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’.

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

1st May 17 Rawal Lake.JPG

 

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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

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

THOUGHTS ABOUT MOUNTAINS

“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

Autumn Diamonds

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No-Name (due to my lack of knowledge)

This is one of  the many beautiful pictures which I captured on my 18th Sept. 2013, trip to Murree. This is also one of the beautiful pictures which I captured through the use of camera tripod.  During this trip I utilized tripod for the first time in my life and I really enjoyed its use.  Things become very easy through tripod. But one must also learn to capture photographs without camera tripod as it is not always possible to carry camera tripod and also some situations don’t allow its use. Camera tripod eliminates camera shakes during long exposure times as in low light situations.  So saves camera battery by eliminating  wasteful shaky camera shots.

White flowers are like gems and as they are blossoming at the onset of autumn so I am not wrong if I call them ‘Autumn Diamonds’.

By rashidhameed

…Saves 9

There is a proverb ” A stitch in time saves nine.”  Now a days I am struggling to save nine as I am learning to sew bags. This may be a ridiculous piece of news as I have been a master  by profession. A school teacher can’t be a tailor master. Thus, a school teacher can’t save 9.

Whether you understand something or not, the fact is that I have finished sewing my first practical bag for my gas stove. I have to carry a picnic stove for hot food and one or two cups of coffee. During my last visit to ‘Naran’, I carried  a gas stove throughout my journey in shopper bags. So my hands were engaged and I was also imbalance all the time even on steep ascents.  On returning home I discarded shopper bags which I threw into dustbin and thus created environment pollution. Even if I put it inside my day backpack, stove will not damage my backpack.

Necessity is the mother of invention. I was searching some solution of it when I found a video tutorial about a ‘Tote Bag’ on ‘Sailright.com”. I saw the tutorial, and dared to waste a piece of cloth as I had no experience of sewing fabrics. Fortunately, all efforts were successful.

Question is why am  I posting a ‘bag narrative’ on this blog. As this will be a part and parcel of my future plant photos hunt, so I think this blog a relevant place to announce my success and achievement here.

Stove Outside Bag

Stove Outside Bag

Bag weighs only 60 g and is of drawstring type with round bottom.  Tare weight of gas stove is 1kg.  I get it filled partially. So it is not heavy.

Stove Inside Bag

Stove Inside Bag

I have removed the  ‘Gas Burner’ which is used for burning its LPG  (Butane & Propane mixture) and resting  pots. So stove gets completely inside the bag.

Glimpse of Stove Inside Bag

Glimpse of Stove Inside Bag

It has got two handles by which we can carry the stove. Moreover, I have also tried to be creative while sewing this bag. I  have sewed some ‘Polypropylene’ strips at its bottom and near its string.  Cord can be passed through them and it can be carried vertically.

Isn’t ‘Bag’  Lovely, on this ‘Lovely Plant Planet”?

By rashidhameed

10 Months Evolution!

Last time I visited Jhikagali in June 2012 and I was impressed with a few species of plants on the wayside and on Jhikagali track. But this year tracking the same route exposed all the species of tress found on this track. Isn’t it revolution? Last year I missed the following tree species on the route:

  1. Cedrus deodara
  2. Taxus baccata

 

I confused Taxus baccata with Abies pindrow species. Both species have almost idenitical leaves to some extent. These trees are found in large number on this tract along with Horse chest nut.

Signpost for Track

Signpost for Track

This time my approach to this study trip was radical. I entered the track  from the point from which I made exit last year.  So I got plenty of sunlight and energy to look into the trees. Moreover, my new learning from Nathiagali trip about Taxus baccata made many things clear. Moreover from Nathiagali I learnt about Cedrus deodara. Mind it that I made this trip 9 days ago on 14th May, 2013.  So it was just to clear the last year mess of ignorance.

By rashidhameed Tagged

SQUASHED FRUIT

It was Quercus glauca or simply Quercus plant that made me realize that ‘it is never too late to mend.’ I walked on the road to Jhika gully several times but I didn’t know that it was there. I thank heaven for this piece of knowledge.  When I saw the nuts of this tree,  ‘Scrat’ with the same type of  ‘nut’  in Ice Age, came into my mind. Before leaving Rawalpindi for Murree I had never hoped that one day I would be able to see it in reality in Murree.

Fruit crushed with heel.

Podophyllum emodi Fruit (Berry)

But no body knows how to make this stomach-like flower.

Gasteria bicolor flowers are like stomach of human beings.

Gasteria bicolor flowers are like human stomach.