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Pune/ India, Irvine/ CA, now Boulder/ CO
Welcome to my blog! I'm Hrishi from Pune, India. I am an earth system scientist currently working as a postdoctoral research associate at Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at CU-Boulder. These blogs are mostly about my travels, landscape photography, scientific computing, book and film reviews, fitness, cooking, and science communication. Feel free to navigate based on the labels below. My website: hrishikeshac.wix.com/hchandan

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Remembering Lennon..

John Lennon got shot on 8th Dec 1980. Not only was he the most loved and the most (arguably) talented of The Beatles, he had that different level of humility which very few posses. I am aware that loving Lennon has long since become a cliché, but I can’t help it. His ‘Imagine’, along with ‘Where mind is without fear..’ by Tagore and ‘If’ by Kipling are the most inspiring poems I’ve ever read. (I consider Lennon a far greater poet than a musician). The magic of ‘Imagine’ is contagious. The more you imagine, the more you believe. To the man who dared to Imagine..And yes, he is the only one...


IMAGINE 
Imagine there's no Heaven 
It's easy if you try 
No hell below us 
Above us only sky 
Imagine all the people 
Living for today 

Imagine there's no countries 
It isn't hard to do 
Nothing to kill or die for 
And no religion too 
Imagine all the people 
Living life in peace 

You may say that I'm a dreamer 
But I'm not the only one 
I hope someday you'll join us 
And the world will be as one 

Imagine no possessions 
I wonder if you can 
No need for greed or hunger 
A brotherhood of man 
Imagine all the people 
Sharing all the world 

You may say that I'm a dreamer 
But I'm not the only one 
I hope someday you'll join us 
And the world will live as one 
                - John Lennon

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bird Table India: Pune Bird Table 1: CME Wetlands


Black winged stilt

Grey Heron

I had the opportunity to attend Pune Bird Table 1, a group without membership, having only one rule, i.e, No Rules. No snobbish birdwatchers, only humble naturalists. No 'count', no 'race'. Only one aim, i.e to appreciate birds..Dr. Bharat Bhushan came up with this fantastic concept and was supported by others in Pune and within 2 weeks, first bird table meet was arranged at CME, hosted by Col. Ashwin Baindur. The response they got was staggering. 32 birders were present at the CME Entrance gate by 7 am on 29th Nov '09. 


A Spotbill in flight


Group comprised of a few veterans like Dr. Bharat Bhushan and Col. Baindur along with keen birders like Alka Yeraodekar, Pankaj Khorpade, a few members of Pugmarks, a few beginners, all very enthusiastic people. 


A River Tern in flight

There is an intersting story behind these wetlands. They were constructed to treat wastewater in an ecological way. The wastewater from nearby enters wetland 1 through reeds (phragmitis?) and is allowed to spread throughout the lake. T Later on, it is let into a 2nd lake further downstream where it is allowed to further settle down. In both of these lakes, the organic matter in the wastewater gets decomposed both aerobically as well as anearobically by bacterial action and a relatively pure water is let into a 3rd lake. 






We could visit 1st and the 2nd lake. First lake was inhabited by huge number of ducks comprising of Shovellers, Pintails, Spotbills, Dabchicks while the 2nd lake had populations of grey herons, painted storks, purple herons as well as a few ducks. This made me believe that the 1st lake is deeper than the 2nd one. Due to lack of time, I couldn't take many photos, and used the camera more as a binocs. I managed to get a few decent photos though.

A Coot in the 2nd lake


A Purple Moorhen


We assembled at a point after later and discussed future possibilities regarding the Bird Table. It was exciting to see a person from village Velhe ready to host a similar Bird Table at his village. This could be a start of a movement which would inculcate birdwatching within the culture of a region. I shall expand more on this later.


A Black Redstart, which was was perched on a tree, was extremely media savvy and obviously became center of attraction to all of the birders. 

As I write this, I learn that the next Bird table is on 6th Dec at Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar. I am sure more birders will join in.