Travel Muse Press

Food

Imagine a world with no limits...what would you eat? Where would you go to eat? Who would you share these Divine Delights with? ...Read More

Wine

From young root clippings in dry, arduous conditions to fruit bursting with the essence of the surrounding countryside, grapes are cultivated over a long period of time to bring you an explosion of sensory impact...Read More

Art

Where does inspiration come from? Travel has always been a vehicle to carry an artist off in a new direction. Travel, it has been said, purifies the mind, body and soul.Read More

Archive for Bird watching

Kerala Boats – Travel Through The Intracoastal Waterways By Boat

Oil painting by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar titled "Kerala Waterway Workers" (c)2017

Oil painting by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar titled “Kerala Waterway Workers” (c)2017

Kerala boats are unique to the Malabar Coast and dot the intracoastal waterways that lie parallel to the Andaman sea. These boats are a significant part of the local economy as they bring important commercially grown produce such as rice, coconuts, bananas and spices to the coast for distribution. These boats are capable of carrying the equivalent of 3 trucks.

Oil painting by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar titled "Kerala Waterway Workers" (c)2017

Oil painting by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar titled “Kerala Waterway Workers” (c)2017

These Kerala boats are called vallams in the Malayalam language, native to Kerala. Vallams are canoes made from local wood called¬†‘Anjali’ or jack-wood and deeply oiled with a black resin from the kernel of cashews, a locally grown produce. The black silhouette of the canoe on the water is a signature of the waterways. Racing canoes are much longer and can hold up to a hundred oarsmen. These often have more prominent prows with carvings and paint. But it is the common Kerala boat that I loved seeing on the still waters being pulled along by poles and paddles.

 

Oil painting by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar, Kerala Boat

Oil painting by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar, Kerala Boat.

These two oil paintings on canvas of Kerala Boats measure 36″ x 18″. The solitary boat moored alongside the river is typical of the boats used to move people and cargo. The oil painting with the two workers transporting wooden planks was captured after sunset on the waterway to Alleppey. We were traveling north on a Government Ferry from Quilon (Kollam) after spending considerable time on Lighthouse Beach in Trivandrum.

Kettuvallam (Converted rice barge for Kerala Tourism); Kerala Boat, Houseboat; Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar photography; copyright 2002

Kettuvallam – Converted rice barge moored alongside a rice paddy on the waterway to Alleppey, Kerala India. Photography by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar (c)2002.

 

Kettuvallams are the large houseboats covered in intricate bamboo and palm leaves. Everything is tied together with coir or rope made from coconut fibers. From what I recall, there is not a single nail or screw holding these canoe planks together…just the coir. These larger Kerala boats are in the 60-70′ length with a 15′ beam. The houseboats are converted barges and designed for the tourist industry. The pace is slow and leisurely, which is ideal for anyone birdwatching, photographing the local riverscape or wishing to just take in the journey and relax all day long and night.

Kerala Waterways are hot, humid and immensely beautiful under the blazing Indian sun. It is easy to spot kingfishers, sea eagles, water snakes and water rats. Fish jump and birds skim the surface seeking insects.

Along the shore people wash dishes, shower or bathe. Bamboo outhouses line the river. The waters are brackish. Salt water from the sea doesn’t penetrate the intracoastal waters due to a natural and artificially supported breakwater. The lakes, lagoons and rivers are fed by mountain streams inland.

At night, just after sunset, women in a stunning array of jewel tones sarees walk single file along the river. The rich color against the palm frond backdrop is perfectly reflected in the silvery water is simply beautiful to behold.

Kerala boats; women in sarees along the Kerala waterways India. Photography by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar

Kerala boats; women in sarees along the Kerala waterways India. Photography by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar (c)2002.

Converted rice barge for Kerala Tourism. Photography by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar (c)2002.

Kerala boat: Converted rice barge for Kerala Tourism. Photography by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar (c)2002.

Scenic Kerala Waterways at sun down. Photography by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar (c)2002.

Scenic Kerala Waterways at sun down. Photography by Anne Marie Peterson-Kolatkar (c)2002.

Terranea Resort – Birds of Prey

Q: How do you keep seagulls where they belong and off the rooftops and chaise lounges at a highend resort along the beach near Los Angeles, CA?

A: An owl. One huge, specially-trained, Eurasian eagle owl that has been raised in captivity so that it keeps normal/daytime working hours AND scares the crap out of any trespassing seagull within a mile of this posh five-star resort.

Paul, a professional bird-of-prey handler from Aerial Solutions, works on site at Terranea Resort with the owl and special guests American Kestrel and Harris Hawk that have been trained specifically for bird abatement. It’s the ole “fighting fire with fire” approach and it works remarkably well.

In one year, one owl convinced thousands of seagulls to keep off 100+ acres of land and to forage from the sea and beach –and not for french fries up at the bistro atop the bluff.

Get a look at this owl! I’d be flying in the opposite direction, too, if I were a seagull! The birds of prey are flown almost everyday to make the seagulls think that the owl (or hawks) own the area.

This is a photo of an Eagle Owl at Terranea Resort Palos Verde, CA.

Eagle Owl at Terranea Resort

This is a photo of the claws of an Eagle Owl.

Yes, your Majesty, I'll forage on the sea and at the foot of your cliffs where I belong.

This is a photo of an Eagle Owl's plumage.

This is a photo of Paul, the Eagle Owl handler at Terranea Resort, Palos Verde, CA.

Paul and the Eagle Owl

This is a photo of the Eagle Owl at Terranea Resort. It is the largest owl in the world.

"I'm number one! I'm number one!"

This is a photo of Paul and the Eagle Owl talking to a group of people.

The American Harris Hark (below) will keep any small rodent population down with ease. These hawks are really cooperative hunters and native to the southwestern United States. These hawks are the easiest to train and often a favorite in falconry. They usually hunt in packs of three to six in the wild which is quite a rare trait.  Some will scout out the food while the others come in for the kill and trap the animal. At Terranea Resort, a favorite food is rabbit which would do major damage to the landscaping if allowed in. Those pesky rabbits!

This is a photo of a bird of prey visiting Terranea Resort, Palos Verde, CA.

Ha, ha! I'll have you for breakfast you pesky little rabbit.

This is a photo of a bird of prey's head.

I'm going to count to three, seagull, and if you aren't gone from here, I'm going to feed you to my children!

Along with his pals the owl and hawk is the American Kestrel Hawk (below). You may know it as a sparrow hawk or ‘the smallest falcon’, but they are serious hunters. They keep the mice, lizard, grasshopper and small birds away from Terranea Resort.

This is a photo of a small bird of prey at Terranea Resort, Palos Verde, CA.

Hey! Don't underestimate me. I may be small, but I will rip your head off and eat you for lunch!

If I were a small lizard, I think I’d find somewhere else to bask in the sun than the lovely stucco walls of Terranea.

UA-101177352