The Advisory Boar

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <ams@toroid.org>

My first Wallcreeper

2015-11-09

Late in December 2009, as a birthday present to myself, I went on a solo trek to Dayara Bugyal, a high-altitude alpine meadow in Garhwal. I meant to write about the week I spent in the mountains, but upon my return, I found the experience too overwhelming to try to describe all at once.

Some six months after the trek, I posted a a photograph from my first campsite. Nearly a year later, I wrote about my decision to forego a field guide on the trek; that's where the paragraph quoted above comes from. It's been nearly five years since then, and I've typed that first sentence a dozen more times, but I never got much further.

One of my most enduring memories of the trip is of a small grey bird crawling up the face of a rock cliff just below Barsu village. I was driving back to Uttarkashi in the late afternoon after the trek, and I caught a flicker of movement on the cliff from the corner of my eye. I knew instantly what it was—a Wallcreeper, a bird I had been hoping to find for the past five years. I had barely a minute to admire it, but I'll never forget the sudden flash of scarlet when it flew away.

Wallcreeper

It's almost Wallcreeper season where I live now. They're a familiar sight in passage to lower altitudes in early winter, but that first sighting will always be the most precious.

Orchha (June 2008)

2008-08-09

Hassath and I scraped a few days off from a busy month to visit Orchha with Ammu over a long weekend. We had a surprising and refreshing getaway that helped us to recover from the disappointment of having to cancel a visit to Munsiari in early June.

Update 2015-11-08: I started writing this in August 2008. Seven years later, I can no longer remember what happened on the rest of the trip well enough to complete the account, but I'm posting what I wrote back then.

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Confluence-Hunting in Uttaranchal, January 2005

2007-11-30

In January 2005, inspired by confluence.org, Gaurav Rai and I decided to look for three degree confluences North of Delhi:

These are my recollections of this long-overdue trip to the mountains. Rai has written his own account of our travels.

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