A truly blessed New Year’s morning

Gaur

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. πŸ˜‰

 

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. πŸ™‚ 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!

TOADS

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. Β 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.. πŸ˜‰ )

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..