Sunday, 8 September 2013

Man vs. Nature: An Account from a Foresters Odyssey.

It was a season of beautiful blossoms, with the adversity of winter gone and the monsoon much awaited. The trails were clear without bushes and the woods were dry. The seasonal spring waters has not yet swelled and the journey through the varied vegetation of Junipers, Fir, Rgododendron and of course the subtropical broadleved forests was a soothing adventure. It was arduous trek worth a trek. That was back in the month of May when I was leading a team of Foresters to set camera traps to study the wildlife diversity in Western Region of Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park, starting the journey from Phobjikha to Taksha.
Captures from Earlier Trek (May).

So after two months of remote camera trapping, in mid August, I was to again take the same route; this time, to monitor and retrieve the cameras. August and September were forecasted to have the maximum downpour by the local meteorologist but for the Foresters, there is no waiting.
Furthest End of Phobjikha valley in the Morning.

The Phobjikha valley looks swampy. The paths were muddy and in the fields, people were busy harvesting the potatoes. Our journey started from the Juniper vale at the far end of Gantey-Phobji stretch, but in the juniper valley was fog and rain. It would take us at least three days to reach the other settlement and the weather was not favouring.
The Highest Pass where Fir Adorns.
Early in the morning, when we readied for the journey, the weather was gloomy. We feared it would rain but as we walked on, clouds gave way to the rays of sunshine. After two hours of straight walk, we were to make a steep ascend which took us four hours. With the sun blazing, with no water by the trail, with heavy baggage, we sweated a lot and by the time we reached the peak, we were exhausted with zero calories. Out of thirst, we had no option but to drink from stagnant water on the main trail. I bought a bottle of Black Mountain for my porter, so the mixture of alcohol and stagnant water gave a better taste to quench our thirst.
To Quench the Thirst.

But the weather played a confusing role. No sooner did we drink from the stagnant water than there was a heavy downpour. This indeed provided us with fresh water to drink. The rhododendron leaves collects ample quantity of water making a clear flow of it downwards.

A better Option.
Our Purpose of Endurance.

Yet saddened I was. We had to still walk for three hours, to reach the campsite which we halted earlier. While we were descending the rain hit harder. The trails has turned into gorges, and through the gorges flowed huge muddy water. The streams that were so minute during our earlier trek have now turned into big rivers and we had to crisscross it several times. We were drenched head to toe. Luckily the elevation was quite high for the leeches to survive.
Our lone porter Jigme Struggling to Cross the Swelled Stream.

Reaching the spot where we were to camp, the spot was infested with bushes and the ground was swampy. “We have to halt here by any means.” I said. “Our camera station follows that river (earlier it was a mere stream) upward at a crow flight distance of 3 km (which we will retrieve the next day).” I then initiated the camping, while our young forester prepared fire. There was no dry wood. Everything was wet. The water was muddy, but then we had to halt there. The drying of bamboo was at our rescue. Nothing burnt but the wet dry-bamboos did, to make a campfire, to dry our cloths, and to prepare a delicious dinner after an tedious, enduring 9 hour trek without a lunch, and the days went on, wit shoes wet, blisters on the leg, with leech and insect bites, until we finished our tasks in next seven days.

Cameras lost its positions; Tigers are on the other side; Pains were endured but the result was not a good one and I for the first time in the wild, lost my Positive Energy.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Bhutanese Bloggers Tag.

Once I became a dynamic blogger, posting more than 10 stuffs in a month, posting via mobile while on a journey, posting poems, posting Dzongkha Tsoms, but then, it was when I was back in the college. But this year I lost the rhythm to write and post, often leaving my blog empty for months, and my blog hit never increased, which is sad on my part. While I lost the muse to write, internet connectivity has become a constraint as well, but with this interesting e-Conference for the Bhutanese Bloggers initiated by madam Rekha, I want to reveal my answers for the same;

1. Why did you start blogging in the first place? And what’s the story behind your blog title?
I don’t know whether I write good or I just scribble haphazard lines to form a article, but I was writing few during my high school days itself. Then, I use to compile all the short stories that we wrote during the English class, the poetries and the essays and use to arrange them in a sequence Essay I, Esssay II, and so on as and when we were asked to write one by the English teacher. Yes, I won a Third Prize in Open Essay writing competition held during my +2 both in English and Dzongkha. 

However, I didn’t blog then as I don’t write frequently and besides there was no internet facilities. It was during my third year of the college days that I took up blogging. I was on Blogger since April 2010, but my first post appeared only in November 2010. It took me almost six months to become an active blogger with regular prose and verse feeding my blog. Now you might be wondering why I took such a long time to start posting articles on my blog. The reasons are obvious. I didn't know what blogging is in first hand and secondly I thought Blogs are meant for some good and nearly perfect write ups. Besides I am one such person whose writing contains neither charm nor fun, so I feared sharing such nonsense of mine on Blogsphere, where world wide web can view it. But with time, I became an active blogger to share my verses, the fateful incidents and progresses in my life, which I believe is the continuity of fate as depicted by my name and so is my blog name Leythro-The Continuity of Fate.

2. How long have you been blogging? Where are you based?
November 2010 till date counts my duration of blogging into almost three years and I am based at Tshangkha, Trongsa since January 2013, but I don’t reach Trongsa as and when I desire so I don’t know much about the happenings in Trongsa.

3. How do you schedule your blog post? Daily or weekly? Or as and when inspiration strikes you?
In the past I make sure that I update my blog at least once in a week and I was able to maintain that schedule but since my coming to Tshangkha, I failed to update my blog even once in a month. I wish to share with my visitors some stunning photos from the nature but then I could possess and quality camera so I failed here as well. However I write as and when inspiration strikes me.

4. Does your family and friends know about your blog?
Well, most of my friends know that I maintain a blog and they sometimes appreciate and acknowledge my work.  In some instances I have helped my friends develop one for them, but they ended by posting a single post and not more. Regarding my family, they are based in the tiny hamlet of Darilo, illiterate and ignorant but few of my cousins know that I maintain a blog and they keep advising for a regular update.

Thank You.