80 Rupees and 10 km

On the 1st May 2017, I visited ‘Rawal Lake’.  I got off at Metro stop 23  and started walking around 7.00 a.m and reached ‘Rawal Lake’ around 9.00 am.

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Few years ago the periphery of the lake  (of few kilometers) was covered with wild trees. Environment was green Air was  fresh and oxygen rich. But now a few ornamental trees and Carbon Dioxide rich  air is found around ‘Rawal Lake’. People need more recreation than oxygen! but blame ‘global warming’ for deteriorating atmospheric quality of Islamabad.

The phenomenon of ‘progressive waves’ over the lake water  was only unique thing which was not available anywhere in Rawalpindi city. All other types of trees and plants and crows and kites were similar to Rawalpindi. I was pleased to see ‘progressive waves’.  I came to know that these are also called ripples.

Waves WordPress.jpg

I came across a tutorial about  a  scenery in gimp. This scenery has water in the foreground along with a boat and a setting sun in the background. This tutorial is very simple for newbies. But I tried to modify it with my own newly learnt filters of gimp. One such filter is ‘Shift…” and the other one is ‘Ripple…” Both these filters create wave-like effect on the image.  If I had not seen the ripples on the ‘Rawal Lake’ I would have not appreciated these two filters which are meant for creating real water waves in the image. So I name my image ‘Gimp Lake’.

SceneryBlog.jpg

But I boast to be ‘environ-mentalist’ so I brought all my trash back.

1st May 17 Rawal Lake.JPG

 

40 Rupees & 15 Kilometres

On the 31st January 2016 I went out for a long walk in Islamabad. In this journey I got the opportunity of using ‘Metro Bus Service’ of Rawalpindi. You would not believe that ‘Metro Bus Service’ is about to celebrate her anniversary.  I am so late in availing this proud service.

First I located the stops of this service on Google map.Then measured the distance on foot from stop to Islamabad Zoo. It turned out to be 1.75 km approximately.

How to reach Islamabad Zoo?

How to reach Islamabad Zoo?

So I followed the map and I reached at the foot of Margalla Hills in about 20-25 minutes. I took some rest in the large park opposite to Islamabad Zoo and then set off on the road to to Daman-e-Koh. The distance of Daman-e-Koh from Zoo about 4 km. I kept walking and kept taking the snapshots of everything interesting to me (at least).

First photograph is of a tree with its naked root.

Exposed Roots of a Tree

Tree with exposed root.

This figure explains the importance of vegetation in the hilly areas. Plants bind the soil particles in nature and prevent soil erosion. But this tree is weak in its foundation. It may get uprooted at any moment and lead  to any sort of disaster (Allah Forbid). That is why there are many such signs on the road.

Warning Sign or Hazard Sign

Yellow is Warning Colour. Red is for Stop.

Thanks to Gimp that its ‘Warning’ pattern made me realize the importance of this road sign and I took its picture and found out the importance of yellow colour.

I saw many close relatives of Darwin (not mine) on the road. People were feeding them with bread slices and corn cobs. But this is a dangerous business. These animals can attack you for snatching the food items. They may transfer some viruses to human beings. So it is advised to remain at a distance from them.

Desire of Food from People.

Begging Eyes.

 

Monkeys being fed by People.

Food Wish Fulfilled.

After some walking I came across some rocks. They were of interest to me due to two reasons. First was their terracotta like colour. Second reason was the heart shape of one of these rocks. I decorated these rocks with graffiti and mural.

Graffiti is text.Mural is painting.

Grafitti & Mural

Near Daman-e-koh lies a cemetery where the passengers of ‘Air Blue flight 202’ plane crash are resting in peace.

Crash Memorial

Airblue Crash Memorial

After this  crash memorial site,  Daman-e-koh is very near. I reached there around 12:00 hours and said my Zuhar prayer in the Daman-e-koh mosque. From Daman-e-koh one can view the beautiful scenery of Islamabad. I took two photographs from there. I have gone to daman-e-koh many times but one spot was out of my sight till this day. Due to loud-speakers it appears that it is a mosque.

Mosque

Mosque in Islamabad

Lawns of ‘Japanese Park’ were flower-less.

Japanese Plots.

Japanese Park from Dama-e-Koh

I had to eat something and I was looking for some appropriate spot for my  lunch. This might have been a place but I didn’t stop here until I reached the grassy lawn where I drank water at the start of my walk.

Back to Islamabad.

Japanese Park is very attractive spot

Even the Christians pray before taking their lunch or dinner or breakfast. But the prayer of the Muslims is different. Moreover they not only start the food with the prayer but also say the prayer after eating the food.

Christian Prayer

In the second prayer a muslim thanks Almighty Allah for the Food, and the drink (water, milk, juice or anything non-alcoholic) and that He created us as a Muslim.

GHULAB JAMAN & CARROT, RICE IN JAGGERY

GHULAB JAMAN & CARROT, RICE IN JAGGERY

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GHULAB JAMAN & CARROT, RICE WITH JAGGERY

In fact this was a celebration of freedom.

بیکار مباش کچھ تو کیا کر  اور نہیں تو کپٹرے پھاڑ کر سیا کر

بیکار مباش کچھ تو کیا کر 
اور نہیں تو کپٹرے پھاڑ کر سیا کر

If I add the whole distance from home to back home it is about 15 kilometers and the two way ticket of the “Meterological Bus Service” is 40 rupees. Not a bad deal after so much activity.

After a long time I wore this watch.

After a long time I wore this watch.

I repeat a few sentences from my one old post.

“It’s always further than it looks.
It’s always taller than it looks.
And it’s always harder than it looks.”
These are the three facts about mountains.

By rashidhameed

Where to Pitch a tent?

During my last days in the  College I had nothing to do as I was not given time-table for teaching. So I would go to the college and sit in the library and study different books. I also copied different pieces of information which I thought  important  on pieces of papers. Today after almost five years while clearing book-rack I discovered  one such paper which I didn’t know to exist.

I copied these points from a book but unfortunately I forgot to note its name. I am writing these points as they appeared in the book.

I enjoyed camping in this self-made tent in Naran in June 2013

I enjoyed camping in this self-made tent in Naran in June 2013

  1. Pitching within 100 feet of the shore to stream, river or lake is not allowed to protect the more delicate flora that grows in these spots.
  2. Avoid the bottom of ravines and gullies, since they can become flooded from storms that occur miles away.
  3. Also because cold air settles, they are the depositories of chilly air during the night.
  4. A point to remember  is that halfway up is better than top (where winds are stronger) or bottom (where it is cold).
  5. Use natural wind breaks like trees, bushes and other landscaping (an area of land that has a particular quality or appearance).
  6. When you have selected a site, there are two basic steps  to pitching  the tent. a). First lie down on the area selected and move around until the  ground  feels comfortable. b).  Erect the head end with pole and guy lines. Erect the other end after the head end is to your satisfaction.
  7. The sun should be kept from beating on the tent especially if it is a nylon. Either pitch it in the shade or use a rain-fly.
By rashidhameed

Health is wealth

Health is wealth

Today on the 24th of June 2014, I stepped outside my home for the first time after 3rd May 2014. The reason of being confined in the house was my 5th metatarsal of my left foot. It got fractured while I was climbing down the trail 3 after a very very long hike along Margalla Hills Islambad, Pakistan. I started on trail 5, then entered trail 4, and in the end I reached trail 3. From that point I reached the apex of trail 3 i.e., Monal Restaurant. After eating my lunch around 4 p.m. I started walking down trail 3 for Islamabad.  Somewhere in the middle of the trail I lost concentration and got ‘foot inversion’.

Copyright:http://myankle.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/inversion-vs-eversion-sprains/

Foot Inversion

Copyright of the photo belongs to :http://myankle.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/inversion-vs-eversion-sprains/

The treatment involves foot immobilization in plaster cast.  This was the most difficult sickness-time in my whole life. I spent 6 weeks in it and was not able to go outside of my house. Today I started to walk outside my home and plan to gradually increase this distance every day in the form of  my morning walk. But a long time is required to get back my ‘old, functional athletic foot’.

There are different stages in the recovery of foot fracture. First forms soft callus (soft join), then hard bony callus (bony join), then modelling (shaping) of the bone takes place according to the stress.  So I will again ‘shape’ my foot in accordance with my own life style. My life style is very simple. I am an athlete, hiker and plant hunter.

I pray to Almighty Allah to grant me a healthy and strong body.  Now, I know the value of a healthy body very well and I agree totally with the saying ‘health is wealth’.

 

By rashidhameed

Spring Wave

موسم نے رنگ اوڑھ لئے ہیں بہار کے

پتے شجر پہ آ گئے رخصت گزار کے

Bombax ceiba Tree

Bombax ceiba Tree

This beautiful  piece of poetry explains the appearance of plants in the springtime. They are generating  new leaves along with their beautiful flowers. This is a general statement about  plants as most plants do so. But the situation becomes more interesting and fascinating when flowers blossom before the leaves. Perhaps this is the arrangement  to make prominent flowers more conspicuous.

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Bombax ceiba trees are of two kinds. Most common trees  bear red flowers but rarely trees producing yellow flowers are also found. They produce flowers before new leaves. Huge trees  with large flowers are a spectacular thing around us.

Erythrina suberosa

Erythrina suberosa

Erythrina suberosa trees are not so common but there are many of them in Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.  They have been planted beautifully in the campus as well like avenues. In Rawalpindi City, they are found solely scattered here and there.

Bauhinia variegataKachnar trees are very common in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. There are two kinds of them. One kind produces white and the other produces Pink flowers. They exhibit the same behaviour of producing flowers prior to leaves.

Cherry blossomsFlowers of Apple, Pears, and Plums are called Cherry blossoms. These trees produce pink and white flowers before the leaves. In Japan these kinds of Cherry flowers are very popular. They celebrate a festival of  ‘Sakura Matsuri”.

Even when a plant doesn’t produce flowers before  the leaves, it produces first leaves of the season of ‘red color. These thorny Phulai trees produces new leaflets of very attractive red colour.

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If Chanar trees produce fascinating red autumn leaves, the red bifurcated thorns of Carissa opaca shrubs looks very beautiful.

Carissa opac

By rashidhameed

Hom Dai or Trail Dai?

“It’s always further than it looks.
It’s always taller than it looks.
And it’s always harder than it looks.”   
These are the three facts about mountains.

 

By rashidhameed

HiKing in Islamabad

HiKing in Islamabad

Panorama of Margalla Hills, Islamabad.

Panorama of Margallah Hills, Islamabad.

I hiked on one of the trails in Margallah Hills, Islamabad on 21st October, 2013. It was probably the most difficult  and dangerous one.

Visitor Safety and Responsibility

Visitor Safety and Responsibility

I climbed these mountains as I wanted to see and photograph local plants. I was able to see those plants about which I had read.  Even in the month of October, it was very hot. Area is largely subtropical, dry, semi-ever green forest.

Topography of the area is rugged comprising of steep slopes and gullies. The main constituent of the rocks is the Limestone. The soil is Colluvial, wind deposited, dark brown to yellowish brown in color with a fine texture and well developed profile.
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By rashidhameed

Diamonds in Fragile Cases

Before going to Murree on Sept. 18, 2013 I made a miniature glass container by  following a video. This was an experiment of assembling glass pieces with wonderful Silicone sealant. Things turned out to b

e a great success. Basically this was created to photograph small insects in small space. Small space of such containers limits the movements of the insects. There was also some plan of putting Bryophytes in such containers. The growing of Bryopytes in home was also a new idea,

I collected some Bryophtes in Murree in a jar and brought them back to home. In home I spread them in different types of containers.

Different Containers for Liversworts and Mosses

Different Containers for Liversworts and Mosses

Among all of these containers, the rectangle one next to half-red circle looks excellent to me. It was in  made by me and infact thsis post is about such containers. There are many advantages of such cases e.g.,

  1. Shallow depth. We can easily manipulate them with fingers as well as forceps.
  2. First two containers are of plastic. Ordinary cheap plastics are dull initially and get scratched due wear and tear. But glass containers can be washed and they are always new after cleaning.
  3. Custom made containers can be made in any shape according to the requirements. I needed a container for Liverworts. Liverworts do not grow tall and always grow flat to ground.  Air circulation is not good in deep containers for them. So I created a container specifically for them.

    Custom Made Glass Container

    Custom Made Glass Container

  4. Photographs are distortion free. Curved surfaces may create  unusal shapes of plants while flat surfaces are free from such defects.
Advantages of Clear & Flat Glass Surface in Photography

Advantages of Clear & Flat Glass Surface in Photography

To be Continued…

By rashidhameed