Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sounds of Diversity

I had a veranda at my last house, too, and each morning I’d sit out and chill before I had to start the daylong job of editing photographs and designing wedding albums.

I lived in Kollupitiya, a major neighborhood of Colombo, and in the surrounding area there was a Buddhist temple, a mosque, and a church.

The morning sounds singing from the church, the Muslim prayers at the mosque and the Buddhist chanting were all sounds that added to the birds visiting my garden and the giant Mango tree across the lane.

The birds were plentiful and noisy. There were chatty Magpies, Red-vented Bulbuls, Brown-headed Barbets, an occasional sneaky red-eyed Great Coucal (that preys on baby birds, snakes and snails), flocks of squawking Rose-ringed Parakeets, cooing doves, cawing ever-pesky Large-billed crows, and chirping, fat dusty gray birds that I dubbed ‘Hoppers’ because they hopped around the yard like something out of a Stephen King movie.

The diverse sounds were worthy of a Robert Wise musical (Sound of Music). And they were all just off my veranda!

At this house there are just as many birds to watch and to listen to. There are no lovely sounds of the call to Mosque, though, or church bells ringing. But there are early morning chants of the nearby Buddhist temple and as an added treat, there’s the drum, trumpet and cymbal sounds of a traditional marching band from the school on the next lane!

Jami Ul-Afar Mosque in Colombo Pettah - 100+ years old.
I took this photo hanging off the tiny 3rd floor balcony of a restaurant owner's apartment!
What I won't do for a photo.

Catholic church on Sri Lanka's east coast.
Taken soon after the tsunami when the roads were almost un-travelable.
I mean deep crevices, boulders, gaps. Hard core difficult.
Especially in a low-riding Honda Civic VIRS.

Hindu Kovil
Taken on a trip down to Kataragama. Southern Sri Lanka.

Buddhist temple in Sithulpawwa. Southern Sri Lanka.
I climbed the overlooking mountain at dawn, with bronchitis,
to get this photo for someone's website!

Green Bee-eater in Yala National Park. Southern Sri Lanka.
Taken from the tracker's speeding jeep - the Bee-eater was following us!

Bird on a Branch
Yala National Park, taken from the same speeding jeep!

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