then this post is for udhay, too!
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    is there any eight-legged music?
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