Monday, February 4, 2008

Pine country.

Yes, I will be going on about Kodai for quite some time to come. You better get used to it.

Walking through pine country was breathtaking, I saw hues that I never believed existed outside photoshopped pictures. What you see below is exactly as it was captured, no doctoring of any kind. I haven't even changed the brightness and contrast settings on them. Best viewed on an Ultrabright LCD screen (like the one in my über-cool lappie).
And yes, you don't have work half your brain cells to death to figure out that I'm just showing off my amateurish, yet brilliant photography skills here. (Only candour here, so don't call me pretentious. I'm rather proud of my photography skills, yessireee.)
He stood there in his three layers of clothing, as the last few rays of the setting sun vainly tried to warm him up. The water reflected a serene blue sky, throwing back hues that were a little darker, majestic and imposing. Dry pine needles carpeted the lake shore, inviting him to lie down and forget everything else.
As much as he wanted to do just that, he first wanted to take a closer peek at the lake. With good reason.
He came back from that sight, ever-so-reluctantly, and tried to lie down. As he did that, he get a closer look at the little things lying around.

Things like the grey pine cone throwing a shadow larger than itself.

Or like the bright mushrooms that seemed to be everywhere. Only much, much later did he find out that these were no ordinary toadstools, but were probably really special ones. Oh, if only he had known this then.

Or like an old tree trunk covered in multi-coloured lichens lying on the forest floor.

It would take anyone some time to take all this in. And some more to photograph them all. He was no different. Only after much time did he happen to look up. Things had never quite felt this surreal.

He lay there till someone jolted him back to his senses. Realization always hits someone later than it ought to. It was getting rather cold. So off he went, racing against the sunset, to be greeted by a roaring campfire.

He woke up the next day before anyone else. It's 5.30 in the morning and an hour before sunrise. He was an idiot and he knew it. Didn't deter him in the least though. It's pitch black outside, and freezing. Literally, at that, as he'd later realize. Three layers of clothing and the muffler and the monkey cap aren't enough.

Determined, he strikes a path to the lake. Before he gets too far, he notices a huge pile of bison dung. Fresh, that too. Sweeping arcs of the flashlight don't reveal any immediate threats. Which isn't all that comforting as he'd hoped it would be. Oh, hang it all he tells himself and goes down to the lake. His fingers go numb if he clicks more than one picture at a time. It's clickety click, and back under the cuffs and into the pockets for them hands.

Dawn. Propah. Only then does he look around and realize that the ground is frozen over! Apparently, that was one of two places in South India that can reach sub-zero temperatures.

Just when he thought he'd seen it all, something else caught his eyes.

Mists rising from the lake. With a rather interesting mechanism even. The water in the lake is cold, true, but the water flowing in from the stream is even colder. The colder water mixes only very slowly, and for a while it runs forward in streaks. The air above it gets cooled and the moisture in it condenses to give mist.

And the day it had just begun.

PS. He seems to be having a lot of fun referring to himself in third person. Even if it didn't come off as well as he'd hoped. Tired from using too many 'I's in his posts, this was a welcome relief.

PPS. There's more where all this came from.

PPPS. Does anyone know what I need to do in order to make these pictures clickable, such that you get a larger version on clicking?


La said...

Those are amazing pictures! I want to go to Kodai! I think I've been to those forests. I must have been eight or so then. I remember the trees, and a waterfall, and being sick from the cold. But the pictures are really, really good.

MM said...

Absolutely breathtaking.
And very nicely put! :)

PS said...

*hands clasped in front, bows slightly, the very picture of humility*


Swathi said...

hmmm the mist thing is really interesting.. Even prettier to watch, i'm sure... :)