Sunday, 16 November 2008
Thursday, 13 November 2008
The next day as I was learning a bit of Adi language from my friend Gekut, I asked him why I saw some pigs in the Egin the toilet whereas others are free-ranging. Oh, by the way, the Adi rear their pigs in enclosure below their home.
Here at the village things were a bit different now than last time, I had no person to cook and firewood at my disposal, so a meal was a painful ordeal. So I bought an electric stove from Itanagar, so now I cook using that but that takes a long time. So I spoke to friendly neighbourhood and requested them to cook me breakfast and pack-lunch which I can carry to field so it will save me a lot of trouble. The deal went on well, I give them fifty bucks a day and they cook me two meals and then I come back from field in the evening and cook my long-evening meal. But yesterday was different; as I finished cooking my meal another neighbour called me over to his place and asked me to get there immediately. I told him politely that I still need to eat my evening meal and then do some chores too. Anyways I obliged since it is extremely rude to turn down offers to come home in villages here. When I reached, he offered me rice wine which too I pleasantly obliged and after a mug or two, it dawned on me that he had me over for dinner! So he also set out dinner for me; fish from the Siang river and rice. I ate very happily drank another mug of rice wine and reached back my inspection bungalow where I stay. Then, watched a Chaplin movie just for some humour and then thought I should not waste my cooked meal and grabbed some to eat. When I took my first bite I realised it wasn’t cooked well! Then I felt really glad that I did eat some at another place. It was just luck that I was invited over for a meal before even I knew that my meal was not done well!
The day before that we had a birthday party of a kid; the first year birthday. By the way, when I walked into the home I was advised to cache my slippers in a place I can recover since its common here that people with old torn slippers walk out with new better ones, never to be retrieved! The old women sang together many songs and one of them is a really really beautiful song called “Tayer gamcha”, the theme of the song is about a man being old enough to get married twice! Here it’s a common practice to get married more than once, if you can afford it. The ex-Chief Minister (CM) Gegong Apang from a nearby village called Karko has married five times and has been the CM for about 22 years of the Arunachal State!
Anyways, today is the day after and I had a good field time for the last four days and I had my dinner at neighborhood too; rice and beans with a little meat.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Friday, 5 September 2008
Our group project (Lillian, Por [pronounced Paw] and me) was on butterflies. The three days we got lost, found our way, fell, slipped, missed butterflies, and caught butterflies, all in all super fun! At the end of three day data collection we found that forest and roads harbour distinct butterfly communities and we did some statistical-analysis and got these clear patterns. The event I wil never forget is an encounter with a Malayan tree nymph.
We were supposed to catch one individual per species and kill it by pressing the thorax hard enough; quick death and mount each specimen onto an entomologists’ board. So the tree nymph that rarely descends two metres above ground was right in front of me, I instinctively swung the butterfly net I had, but he escaped mainly due to the excitement I was in, and then I caught him again but this time the wrong side of the net and all the while the two girls with me screaming ‘catch it catch it’. But even the second round failed and by then the nymph figured we were upto no good and I was happy that he escaped, would have been a pity to kill such a beautiful large slow-moving butterfly. We inventorised 45 species in our project which is high diversity to be encountered in three days.
We also were lucky to meet Dr. Christine Fletcher who has worked many years on bats so she and her team actually set out harp-traps and we saw three species of insectivorous bats up-close.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
Two reasons I chose the title; Pasoh is forever etched in my mind, for all the good times and all the good people I met there. The second that the forest floor indeed has afterglow! After the sun sets, the leaf litter glow reflecting moonlight; we noticed that even when there’s no moon they do reflect dim light probably starlight, or maybe the fungus on the leaf litter itself glows rather than reflecting light. Anyway, we planned many times to take a tripod with us and take a picture with say one hour exposure or more, but the times we lugged a tripod it rained, so I cannot put it up on the blog, sorry!
The first two weeks we had three night walks and the last week we practically were only night-walking sleeping in the day or day-dreaming. Why we did this is because me and Pradeep from Sri Lanka took up nocturnal amphibians as our independent project.
The first frog-sampling evening, a visitor walked by and we tried to stop him in vain, very strong fellow, we made him sit and pose and we also turned him around. Beeeaaauuttiifull
Then Dtoon saw a snake on the tree bark, same sequence of events except no one jumped on to it. Pradeep carefully handled it and it was a non-poisonous bridled snake we later identified.
Next up is PITC, Perak Integrated Timber Complex in Temenggor forest reserve in Perak State, just below Thailand…
Mornings began with White handed gibbon calls, which last the first two hours of the day and the occasional ‘Kha-Khoo-Khaan’ of the dusky leaf monkey. We also often heard the helicopter-like sound of wreathed hornbills flying by and sometimes we were lucky enough to see them. After being briefed about Pasoh, about the CTFS and the 50-ha plot, we headed straight to the most interesting part of Pasoh, the ~60 m tall tower. View from top? Picture are arranged such that the view from all the sides is captured. Here goes…
For the next few weeks we were to be taught entomology, ornithology and primatology basics which we thoroughly enjoyed. We also went to the town once in a while (once, actually in the four weeks!), spoilt brats that we were. We walked many km and then we had some ginger beer, which is not really beer, much much tastier than beer. So some pictures of the town?
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
I have been doing some travelling but to cities. a quick itenary: itanagar-guwahati-delhi-bangalore-mysore-bangalore-chennai-pondicherry-chennai-bangalore-delhi-guwahati-itanagar, all in 20 days!
The two trips to Delhi were for political clearance from Ministry of Env. & Forests and Ministry of External Affairs to attend a field-course in Malaysia. i wont go into the details because its not worth it. All in all, theres been no travelling to exciting places in the north-east, but hopefully in a day or two i am headed to pasoh forest reserve in malaysia for six-weeks on a field course conducted by Centre for Tropical Forest Sciences. They have been very considerate in accepting my application for this.
So in Bangalore i bought a low-light 50-mm lens for my film camera, so look out for the 50-mm sections from now on, which may start with pictures from malayland.
See you on blog soon...!
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Well, for starters i slept well and the day started with feeding the home-mithun that dungé and in laws own. The last time she came home for salt, dungé doesn’t even remember, so it must be a long back. This lady is beautiful and didn’t take her seconds to get acquainted with me then she ate salt from my hands, take a look...
When we reached the place, the mithuns came closer, one by one; they all thought we had salt. Finally we were surrounded by five of them! Before that we had seen a non-venomous snake; a kukri.
The day started at 425 and we left to go to fallows and forest adjoining the villages at about 5. Clouds figured we were having a field day and pitched in. So by 6 it was pouring and we decided to give a break for some time considering the fact that i was carrying expensive equipment. We reach a temporary house called poyup built in the jhum field of gaambuda and he welcomed us. Here, while i stayed a couple of hours i realised how hard people work for the rice they eat all year. In comparison with people like us walking to the nearest grocery store, haggling over the price and bringing home a bag, these guys literally slog their arse out. I took a video of the people planting rice seeds after the biggest chunk of work for the year; clearing the forest that is. Whats impressive is that theres a tune to planting “ho ohh ho ohh ho ohh” which supposedly help in not tiring them.
Then, we walked to some more fallows and got to a 50-m waterfall which was even more beautiful than the stream i visited the earlier day and i took a dip again, its beautiful and full of life, take a look…
Then i got back to the village, before i forget i gotto tell you i met a Telugu guy in Bomdo village, only about 5000 km out of place. When i saw him i was really excited and i shouted to him, "telugaa meeroo" which means are u Telugu and he nodded and coolly said that he would meet me later in the day. He looked at me as if i was a leaf that fell on him while he worked and few seconds later got again busy in his work which was to build a canal in Bomdo.
The next day i packed out of bomdo to reach back Ramsing village and then in the evening after couple of rice wine glasses, decided to type this!