Get lost in the green and blue

UIUC has a huge, widely apread out campus. Within it, you’ll find a wide range of places.

One such place is the Arboretum. It is a large area of land (where you can probably get lost easily) with different views as you keep walking. And it’s the perfect place for nature photography…

…ohmygosh the butterflies! I was highly gratified when one butterfly (pictured below) was kind enough to keep still for the time needed to focus and take a photo. Butterflies usually aren’t that calm (no need to pass judgement on my blog title, okay? Okay.)

wp-image-909861781jpg.jpg

There were these tiny peppers in so many colours. A new entry on my Bucket List is to eat purple peppers somewhere soon.

wp-image-1666186002jpg.jpg

The sky was all kinds of beautiful too that day…

img_1840

A few sections of the arboretum (technically, most parts of the arboretum) are like something out of an old English novel countryside…wildflowers, long, swaying stalks, a small pond, a wooden bridge…

img_1853

And this is probably one of the most interesting photographs I’ve ever taken. Again, I would like to thank the grasshopper and the tiny moth (look for it!) for taking the time to pose for this…

img_1865

While roaming around there, I realized that the walks where your shoes get lost in the grass, are well worth going out for. It’s well worth the 5 mile walk, and the aching feet.

And I later realized that I hadn’t looked at my phone for the whole time I was there.

img_1848

Advertisements

Serendipity in a Valley : Marchula, Jim Corbett National Park

Last year was a great year for trips and I had a chance to visit a number of beautiful places, a few for work and a few simply for holidaying (no prizes for guessing which of the ones I’m going to talk about right now).

On the long Diwali weekend, I planned a short getaway to a resort in Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. Notice the phrase ‘I planned’ here; it’s the result of my parents not reaching a decision about our destination, and what made me take over the reigns was when their discussions began taking ginormous proportions of “Why-don’t-you-take-a-few-more-days-off-and-we’ll-just-go-to-Honolulu (for example)”.

So anyway, I jumped in, heart and soul, and after much exploration (World Wide Web FTW!), I decided on Jim Corbett National Park. I found us a gorgeous resort. Victory!

It was a nice long drive, and as we began early morning, the roads were nice and empty.So empty in fact, that one stretch of road in between green fields was so foggy that we couldn’t see more than 5 feet in front of us.

We didn’t book any safari beforehand (note : if you really¬†do want to go for a safari, this is not a good option) and decided to leave it to chance.

So the place…I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

IMG_3825

Towering trees in the valley, surrounded by mountains all around. With a river running in front

IMG_3833

Because a clear, clean mountain river is the perfect place to while away some peaceful time

IMG_3849

Majestically tall trees, dwarfing us.

20141025_152825

Walk a little farther down, and more delicious sights await. This one from a bridge

IMG_3868

Gorgeous evenings

Though we didn’t go for the main safari, there is one forest we visited, called Sitavani. It isn’t frequented by too many furry inhabitants, so you can go inside with your own vehicles, once you get a permit. Inside, it’s quiet, calm, the air so pure that it’s enough to make you give up your worries and smile.

The forest is also home to numerous enormous termite mounds!

IMG_3889

Just one of the many termite mounds in Sitavani

If you make it through the small, winding forest path and reach the end, you’ll see the Sita temple (protected by the Archaeological Survey of India).

IMG_3897

Artsy photograph of the temple to Goddess Sita, after whom the forest is named

After coming back home from this trip, I suffered withdrawal symptoms for quite a while. Who wouldn’t? Mountains, sandy beaches, trekking and leisurely walks…I need a longer time back there. Where every corner takes you somewhere new, and nature surprises you in all ways possible.

Oh well. Till the next trip then!

My very first GIF! Yay!

I know a lot of people are annoyed by GIFs. I was too. But after I decided to try out my High Speed Burst mode on my digicam, I just had to use the resultant set of pictures to make a GIF. I mean, how can you turn away from this cute birdie taking a nice little dip in a make-shift bird-bath? This one isn’t annoying, is it?

(Click on pic to open GIF)

In a city as searingly hot as Delhi, I’m glad this adorable little fella could cool itself down.