Passion for biodiversity should not be something that is left to only the zoologists, scientists, environmentalists and activists of the world. It should be the linking string between all of Creation, primarily because to Mother Nature we are one. Together we sprout and together we die, for an eternity of cycles.
I’ve never really understood how dynamic our everyday environment was until I began my formal studies in zoology. We do not need to be in a jungle or rainforest to document and admire wildlife. Just open your eyes and you’ll realize that there are millions of species inhabiting the same world as we do and in the process creating small, intricate micro-ecosystems of their own. Micro-ecosystems that are sometimes at par with the kind of sophisticated habitats we have built for ourselves.
So, recently I did a small species diversity study in my local park, situated amidst one of the most heavily populated residential areas of the city. More than the number of species that I found ,the fact that surprised me more was the interest that little park-going children had in what I was doing. I doubt anyone has ever seen a fully grown nineteen year old girl peer through the bushes and shrubs like Tarzan with nothing but a phone camera and notebook in hand. Besides, the fact that I was chasing butterflies and dragonflies probably did not do enough to prove that I was a person perfectly in my senses.
So while the adults in the park resorted to just giving me curious stares , some of the children really did come forward to help me out with finding new species. It took them quite some time to figure out the entire purpose of my project. An almost-eight year old boy found it hard to believe that I did not want to catch any butterflies but just well, boringly, note down their characteristics into my note book. That probably did not go down well in his enthusiastic, adventurous, little-boy mind.
But once they got the hang of what I was doing, they turned out to valuable assets . Some of the best pictures I have taken have been compiled here below and while I have done my best to identify them as accurately as possible, any sort of correction/ criticism will be welcome.
At the end of the day, the two wonderful kids I worked with really enjoyed the exercise. I was surprised when they told me that, primarily because I did not think that people their age (‘their’ age? Wow. I’ve already turned eighty) cared about such things anymore.
I don’t know if I would have bothered as much myself at their age. Would I have had the guts to approach someone in the park to teach me what they were doing? To take time and effort to understand why some people do what they do? To wonder whether little flying objects that breathe have any significance in my life?
I do not have answers to these questions but I’m glad I was able to give someone a chance to discover a little part of their lives ,they did not even know existed. It’s a beautiful feeling when one realizes for the first time , how wonderfully intertwined they are with the works of nature.
In a way I felt like the rabbit from Lewis Carroll’s novels. I was there, minding my own business and doing my own thing and in the process I led some Alice’s down a hole and into Wonderland. A place difficult to comprehend but fascinating beyond belief.
We all have those holes in our backyards, gardens, community parks, local zoos and forests. This wildlife day, who among is you is brave enough to take the leap?
Note: All pictures in this blog post belong to me and using them without permission is not allowed. Just ask if you need them. I won’t mind