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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Armchair Birdwatching - Hoopoe at Ooty

The Hoopoe is a common bird, but not so common where we live. Thus, its always a pleasure to watch one, whenever we do get to see it. Like at Ooty, when, sitting on the lawn outside our cottage, I spotted this pair, busy catching worms for their breakfast!

Over the next couple of days, I saw them each morning, about the same time, but never did manage to capture them in the same frame as I did, that first time I saw them!

This was also the first time I heard their call, and realized that their name resembles their call! Over the next few days, the clear 'Oop oop' sound had me rushing to the window to see if I could spot the pair again!  

It was peak summer when we visited Ooty, and unseasonal rains cooled the already pleasant hill station enough to make us shiver! There were few birds around, but these hoopoes were busy. Probably the rain brought out the insects and worms from their burrows to the ground, for, whenever I saw them, they were either foraging, or had a worm in their beak!


  1. Lovely captures Anu. It has been ages since I managed to capture a few decent bird shots and I miss it now.

    1. Thanks Mridula! But you have been capturing such interesting places as well as events and people!am sure the birds turn will come back soon!

  2. Beautiful clicks, their crest give them amazing look..

    1. Thanks, Meghana! You can understand how excited we were, the first time we saw them! We thought they were some rare exotic birds!

  3. They are quite showy, aren't they, with those crests and the bars across their wings and backs! We have some woodpeckers here in the SouthEast U.S. that have quite dramatic plumage too and that remind me of these hoopoe's. I love seeing your pictures of all the birds from your part of the world; you take great shots of them!

    1. Thank you, Natalie! Yes, they do look showy, but are quite common birds! And we have woodpeckers like that too, with crests. Will post a photo soon!

  4. Saw the hoopoe at kabini . they have a very distinct call which reverberates around .
    Lovely pics.


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