Earth Sublime

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Soaring like an eagle - INP's 3rd year.


Tucked away, next to the Banerghatta Wildlife Sanctuary, far far from the madding crowd, is a small slice of heaven called Camp GeeDee. The topography is excellent and of course the human hand has helped to add a lake or two, making it one of the most exciting place to be, especially for the nature/bird loving brigade and solitude seekers. Nature blending with aesthetics
(the stone cottage very tastefully decorated and the lovely photo exhibits of bird and animals),


Camp GeeDee is the brainchild of Krishna Narayan or K.N. And this is precisely the place where courtesy Vijay Cavale and our warm host K.N., INP decided to have its meet to commemorate (rather a big word, eh!) its third year in existense. So, they were all there (the INP members), getting together to swap stories or err coming home to roost!

K.N. told us about a hill nearby (within the camp precints) and we began the trek up the hill.






Camp GeeDee, I later learnt, was spread over an area of 65 acres. The climb to the top was fun (nothing very ardous). Of course, I do not speak for those who were lugging their heavy photo equipment. The view from the top offered a breathtaking glimpse of perhaps even greater delights all over the place. The sky looked a magnificent blue and it seemed as if one could just stretch a bit and touch it. Just an exercise in imagination, mind you, but the raptors, might well could have accomplished the feat. This time the raptors in question were the honey buzzards soaring amidst the vast blue expanse. Some managed to get a shot or two. K.N. has even witnessed the spectacle of the honey buzzard with a honey comb in its mouth!

We made our way down the hill and we could see many colourful butterflies fluttering around. Charu and I joked about the fancy names these butterflies possess. Blue tiger is not because of some cloning experiment gone horribly wrong (with the tiger) but the name of a butterfly!

As we meandered along, we came across a lake (man-made) where just next to it was a

shelter of sorts with a few people sitting around exchanging tales of birds and mammals. What calm, what peace, broken only by the twittering of a bird somewhere.

There were trails everywhere. Mysteries to be discovered, both soothing and delightful.

Our search for water proved to be rewarding. For cool lemon sherbet or nimbu-pani awaited us. We sipped the lemonade gratefully, whilst watching the antics of a bee-eater. Soon after, one by one, everybody started congregating at the nimbu-pani place (water hole) and talk went on about whether anybody had luck with sighting and shooting birds.

Soon, lunch was announced and over we went to Corbett Hall where a huge repast was laid out for us. That the food was excellent was a unanimous feeling and suddenly all was well with the world again. Nothing, they say, is attained on an empty stomach. So, after lunch, a discussion ensued about the merits and demerits of posting/receiving pictures on
INW and INP. Of course, no decision was arrived at. A meeting they say is where
everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on. Hey!
just jesting. I am sure a prudent decision will be taken soon in the
interest of everybody.

After that, some preferred to leave and a few remained. Talk again shifted as to how INP has gained in popularity and members. Vijay Cavale said it was indeed a movement and today INP could compare with the best in terms of picture quality and content. Hip Hip Hurray! To quote Victor Hugo, `No idea is as great as an idea whose time has come'.

The few of us who remained were later served tea and we had a tete-a-tete with K.N. who informed us that Camp GeeDee was started in 1995. Camp GeeDee is unlike your holiday resort where hordes of people arrive and make a nuisance of themselves. K.N. welcomes into its fold only those who have respect for nature and wish to discover her manifold secrets. Apparently, there are some 200 species of birds to be found on the farm and it is a common sight for K.N. to see some 50-60 elephants together in the valley. That explains the electric fencing all around the Camp. The uneven road to the farm is an excellent deterrent for those who come out of idle curiosity or no particular purpose. He has also employed watchers who look out for trouble making locals. Co-exisiting with the locals is not a happy experiment. Especially when you are in the exalted company of those who make short work of a domestic cat! Even the eggs of owls are targeted.
Later, as we said our byes to K.N., he hoped we would sight a herd of elephants. His words were prophetic for on our way back we saw a male elepant and a calf. Actually, Ganesh who was ahead of us, pointed it out to us. From a rather safe distance, we could see the male nudging the calf back into the thicket. What a perfect ending to an almost perfect day at Camp GeeDee.

Thank you K.N. Thank you Vijay Cavale. There is no looking back for INP. A very happy birthday (3rd) indeed.


Sunita Raghu.

7 Comments:

  • At 9:31 AM, June 06, 2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thanks Sunitha. I got to read this beautiful article today. You have a great taste and flair in writing.

    Regards
    KN

     
  • At 6:40 PM, February 12, 2007 , Anonymous Archana said...

    Sadly, KN died in an accident at Camp GeeDee several days ago - I thought you might want to know. This is his cousin from America. A great post in tribute to him is at: http://marichike.blogspot.com/2007/02/sad-demise-of-birder.html

     
  • At 8:59 AM, June 13, 2009 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    On 1/25/06 10:20 AM, "Vijay Cavale" vijay@indiabirds.com wrote:

    ah.. i knew spotting and tapping the right resource is important ;-) .. a delightful essay indeed.. thanks sunita!

     
  • At 9:03 AM, June 13, 2009 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Wednesday, 25 January, 2006 10:34:11 PM

    Thanks Sunitha for the wonderful essay and the great feeling of having seen elephants. Please let me know the time and place so that I can make an entry in my sighting register which, I have a bad practice.

    Lovely article and thanks a million.

    Regards
    KN

     
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