The love after the storm: Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

I discover beauty, in physical forms, while birding. I try to cup its essence like palm leaves do a heavy shower. Most of it spills out of my hands. I hold hostage the thimbleful that remains through poetry, prose and photographs. I seek out boxes to put them into and admire them. Perhaps, even introspect about my own semi-charmed life that led me to these moments.

Yesterday, a few Coppersmith Barbets and a hyperactive Asian Paradise Flycatcher reminded me that beauty in birding is neither an art form nor a science. It is a backpack I can sling over my shoulder as I mosey towards the horizon. They made me realize that, in the absence of harmony and clarity,  it is just extra baggage.

Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Vedanthangal

The only meaningful proof of all the beauty I claim to have experienced is that this life of mine has improved since I took up birding. While I still harbor doubts about my ability to sustain contentment without ruining it through self-loathing and nihilism, things have been good. I feel fine most of the time.  Sure, my life had its share of bad times in recent years. But I have found myself always a birdie away from feeling confident and happy again.

My first trail during the winter of 2015 yielded beauty in gargantuan proportions. I went inside Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary after five long months. The sanctuary closed its gates early this summer due to severe water shortage. The weather has been playing havoc with my birding plans ever since.

On this day, I was greeted by a wildfire of Coppersmith Barbets, Oriental Magpie Robins, Spotted Owlets and Golden Orioles. I had to walk away from them just to compose myself.

And when I did, I was approached by an Asian Paradise Flycatcher who set my heart aflutter, and my mind – racing. I felt harmony in her and shared with her – oxygenated clarity.

I will write more about her, and the other gorgeous birds I spotted, later this week. For now, say hello to my prodigal lovers from the ongoing winter of 2015.

Impregnate the sun, 
and give her a burden to bear;
decorate her womb
and chase the rainbows
out of her hair.
Vedanthangal Lake

(Photographs: Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary)

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19 comments

  1. have you considered having a page on fb that has only pictures of these lovely birds?
    it is time we promote nature’s bounty in western and eastern ghats!
    people go awe when they go to Singapore. little do we realize the haven here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope to deactivate my personal page and replace it with one for the blog. Will certainly (and loudly) post about it soon. For now I upload them as photo albums for “friends” but it’s open the viewing to the general masses.

      Thank you for your encouragement, Sonali (smile)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re insane C! Love the poetry and the photos are so beautiful!! I think this is my favourite post so far. It is so beautiful that it hurts to read it. I read it a few times. ❤
    Impregnate the sun,
    and give her a burden to bear;
    decorate her womb
    and chase the rainbows
    out of her hair.
    Sigh!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Bravo. You spoke the words of my own heart here. Just as I think you can’t possibly top THAT post, you most certainly go and do it again. I feel so fortunate to get to share your sentiments here, half a world away.

    Your wet, soggy Chennai is on our news this morning. Thinking of you and hoping for relief from the storms, Christy.

    Liked by 1 person

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