Archive - May 2016

Hawkeye Blog May 2016 May 23, 2016

People watching is an interesting pastime in Nepal because of the variety of activities and attire. This woman sitting on a street corner in Kathmandu was very remindful of a Navajo elder in the American west.

Boudhanath Stupa is the largest stupa in Nepal and the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. It was built in the 14th century. A stupa is a round edifice that usually contains Buddhist relics. The faithful who visit walk around the stupa three times praying, usually fingering prayer beads. The woman in the foreground has a prayer wheel which helps her concentrate on her prayers.

Prayer bells are an important feature in Buddhist temples. One can pray and run their hand along the bells as they walk.

The Sadhus are Hindu holy men who have abandoned a life of ease and material goods. They meditate and rely on the generosity of others for their basic needs.

Swayambhunath Stupa was already an important pilgrimage site by the 5th century AD. It is called The Monkey Temple because of the hundreds of monkeys that have settled there.

Hawkeye April 2016 May 23, 2016

Nepal is a little known, but truly exotic place to visit. Sharing borders with India and Tibet, its Himalayan mountain range is home to 8 of the 14 highest mountains in the world. Chitwan National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an extensive nature preserve found on the southern border of Nepal, adjacent to India's Valmiki Tiger Reserve. Chitwan has 450 species of birds within its confines. The Red Junglefowl is the ancestor of the domestic chicken. It was first domesticated five thousand years ago in Asia, then introduced around the world.

One of the most cartoonish-looking birds is the Oriental Pied Hornbill, which resembles a Disney creation. In addition to being a fruit-eater, they eat reptiles, insects and young birds.

The conservation status of the sloth bear is vulnerable because of poaching and loss of habitat. Contrary to their name, they aren't slow and can outrun a person. Unlike their western cousins, they are insect eaters, primarily termites and ants. Because of that they have a long snout and no upper incisors better adapted to sucking up the insects.

Great One-horned Rhinos are very prehistoric looking, similar to an armored tank, and males can weigh up to 3 tons.

A very rare creature, the gharial is a form of crocodile that eats only fish and has to take that in head first. There are only 200 in the wild along the rivers in southern Nepal but there is preserve that is breeding them and re-introducing them into the wild.