A truly blessed New Year’s morning


I woke up early on 1st January 2015 to see a male gaur disappearing down the road from our room. Feeling particularly adventurous, I grabbed up my camera to see if I could get a shot from a safe distance.

When I got round the bend, I looked down the road and found no trace of the gaur. I had just hastened my pace to see if it had made its way across the stream onto a perpendicular road when, less than a nine-yard sari away, I found myself staring squarely into the face of stately, but rather severe looking, Bos gaurus.
Silently tucked away in a cranny off the main road, looming like a spectre, sporting horns that looked like they could influence quite a painful bottom, it watched earnestly as I reached deep down into my larynx to squeak my friendliest ‘hello’, did the quickest about-turn of my life and ‘walked’ away as unperturbed as my feet would allow me to pretend to be.

Obviously Boss bore me no ill will for coming upon him so suddenly, because a few minutes later he had come back down the same road he had left earlier, and stood no more than thirty feet from our room, allowing me to get a huge collection of shots before walking calmly away into the forest.

I watched in fascination how surely his white-socked limbs manoeuvred his huge bulk over paths that should be entirely too narrow to negotiate; thankful for such a special morning. His huge form got smaller and smaller until the might of the jungle swallowed him completely and I only had photographs to prove I hadn’t dreamt the whole thing.

The largest species of wild cattle, gaur have been known to live up to 30 years in captivity. With well developed hearing and eyesight, it is their sense of smell which is their most remarkable power.

P.S. I have reason to believe this gaur liked my pheromones. 😉


Pretty puppy ‘Pluto’

Kerala 2014

Puppy Pluto
Only little Pluto seemed to know she was a baby girl before we saw her. The plan now is to rename her Plooty. 🙂 She has a springy, jaunty little skipping gait that can lift your spirits in a microsecond. Meeting her made an already awesome day just a little bit better.

Home free!


Kerala, December 2014

I had the privilege of spending some quality time with this rather dashing gentleman; unfortunately I was not aware at the time of our association that said time was being spent.

After readjusting my leech sock a couple of times because my left shoe felt a little more snug than previous days, we came back from our morning trek and found the leeches had found our boots particularly seductive that morning.  He toppled against my hand after the morning trek when I was knocking, off my shoes, the leeches to which we had just rendered a salty demise.

Certainly helpful to both toes and toads to wear trekking boots a size bigger than you need!

Rude as the initial shock may have been for both of us, I assume he was as happy to escape unhurt as I was to discover that my left foot had not grown a size bigger in my sleep.
(I actually don’t know that he is a he, it just tells well.. 😉 )

Also a useful reminder to avoid rookie mistakes like putting on your boots without checking for creepy crawlies.. all of which may not be as benign as my friendly neighbourhood froggie..

Musical Forests

If I had to pick my favourite colour, I think I might have to say ‘Green’. Just the thought of a dense tropical forest with greens in a million different shades makes everything alright. I can actually close my eyes and smell the grass, hear it sing, feel the dewdrops on my feet as I walk barefoot in its freshness.

Do you hear grass sing? Fair enough:). But doesn’t just looking at a lush green garden make the frames per second drop drastically in your mind? Any shade of green. Sitting on a bench in the neighbourhood park, staring at the trees swaying in the wind, somehow nothing seems quite as pressing in the moment. A brisk walk outdoors, getting outside and breathing in some fresh air, all seem to be pretty universal relaxants.

I wonder what it is about the outdoors that takes us back to our roots.. Makes the madness stop for just a little bit.. allows a languishing in the present like during a deep meditation.. a moment of equanimity.

I have an almost obsessive interest in, if only a high-school level knowledge of Physics. And

the concept of the vibrational nature of the universe absolutely holds me captive!.. That everything we see, don’t see, smell, don’t smell, touch and don’t touch, vibrates to a particular frequency is simply magical! Stones, paper planes, cans, mirrors, buildings.. But not just everyday objects, oh no.. Music, dance, water, smells, the body’s cells, thought, emotion, art, song, colour! Everything!

Colours vibrate at particular frequencies.. Fascinating to actually think about, right? What frequency does a green leaf vibrate to, or blue waters, or clear skies?

I love living in the age of the search engine. Answers at your fingertips. Think of colours as waves of energy. The waves our eyes can pick up form part of the ‘visible spectrum’.

So Google tells me the human eye can detect frequencies roughly between 400 and 780 Terrahertz (THz).

That’s equivalent to wavelengths between about 400 and 750 nanometers (nm) and includes all the colours of the rainbow from violet to red. (For a great explanation on the relationship between frequencies and wavelengths, go to https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu6hbS2TLSw.)

The frequencies at which something would appear to us as green, range from approximately 526 THz (yellow greens) to 606 THz (bluer greens).

To put it simply, when a wave vibrates at a frequency between 526 and 606 THz, our eyes interpret it as green. This also means that ‘shades’ of colour need our eyes to interpret the subtle difference in wavelengths.

Which is also why we see colours so differently. My mother and I can never agree on whether something is navy blue or black. I think she might have the edge on perceiving the subtlety of navy blue that my eyes can’t quite seem to pick up. Tell her I said that and there will be stout denial.

Sorry to go off on a little rant here, but an interesting thought just struck – incidentally, according to eastern philosophy, green is the colour of the Heart Chakra.. the Chakra that sits right in the centre of the 3 higher Chakras,connecting us to spirit, and the three lower Chakras that connect us to the tangible and give us a firm footing in the world we live in. Here’s a picture off http://stevenmcfall.com/modules/com_gcalendar/chakra-colours-370.html to help visualise.


So the Heart Chakra, the fulcrum, the Chakra of balance the ‘Anahata’ (the Sanskrit word for  ‘unhurt, unstruck, unbeaten’), is symbolised by green. Hmm. Lots of little jigsaw pieces falling into place. I now have a sort of Tetris of all-green pieces going on in my mind. And it occurs to me: can you begin to imagine just how many colours there must be out there that we CAN’T see? Probably as many sounds as we can’t hear. (Maybe grass does sing?)


Seven colours in a rainbow.

Seven colours in the main energy centres of a human body.

Perhaps even in the seven chords in a musical scale then?


VIBGYOR! Never have you fascinated me more. Before. For sure you make me want to soar.

Which brings us to .. what’s our auditory range?

The human ear picks up sound vibrations between 20 and 20000 Hz. (Keeping it simple, you can tell just by the unit there that sounds audible to us are a much lower frequency than the light visible to us, right? Hertz versus Terrahertz?)

This time Google took me to a really cool website. Check out http://www.flutopedia.com/sound_color.htm. Much as all my ‘discoveries’ from the spiralling thoughts in my head may be exciting to me, there’s obviously a lot of people out there who’ve been there, done that. Obviously much research has gone into studying the relationship between sound and colour frequencies.

Here is one time I wish I understood more about music. I’m sure it would reveal some pretty radical information. What I can tell you from what I understand from some of the stuff I scrolled through is that certain notes, when played at a certain pitch, vibrate at the same frequency as particular shades of green. Change the pitch and the note vibrates to another colour. Check out the website and look at the greens that show up, like for C3 at 900 Hz and D3 at 100 Hz.

So now. Indulge me. Imagine walking through a lush green forest. Taking in all the different shades. Every green you’ve imagined and some you never could. Your brainwaves slowly slip into alpha. Time slows down. Your heartbeat steadies.A warm, calm feeling soaks through you. Your breathing is deep and regular.

Now imagine you put on a pair of headphones playing music that resonates to the same frequencies as the shades of green you can see as you stroll.

Does everything suddenly seem more intense?  Your brain is now processing, at once, visual as well as auditory information that seems to be producing a similar output! Can you even imagine the effect of these harmonies on your cumulative senses??  Wow, double whammy! Brainwaves jumping from alpha to theta, theta to delta!! Talk about sensory overload! Talk about a crash course in meditation! You may get a little taste of how Nirvana might feel.  You might even levitate into the treetops like a happy green helium balloon. 🙂

Watch out for those poky branches and send us a postcard if you do, eh?

Collage musical forests