Stepping out seems like a thing of the past and, hopefully, the future. But as the saying goes: if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain. For the itinerant souls – India Habitat Centre (IHC), Delhi, is attempting to bring the outdoors into our homes, with the following collaborations. “The spirit of the times is to not keep the content exclusive, and, yet, once the lockdown lifts, we won’t continue with the online streaming because it defeats the purpose of having an institutional space,” says Vidyun Singh, director of programmes, IHC. The IHC’s online programmes might have changed for this week, but these videos can still be accessed here:
Go for a Ride
South Africa has black leopards, not tigers. It’s okay to touch herbivore dung but not the scat of a carnivore as it’s poisonous. The Common Diadem mimics the African Monarch but isn’t toxic and unpalatable like it. The hooded vultures feed on a carcass’s softer organs: eyes and intestines. Hear insights from naturalists, who drive in and around the Ngala and Djuma Private Game Reserves, next to Kruger National Park in north-east South Africa. The three-hour interactive virtual video safari experience, by the live wildlife broadcaster WildEarth, is for the young ones, aged 4 to 18.
Class is in Session
Birds are everywhere: in songs, stories, folklore, myths, legends and art. There are birds named LBJ (little brown jobs) and GOK (god only knows). Hear experts in 22 lecture videos, impart ‘Basic Ornithology: Research and Conservation’ course, which was conducted in December 2019 at Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER), Tirupati. The virtual classroom experience covers a wide range of topics, including the avian friends’ anatomy, evolution, behaviour and population. It also discusses their diversity – hot-, cold-, and high-altitude-adapted, migratory, size (small hummingbird to large ostrich), breeding strategies (monogamous to polyandrous species), life history, flightless birds, parasites, showy plumage, and vocalization: innate or learnt over time? Why do they make complex sounds?
Bring the Popcorn
The world tour screenings of Canada’s BANFF Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival (scheduled from October 31 to November 8) might have been postponed, but 19 adventure films – from past editions – are coming to our homes. Frozen Mind is the story of camaraderie, as two friends write a chapter on the iconic mountains (think Mont Blanc) near the otherwise sleepy French ski town of Chamonix, known for hosting the 1924 Winter Olympics. Peek into the mind of a mountain climber in Speak to Me Softly. Watch seven kayakers travel through the deep canyons of the Apurímac River in The River’s Call, or journey from 5,500 metres atop Gangotri Glacier to 2,400 km down river Ganga in Holy (un)Holy River. The films can also be found on YouTube.