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Saccharum ravennae

Saccharum ravennae
Saccharum ravennae

Thank you to Douglas Justice for both the write-up today and the photographs!

On a short vacation to India this time last year, one of our stops was Jim Corbett National Park, a fascinating mixed deciduous and evergreen forest and grassland reserve famous for tigers. The emptiness of the chaurs (rolling grasslands) was a beautiful antidote to the noise and chaos of the crowded towns and cities of northern India.

There were plenty of wild animals to be seen—this is standard fare for visitors to the park—but I admit I was more interested in the flora and stunning landscape. Our guides, Gurvinder Singh and Geeta Bhatnagarof (of Joint Adventures), were somewhat disappointed that we didn't see any tigers, but there was plenty of evidence that the big cats were nearby. We could hear them roaring and purring (mating behaviour, evidently). I was so absorbed in plant watching, I hardly noticed. Let's just say I didn't get out of the vehicle to check out the fresh scratch marks on the bark of a Butea monosperma (flame-of-the-forest).

The first image, shot from the relative safety of our four-wheel drive vehicle, shows how easy it is to not see a tiger. Note that this grass, tentatively identified as Saccharum ravennae, has been burned. The area is routinely and systematically torched in the dry season both to discourage the forest from expanding, and shorten the grasses (some of which will grow to 8m or more), thus maintaining good wildlife-viewing opportunities.

6 Comments

Wow, is that him/her just to the left of and facing the straight road? Or did you make me imagine it?!

These are lovely pictures showing a side of India I rarely see. Before reading the write up, my first thought was someplace like North Dakota perhaps! Thank you for broadening my perspectives.

Great to see different parts of the world!

Is the haze morning fog or pollution?

i have to ask did you take
the right or left road

i just came back here after
looking up flame of the forest
this tree is quite important
to the people so many uses
in the folk lore and religon

i seem to be in a little awe
of the pictures we surely
are not talking about pooh bears tiger

I thank you for the photos and the story about the National Park. It is nice to know there is still a wild place on this earth.
Thank you,
Margaret-Rae

Looks like the Central Valley of California on a smoggy summer's day.

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