Shri Jasnath Asan, Rajasthan, India
Photo © Shri Jasnath Asan, 2016
8 Nov 2016
USA- Election Day 2016
… and yes I voted before I left the country…
Sorry I have been slow in getting posts to you. It was 25% trying getting used to routines, 25% internet problems, and 50% simply due to the difficulty in coming up with words to describe this amazing experience. Maybe add an extra 10% due to a food coma caused by the absolute best Indian food I have ever experienced.
MOST FAVORITE BIRD AWARD GOES TO ....
I have been bird watching and photographing just on the fortress grounds and have found about 45 species. Far and away the winner of the “most favorite bird” contest is the Common Hoopoe. The hoopoe is a bird that definitely has a future as a cartoon character. Each morning I have been here I find them industriously ridding my lawn of grubs and bugs. The diet of the hoopoe is mostly composed of insects, including crickets, locusts, beetles, earwigs, cicadas, ant lions, bugs and ants, as well as the occasional small reptile, frog, or a tasty bit of plant.
This little Afro-Eurasian guy gets around and has quite the reputation. Hoopoes were considered sacred and were depicted on the walls of tombs and temples of Ancient Egypt. They are mentioned in the Torah in Leviticus 11:13–19, and in Deuteronomy (14:18) where they are declared to be not kosher. Hoopoes also appear in the Quran and is known as the "hudhud", in Surah Al-Naml 27:20–22. Hoopoes were seen as a symbol of virtue in Persia and as thieves across much of Europe. In Estonian tradition, hoopoes are strongly connected with death and the underworld. In present day Morocco, hoopoes are traded live and as medicinal products in the herbalist shops in the markets.
SOME FAMILIAR FACES
As I have been hiking through the 350-acre ashram grounds I find it uncanny how similar it seems to natural areas back home. I suppose it comes as no surprise. Both areas are desert and the plants and animals face similar environmental challenges. Below are a few plants that, though not the same species, are in the same genera as those similar looking ones back in the Mojave Desert. Our Sacred Datura, found in disturbed areas all over the Mojave, has a cousin over here, also highly toxic, with smaller flowers that are only about 2 inches across. Our honey mesquite in the Mojave also has a close relative living in India in the genus Prosopis .
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