Sunday, May 17, 2015

Muir Woods National Monument

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
― John Muir

Well, I did walk into this amazing wonderland, perhaps one of the best preserved places I have witnessed yet. This summer I got an opportunity to visit the west coast of the US and while planning my short schedule I squeezed in a day to make sure I visit this beautiful place. Muir Woods National Monument was established in 1908 and is a unit of the National Park Service on the Pacific coast of southwestern Marin County, California, 12 miles north of San Francisco.

Muir Woods is an old growth costal redwood forest closer to the pacific ocean and to witness the same in person was absolutely inspiring. I also was amazed at the efforts gone into preservation of this wilderness heaven. I spent close to a full day at the park admiring the tall trees of the Sequoia (Sequoia sempervirens) forests. It was a beautiful day and the feel of coastal breeze was absolutely great. There were many visitors - absolutely enjoying their walk, admiring the tall trees, and having a peaceful time with their families and friends. 

It was the first time for me to see the redwood trees and it takes quite an effort to reach the canopy unless your neck is very flexible. These coastal redwoods are known for their height and the tallest tree at the monument is about 280 feet. Most of the trees at the monument are between 500 to 800 years old; and the oldest is apparently 1200+ years old. For a moment it all sounded and looked like a dream, but I thought (being a tiny human being of the 21st century) I was absolutely lucky to be there at that moment in time to witness them. 

Canopy reaching the sky
It was so thrilling to see those ferns, birds, insects, wild flowers, undergrowth of the forest etc., from the other side of the world. It sure felt home for me with full of surprises. Here are some photographs taken during my visit. Please note that these photographs does not do any justice to what I witnessed with my eyes out there. (click on the photographs to enlarge them)

Stream, ferns and the habitat

Ferns and wild flowers


Sequoia sempervirens 
The trail through the woods

Trillium species (wild lily)


“There is not a fragment in all nature, for every relative fragment of one thing is a full harmonious unit in itself.” ― John Muir

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

be free

you see things
the way they are
you observe them
the way they work
you notice something
that is odd, different
you move on
and ignore the odd
or you panic
and shoutout
you never question
what why and how
you don't know
and you want it fixed 
but you don't want to know
and be free?


Monday, February 23, 2015

Dodda Mavalli Katte | Neralu 2015

This year's Neralu had some of the coolest activities spanned across many places in Bengaluru for 3 full days. I think it was a brilliant effort to reach out to places where it matters the most. Like Dodda Mavalli Katte, M N Krishna Rao Park, NGMA and Bal Bhavan.

Dodda Mavalli Katte was a great discovery for me. The place is full of life ~ Trees and People. As the golden rays of early morning sun strikes the big bright beautiful branches of the ficus trees, the whole place gets illuminated; and in no time the place gets crowded with many vendors and people visiting to pray the tree goddess (Peepul Tree) and the snake stones. It is their belief system that protects these huge ficus trees at this place and the same belief that people think they are being protected as well! So, to celebrate trees, have tree based conversations, and to spread the joy of celebrating trees as part of Neralu 2015, this place was just perfect!

Here are some photographs I took at Dodda Mavalli Katte:  (click on the photograph to enlarge them)

Dodda Mavalli Katte and the Maramma Temple

Trees smeared with golden rays of early morning sun

Livelihood under the trees

Many fruit and flower vendors fill this place with colors

Dodda Mavalli Katte - Snake Stones

Many people visit this place to pray for the trees and the snake stones

Peepul Tree (Arali Mara)

Belief that protects trees and vice versa

Ficus and the snake stones

Neralu under the Neralu of huge trees

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bangalore: A visual anthology photo walk | Neralu 2015

The greatest advantage of volunteering is that you get to meet amazing people. I was absolutely thrilled to volunteer and coordinate the photo walk event during Neralu - Bengaluru Tree Festival this year ~ Bangalore: A visual anthology Photo walk led by Vivek Muthuramalingam, one of my favorite photographers!

It was a beautiful winter nippy Sunday morning to walk down the streets of South Bangalore - listening to wonderful stories of fellow photo walkers and witness some really interesting filter coffee conversations! We started at 7.30 am from the Vasavi Convention Hall, VV Puram; walked on the Vasavi Temple street and witnessed many old bungalows with typical old Bangalore architecture; walked around the beautiful Sajjanrao circle park; had coffee at Hotel Janata; walked up to the Ashwath Katte and finally ended our walk after having masala dosas and coffee at the New Modern Hotel. Some photographs uploaded below.

No parking

Old bungalow of a doctor on the Vasavi Temple Street

Sunday morning at the Vasavi Temple Street

Post box and a Push cart at Sajjanrao Circle

Peaceful morning with the newspaper at Sajjanrao Circle Park

Walking through the green doors

Filter Coffee Stall at Hotel Janata

Corner Store at the Corner of the street

One for the phone number

Blue door and the two antique locks

Ferrari and the bright brown door

Ashwath Katte and the beautiful Ficus Trees
Vivek in his usual story telling mood :)

Thursday, February 5, 2015