Shri Jasnath Asan, Rajasthan, India
Photo © Shri Jasnath Asan, 2016
25 Feb 6:30 am
Take 19 Rajasthani boys and girls, 2 drivers, 3 ashram guests (drafted to become photographers and assistants) and don’t forget Rocky, Jogesh, and Kunal then-stuff all of them in two small vehicles, add to it 3 pairs of binoculars, 6 cameras, and a bird book and you have the makings for an amazing outing to birdwatch, photograph, and explore the natural world at Karmlai Pond.
The day started before the sun was up. We met at the main fortress gate of Shri Jasnath Asan at 6:30am. Loaded up and headed out, reaching the pond just as the giant orange Rajasthani sun was rising above the horizon. It is especially in this morning tide of dawn, in the beauty and still of a sunrise, that I am always reminded of what a privilege it is to be alive.
The morning was spent discovering and appreciating the wildlife and plants that flourishes in this arid land. We saw nilgai (Blue Bull or Indian Antelope) and chinkara (Indian gazelle) red-wattled lapwings, little grebes, Indian robins, and purple sunbirds, as well as laughing, red collared, and Eurasian collared doves plus so much more. The students saw three spot-billed ducks whose bill tip looks like it was dipped in brilliant orange yellow paint and of course they loved the magnificent white throated kingfisher, with its brilliant turquoise flash of wings, as it hunted above the pond.
Hopefully, this outing has changed a few hearts and minds, strengthened our ties to the natural world, and reminded us of how generous this planet is in its sharing of nature's beauty and magic. The magic is always here, just waiting for us. We just have to take time to mindfully and respectfully enter its realm.
After our discoveries we returned to the Ashram to a fabulous breakfast. The breakfast and the morning could not have been better.
Panchla Siddha, India
Sharon K. Schafer
I paint, photograph, and speak about wild places in an act of reciprocity that is as vital to me as heartbeat or breath.
My interest in the magic and mystery of the natural world lies at the intersection of art and science.
Made possible through
the generosity of
Generous support and inspiration provided by
Shri Jasnath Asan