Friday, September 26, 2014
Yes, there are several out-of-the-way places within the city itself. One of them is the Nanmangalam Reserve Forest. We have seen parts of this forest before - it is the one where the Great Indian Eagle Owl can be found.
Getting into the forest a couple of weeks ago, we noticed something different from our previous trips inside. There was far less plastic than we were used to seeing. Bowers near the road, which used to have several empty liquor bottles rolling around, were mostly empty and clear. Saplings of teak and other trees had been planted here and there. And then, on our way, we ran into another group, but they were being guided by an Anti-Poaching Watcher of the Forest Department. He demanded to know how we got in to the forest without permission, but wasn't rude about it. Got his boss to talk to us over his cellphone and made us commit to drop by at the Forest Office on our way out.
Though we eventually did go to the Office and make all the required entries in their register, staying around inside the forest dulled our sense of time. So much so that the APW came back cycling to look for us, wondering if we were lost. In a way, we were; by that owl sighting, but also because there were some places like this that we couldn't tear ourselves away from!