The “Unruly” World: Unearthing the “Madness” in Nature

ATREE Young Researchers Network

Written by Chandrima Home

Rules govern our lives as well as all of society. We humans love to anthropomorphize the natural world. We try to identify characters, behaviors in the natural world that are more human-like and anything happening out of the box is often considered “mad”. I personally like collecting such local trivia about species which are colloquially labeled as “mad”. What intrigues me are the reasons for which they are considered so, and if you ponder over it, it does sometimes shed light on the species ecology.

My first encounter with something “mad” in nature was Prosopis juliflora,a shrub or a small tree belonging to family Fabaceae (a kind of Mesquite) colloquially termed as “gandobawar” in Kutchi or the “mad” tree. An invasive in India, this tree definitely lives up to its name. My day in field would often end with my pulling out an…

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Serenity in Garhwal

In the lap of nature
lying on the grass.. looking at views like these.. no hustle bustle of cities, no fakeness of the corporate life…no management funde… . peace.. serene… quietness..

Below are few pics of my recent trekking and camping trip to Bedni and Ali Bugyals in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Bugyal is the local word for Meadows. We started our trek from “Wan” – a troupe of 8 trekkers, 2 guides and a cook (and of course a few mules to carry the load). Our destination – the base camp at Gorli Patal. The trek is a steady climb of 4-5 hours, with a lovely stream mid-way. By the time the last of us (who else.. yours truly!!) reached, it was almost evening. We had no idea that we would be resting in the backdrop of one of most stunning peaks of the region – the Trishuli peak!! As the sun started going down, the peak glowed orange as everything else became dark— a mesmerizing sight!!

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Next day came the tough part – the trek from Gorli patal to Bedni — this is also one of the more difficult parts of the famous Roopkund trek. Its a steepish trek, and once you hit the meadows, strong winds hit you with a such force that it seems they are trying to throw you off the mountain. Again a strenuous trek of 4-5 hours. However, one forgets all the pains, exertion, thirst when you are treated with magnificent views along the way. Once you reach Bedni, the views are even grander. You just wish to stay there forever. Few pics below:

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After lunch in Bedni, it was time to head back to Gorli. With a heavy heart, we started the trek back through a short-cut, though a very steep one. We were back in about 90 minutes. After the nights rest, we started the trek back to Wan, and from there the journey back to the so called civilized world!

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Bhandardara and Kaas

Although I was initially uninterested to go in this trip, I am thankful to a friend for coaxing me to join!! After a long long time I got a chance to travel to the marvelous Western Ghats – amazing greenery, breath-taking scenery and some beautiful flowers!!! Imagine- I have been traveling to Satara to only see the ugly windmills swishing away electricity for almost 4 years now – and I never went to Kaas or even heard about it!!

After being in zoology for so many years, I never thought I would be photographing flowers one day – and what a day (and what a trip!!!) it turned out to be- thanks to my co-travellers. Not to mention the amazing trek to Kalsubhai peak. Although a few of us did not make it till the end, we did enjoy every inch of it. The climb (or I should say the slip) downhill with a fast approaching darkness and intermittent rains, the lessons learnt after the climb (!!!!) and the amazing company during the trek!!! It was all wonderful.

It did give me a reboot from a lot of things– a reboot which was long overdue!

Although a lot to learn in photographing such tiny flowers… hope u somewhat like these pics!!IMG_7305 IMG_7341 IMG_7353 ANJ - Copy ANJ_0422 ANJ_0434 ANJ_0446 ANJ_0619 ANJ_0642 ANJ_0649 ANJ_0659 ANJ_0688 ANJ_0696 ANJ_0754 ANJ_0757

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Spoilt Brats — Tail of Two Siblings

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My first wildlife trip was in March 2012 to Gir National Park, home to the Asiatic Lions. Although our group has numerous good sightings, I remember this one in particular.

This was a pride of 18 – the alpha male, the alpha female, the other females, a few juveniles and two extremely naughty cubs.

These two cubs had the maximum privileges in the pride. They had the best resting spots, the got to bite, pull tails and pick on the ears of practically every other member in the pride.

However, as I was watching their antics and photographing them, I realised that it would be either one of these who would fight off the other sibling and overthrow the current alpha male, who also happens to be their father!!!

PS: this is my first post.. sooooo… do excuse!!!!!!!!

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