Thursday, May 8, 2014

Exploring an Urban Forest

It was a bright sunny, summer day and my friend asked me if we could go to the small forest reserve behind Osmania College. I said yes and eventually met up with him and we set out to our destination. What I like about this place is its proximity to the city and some peaceful areas there to make a small barbeque. It was about 4pm when we reached, we put on our gear and started going in. On our walk inside we were discussing about general survival skills, starting a fire in rain and stuff like that. As we walked we saw fresh bursts of leaves as though almost adding a new lease of life to the dried up reserve.  We were welcomed by sounds of the barbets, peacocks & peahens, parakeets and glimpses of the black/brown kites. A little ahead we spotted feral cows. These were once domesticated & now returned to the wild. Understandably shy.  We spotted ants nests on a tree and squirrels nest on another. The pack of dogs was not to be seen though. Their numbers have come down probably because they were reduced to scavenge for food and died out of poisoning. 
The Path to the wild 

New Growth in the bushes

Anyways after two kilometers inside we reached a dried moat, now looks like a small trench. We decided to set camp there. We set up our small handmade aluminum stove and started collecting firewood. We carried our fire steel and cotton balls to use it to start a fire. Soon we had a good enough fire and used the charcoal to start cooking paneer and chops that we carried with us. 
Building fire to cook

Small Stove to Cook

Grilling Paneer

We usually we build a self-sustaining fire; on that day we made a really crude looking fire just to make the wood into charcoal.  As we started cooking the peacocks were also excited. Probably it was their way to communicate to each other that something was happening. The only thing that was difficult to endure was the humidity and the heat was sucking us dry.  We had electrolytes with us, so it was a little easy to stretch our stay. I climbed up the moat to get onto the other side while the food was cooking to have a look around. It was more like a monoculture of trees and plants. Specific areas had only one variety or two of the same species. What I’m trying to impress is that it was not like a garden of various trees and plants. 

Most trees were without leaves

Some had flowers 

Some trees had fruits

The Jungle in Summer is devoid of leaves

As it was summer it’s not possible to walk without making a noise. There’s always going to dried leaves that you step on. So if you want to spot animals walking is out of the question. Selecting a spot and lying down almost motionless or soundless would be the best way.  You could sprinkle grains and wait patiently if you want to photograph birds. It so happens that when we have something, the need to use it wouldn’t arise. That day I forgot the bandages and needed them. I got entangled in a thorny bush and had a very small bleeding episode. However that didn't stop us from having our fun. The best part of the trip was we left our watches back home and turned off our cell phones so we wouldn't be disturbed and keep looking at the time. We decided to use the sun for that. We experienced a sudden change of weather. Clouds and breeze out of nowhere. Almost like a rain warning. We were prepared to get wet and were not worried about our camera and other gear as well. 

We had the paneer & the chops that were cooked on coal. We were so full that we couldn't move. After a little nap we got our gear in place and packed everything into our backpacks and it was time to leave. We made sure that nothing was left behind so that it doesn't become an indication that the place can be used by others. Also because we don’t like to litter the place, or leave behind non bio degradable stuff. Once we made sure that we were all set to leave we slowly started out of the trench and walked back to where we parked our bikes. We then left and with good memories and plans to go there again soon enough. 

Author Bio:
Hi! This is Anshuman, I love the outdoors and have a great inclination to outdoor activities and sport. I am in Hyderabad for the past 13 years and was last working in a Human Resource firm. I like to keep updating myself with new things. I love camping and do a little photography. I take part in activities keeping in mind my fitness levels. I’m working on that as well. I’m a dog lover and love swimming.  You can connect with me on Facebook and Twitter
disclaimer: The views expressed in the post are of the author and not necessarily represent GHAC.  If you would like to write for GHAC blog please check the contribution guidelines.

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