Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Water’

Lakaki LakeEvery time I passed from Jagtap Dairy in Model Colony, this beautiful lake caught my attention. Finally one evening, I decided to go there and find it out. I bought the ticket and entered in the park. I was pleased to see beautifully developed park around the lake with walking track. Another attraction was obviously birds. To name a few are Spotbills, Egrets, Waterhen, Coots, Crow Pheasant, pigeons, Indian Mynah, Cuckoo, Kites, and Robin.

“Model colony lake” or also known as “La-Kā-Ki” (named after Industrialist ‘Laxmanrao Kashirao Kirloskar’ whose residence is just near by) is supposed to be more than 100 years old and unique nature reserve. Since 1995 there were some controversies going on its development but finally it was open to public.

WaterhenI found a water hen with its three chicks. The parents were busy in building new nest for this season. Dad walked on the lotus leaves and came up to bank to get the sticks. It carried new stick and passed it on to the mom who was actually putting it in the place. Even in this bird species, interior was of home-minister’s choice. I waited and watched their activities endlessly and they were so busy and did not bother about the rest of the world. Dedication was key factor.

I clicked some snaps of birds. The park care-taker came up to me and we had talk about park, birds, etc. I told him Marathi names of birds and he seemed to be satisfied.

Lakaki lake is supposed to be ‘silent-zone Park’ and ideal place for reading, writing (i.e. for poets and writers), bird watching, meditation, being with nature and peace. May God save this place from vulgarity of couples like Sambhaji park and Saras Baug.

Gentle Request: To all people reading this post, please avoid making loud noise or talking loudly if you happen to visit this place. You can sit and speak softly along with enjoying amazing nature here.

The park timings are 6:00 to 8:00 AM and 4:00 to 6:00 PM (In summer, till 7:00PM)

Ticket for park is Rs.5/-

Note: For more snaps click – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/tags/modelcolonylake/

Google Map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=111578650756510337605.00046bd0fe4ad9c3ad2be&ll=18.531192,73.841794&spn=0.007182,0.009656&z=17

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Read Full Post »

Nashville, Tennessee:

The Music City of US

I went to Nashville last weekend. One of my colleagues (Sandeep) got a BMW and he wished to go to Nashville to do its ‘Pooja’ at Sri Ganesh temple there. He asked whether I would like to join them. I was not sure in the beginning but then I remembered one of my friends (Sachin) stays in Nashville. He was actually my teacher when I was studying. He taught me in my college immediately after doing his masters. He was always proud of me and happy with my progress. Years later the relation turned into more of friendship than teacher-student so he is now “teacher-turned-friend”. We didn’t meet for 4-5 years in Pune. Finally got to meet him here. I confirmed with him and he seemed to be pleased by the news that I was visiting him. I told my colleague that I would be able to make it for Nashville.

Park at Rest AreaWe started on Friday night and it was long journey. We had to cross states of Texas and Arkansas to go to Tennessee State. Total drive one way is around 620 miles, i.e. approx. 10 hrs from Dallas to Nashville. We couldn’t see much outside the car as it was dark in the night. In the morning, we took break at a rest area along the freeway. A rest area is a public facility on the highway or freeway for drivers and passengers to rest, eat, or refuel with minimal facilities like rest rooms, parking space, drinking fountains, telephone, picnic areas (grass lawns with benches), and sometimes more facilities like gas stations, vending machines and restaurants. We got freshen up and had muffins as our breakfast. It was a pleasant morning. American Robin caught my attention and I couldn’t stop myself from clicking snaps of this beautiful singer bird. We started again and reached my friend’s place at 10:30 am.

We took some rest and enjoyed home-made lunch. We decided to go to Nashville Downtown in the afternoon. Since the time I came to US, I had no chance to travel in public transport. I got this opportunity here. We took up bus to downtown. As we walked on the Lower Broadway, and saw many music clubs, bars, musical instrument’s shops, gift shops, live music lounges, etc. We did some window shopping. There was live music going on and people were enjoying it. We could see people playing different musical instruments like Guitar, mandolin, etc  on the roadside. This is why Nashville is called a “Music City” 🙂

Then we stretched our heads up to see some of the remarkable sky scrappers in downtown. Some of them were AT&T building (also known as the Batman Building), Life & Casualty Tower, BOA Plaza, Hotel Hilton, Hotel Renaissance, and The Pinnacle (under construction).

Then we went to riverside of the Cumberland River. We strolled at Riverfront Park and went to ‘Davidson County Public hall and Court house’. There were many beautiful fountains around this building. We crossed Commerce Street and passed by the Tennessee State Capitol building in Nashville. It is the home of the Tennessee legislature, and the location for the governor’s office. This architectural master piece is classic model of Greek lonic temple. There is War Memorial plaza near to it. We had good time in the downtown.

Ganesh Temple NashvilleFrom downtown we went to Sri Ganesh Temple at Nashville. This is again a very beautiful place (of course much contradictory from what we saw in downtown). We entered and it was really divine atmosphere inside the temple. As in every temple in US, there were all Hindu deities. There was ‘Satyanarayan pooja’ going on by a priest for some family. I bowed to all gods. My colleague performed pooja of his car. We could hear some classical musical concert which was taking place in hall on first floor. I roamed around the temple and found a cute bird couple called “Cassin’s Finch”. I clicked some snaps of temples from outside as camera was not allowed inside.

We returned home and had tea. Savani’s (Sachin sir’s daughter) music teacher had come for dinner with us. Her name is Heather Bond. She is a famous singer and piano player in Nashville. She worked with Vanderbilt University for living and wishes to devote her life to music. It was nice meeting her. After dinner, we spent some time talking about good old college days. Sachin sir asked me where-abouts of my batch mates. He also told about his life, his marriage, his journey till US, etc. By that time, it was already late and we went to sleep.

Next morning we bade a good bye to my friend and his family and thanked them for their time and loving hospitality. We left Nashville at 9 am. We drove slowly as we wanted to enjoy the scenic views outside. On the way, we saw dense forests, trees, green grasses, jersey cows, horses, stables, beautiful farm houses, lakes, and all that which I never imagined to see here. We could relish real countryside of the US. Spring season is gradually painting the trees with different colors – green, yellow, white, pink, purple, red.

Lake Catherine State Park, Arkansas:

We crossed The Mississippi River while entering the Arkansas state. There are many rivers like Buffalo National River crossing this state and it is a land of mountains and valleys, thick forests and fertile plains. This is why Arkansas is called ‘The Natural State’.

We had planned to wait at one of the state parks in our journey. State parks are different from our normal parks. These are protected parks for an area of land preserved on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, recreation, or other reason, and under the administration of the government of a U.S. state. People come here to do all kinds of adventurous activities like hiking, camping, sailing, water sports, nature trail, birding, photography. I found few American Black vultures and Turkey vultures on the way.

Waterfall at Lake Catherine State ParkWe halted at ‘Lake Catherine State Park’ in Arkansas. We went to the park admin office and got map of the park. We located spots of our interests and headed. We enjoyed walking in the woods as part of the nature trail. There was a huge water body along side of the forest. We aimed to go to a waterfall. There was a small hanging bridge on the way. Also a wooden bench for resting. It was THE spot. We could see picturesque panorama from here. After 2 miles of walk, we finally reached a splendid waterfall. We went inside the water and it was freezing cold. I drank the water and it tasted heavenly. Remember free flowing water is always purest. 🙂

We came back from the park and resumed our journey back to Dallas. We returned back late night. It was an amazing weekend. Thanks Sandeep for taking me to Nashville, State park and moreover for considering a nature lover in me. I don’t think anyone would have showed me ‘this’ marvelous side of the US. I have the memories to cherish for whole of my life. And yes, your BMW rocks!!! 😀

P.S. : For more snaps please visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157615867820870/detail/

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Read Full Post »

For last few consecutive years, I wish I could go to Bhigwan and see Flamingos. Even last year, I missed a chance to accompany my friend. Finally last Saturday got that golden opportunity.

Pink beauties!We planned to start very early morning and fascination of seeing flamingos made me wake up at 3:40 AM. I packed my sack and we started at 4:30.

P.S – I didn’t (read couldn’t) stay awaken late night or get up early in the morning for my studies but picnics, outings, Photo shoots, and camps are exceptions. I can’t sleep at night thinking about the place and become restless waiting to get up. 🙂

We enjoyed a ‘LONG’ drive to reach Bhigwan. It was 6:45 and we badly needed a tea break. We went to Hotel Sagar. It was neat clean and breakfast was good. We enjoyed Upma and Idlis with hot sips of tea.

To reach Bhigwan:

  1. Take Pune-Solapur highway.
  2. Drive approx. 100 Kms to reach Bhigwan village.
  3. Take left turn to go to ‘Diksal’ village.
  4. Drive more 8-9 Kms to reach Water bodies.
  5. After reaching Diksal, take right to go to an old bridge.
  6. Total distance is approx. 110 Kms.

Fishermen at BhigwanWe saw a flock of Asian Openbills and we took our first halt here. Another new bird called “Rosy Pastor” (also called “Rosy Starling”) caught our attention. Then there was a pair of Pied Kingfishers, Sea gulls, Teals, Bulbuls. We clicked few snaps and proceeded further. We came at extremely narrow but beautiful road. This road covered by water on both the sides, was earlier a railway bridge and now converted into road. Heavy vehicles are not allowed on it. We have to take care that we don’t wait while crossing this stretch. We found Marsh Harrier sitting on the tree here. We crossed the bridge and parked our car. It was pleasant morning and sun rays made water to sparkle. Fishermen were all geared up with their boats for fishing. We enjoyed watching and clicking River terns, Pond herons and sea gulls in action.

Take off...We waited there for while for boat to come. My friend, who had been to Bhigwan many times has befriended a boatman called “Gangaram”. Gangaram knows exact location of flamingos but he was busy fishing in mid water. We took up another boat and reached him. His own ship was full of fresh fishes that he caught. He jumped in our boat and we started heading in search of flamingos. After 30-35 mins of rowing, we could trace few flocks of flamingoes. It was amazing, just 5 of us, water all around and then there were marvelous flamingos. I was seeing them for first time in natural habitat. I took out my binoculars and kept watching them till we were considerably near to click them. We took our cameras and captured as many shots as we can. My friends with Canon 100-400mm lens were literally ‘shooting’ and their camera sounded like machine gun – “khat-khat-khat-khat!!!”. We found 3 flocks and approached each one in descending order. We turned to second after third flew away. For first time I caught birds in take-off and flight and that too flamingos. My happiness knew no bounds. Research says that flamingos get their pink color due to aqueous bacteria and beta carotene obtained from their food supply.

We also found Cormorants, Brahminy ducks, terns, teals, Great (White) Egrets in water. We came back with immense satisfaction.

My friends continued shooting few more River terns and I was keen to walk on that narrow road covered by water on both the sides. I found Tree Pipit, Common Sandpiper, Drongos, Small Green Bee Eaters, While-throated Kingfisher, Prinia. The herd of sheep blocked the road for some time. Skilled shepherds guided crossing vehicles instead of controlling their herd. It was fun watching a typical rural life.

We came back at Bhigwan and had some snacks before returning back to Pune.

Pink beautiful Flamingos are still lingering on my mind… It was like a dream come true! 😀

Note: For more snaps visit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhiclicks/sets/72157609126814258/detail/

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: