Life in these strange times: kingfishers and other critters

Today, I had a hairdresser appointment. One that I didn’t keep nor did I call to reschedule. Because no one is there. It’s impossible to practice social distancing when you’re cutting someone’s hair. Unless you’ve got a six foot long pair of scissors. That sounds rather hazardous, in my opinion.

I wonder how long my hair will be when it’s safe to be close to other people. Who knows? But, while I wait for my hair to grow (which is something that is as exciting to watch as paint drying), I continue with my imaginary journey.

Well, my journey hit a snag. I spent so much time walking in the forest that I didn’t realize that I missed my bus to the train station. When I did, I had to exchange tickets and the next train that had seats available was three days away. So that was okay. Three more days in the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. The next morning, I got on a boat of a tour of the islands. That is one of the few ways to see the plantlife and the birds and the animals that exist in this wildlife refuge, which is considered to be too remote for much tourism.

The waters are full of fish and of diving birds that want to eat those fish. As I sit on the deck of the boat and watch the water, I see crocodiles swimming and am happy that I am in a fairly large boat. Small enough for the waterways but big enough not to be attacked by crocodiles. There are different types of dolphins in the water, too, including Irrawaddy dolphins, Ganges River dolphins, and Chinese white dolphins.  It was exciting to see the dolphins jump high in the air and then land back in the water. And then the birds… the seagulls and the common kingfishers and gray herons and green pigeons. And so many more!

On dry land, there were many mangrove trees. But not just any mangrove. These mangroves are called sundari mangroves. The roots of those trees can be seen readily above ground. They are tripping hazards so you have to watch where you place your feet. And, of course, watch out for tigers. We stick together as a group when we hike. But we spend more time in the boat. And we stop to watch the tigers at the tiger preserve. They are running and are free and are easy to watch from the safety of the boar.

And at night, we watch the sunset, which is a glorious sight. The sunsets are a special joy, full of color. They are nature’s paintings. 

Tomorrow: the journey continues through Bangladesh.

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