The spotted owl was still screeching. I was up early and was already watering the plants before the Mysore sky received its first ray of sunlight. The odd silence at this time of the day was real and brought back memories of early mornings of yore, say 30-35 years, but when it was not exactly silent on that count.
I can clearly recall how House Crows crowed in chorus from the tree branches trying to wake everyone up. Their population was aplenty. So also the now-gone-from-here House Sparrow which co-existed and woke up later. Come evenings, they would all fight for their tree-branch space for the night and the sparrows chirped from the shrubs.
Very often we have returned home at night from errand-outings with a splash of crow shit on the vertex or on the shirt. And in the middle of the night when some crow dreamed and cawed, other crows would wake up and caw-caw-caw which disturbed the neighbourhood's sleepers. Now that is missing. Their numbers have alarmingly dwindled and there is no cawing at day break. The Asian Koels usually wakeup in its 'singing season' at half past four, but we don't hear the crows.
Modernization has not helped crows to thrive happily though many are seen flying here and there. There are a couple of them which come down and caw, as if asking, when I take my breakfast out near the pond. So I share a few pieces with them. These crows seem to recognize me and I hear they can too. This morning also I had this opportunity to feed. Also in religious belief, they are seen as representatives of our dead ancestors and the crow-feeding ritual is an important item during their annual death ceremonies. I have a bird bath where some of them often visit to quench their thirst. Some are friendly and they wont fly away even if I am close by. So much crowing about crows. Enough, now for some pictures, both from recent archive.
The ad [in Kannada] says 'I am waiting for you'.
At my bird bath for a drink.
Back to the early morning and the owl. The sky was brightening. I spotted on the tree branch outside the gate, a pair of Spotted Owls. They were only about 15 feet away. I brought out the camera. After a couple of shots, they flew away, one after the other. The flash fired at it made the eyes appear red.
Indian Gray Hornbill is another common bird here. It came by to the neighbour's tree. One of the couple is out of this picture.
Much later, I happened to see a glistening object in the sky which was now brighter. It was a metal bird and I could see its reddish body, the red was from the just emerging red sun which was still not visible down here. During January, the sun rises from behind the Chamundi Hill, as viewed from our locality. The rays were already reaching the aeroplane up there from above the hill. It was quite a sight. Click to enlarge the images.
There was another plane that flew past in the same direction a long while later when I still had the camera hanging on the neck and the sky had got its blue. With a small airport now functioning at Mysore, there will be some metal birds in our skies and I hope there wont be any bird-hits. About 30 years ago, there was a weird dream, not once, but twice, some years apart. I was looking at a plane that had settled safely on a tree and I was running to watch it from up close and on the other occasion, I was watching it come down and settle on a tree!!