Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Fringed by the Indian Ocean

 Yala National Park is home to a wide range of wild animals. 

We stayed for 3 nights in our own little jungle chalet within this national park.

Grey Langur monkeys danced on our rooftop, 
wild Boar grunted around the veranda,
 and a large male elephant was seen lurking in the bushes when we left the chalet to take an early morning safari. 
We loved the little green Bee-eaters flitting around in the bushes, 
along with this handsome Jerdon's baza with his crested tuft of black feathers,  
and this Brahminy kite.


How discreetly these snoozing young Indian Scops owls blend in with their host tree.
This handsome Painted Stork is searching around for frogs and lizards, but has a listing of 'near threatened'. 
The variety of wild fowl and bird life in Sri Lanka is quite spectacular, it must surely be paradise for any serious bird spotters. 
It is early morning, all looks tranquil and peaceful within this pastoral scene, but rather ominously we have just spotted two very large crocodiles lying in the reeds close by.
Suddenly our Ranger zooms off down a track - perhaps he has been notified of something on his radio!

What a special find! a cute reclusive Sloth bear. However, my initial excitement is tempered by concerns for this lovely little bear as there are no more than 500 of them left in the wild. Although insects, ants, and termites make up their staple diet, they also need the nuts and fruits that they find in the tropical forests, and these as we know, are being destroyed at an alarming rate. 
The mother bear carries her young cubs on her back until they are 9 months old, but Sloth bears, including their young are excellent tree climbers should they need protection from predators. 
Suddenly our driver is off again - the ride is fast and bumpy - we all hold on tight.
We have found a very relaxed, beautiful, large leopard sleeping in a Weera tree.  
Let's leave him sleeping peacefully - it is still early in the morning, and our breakfast awaits.
*****
This is my final post from Sri Lanka - a teardrop shaped volcanic island set in the Indian Ocean and home to a very diverse range of animals and plant life. 
The Golden Shower Tree - Cassia fistula
 We saw a huge variety of vegetables and different fruits, many of which were completely unknown to us. We gained the impression that anything sown in Sri Lanka's rich volcanic ground flourishes.
huge Jack fruits
Many different types of nuts and spices grow in Sri Lanka.
 nutmegs still dressed in their lacy mantles of mace - these three were found simply lying around on the ground at our feet

Brugmansia suaveolens
Flowers that I grow in my garden that require my
 tender, loving, care, grow like weeds in Sri Lanka. 

Dig a 20ft shaft through the volcanic soil and stone, and you might find moonstones.








Dig a deeper mine and you could be rewarded with Rubies, Amethysts, Garnets or cornflower coloured Sapphires.
A cute baby Asian elephant
Sri Lankan stilt fisherman
සමුගැනීමේ ශ්රී ලංකා
This beautiful script is Sinhala and the translation reads - 'farewell Sri Lanka'

35 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing these superb photographs. I haven't commented on every post but be sure I've read them all with great interest - and not a little jealousy!

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    1. Thank you very much John - I appreciate your very generous comment. I enjoyed doing these posts as it gave me a further opportunity to revisit the many different experiences we had.

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  2. I enjoyed your posts very much, the beautiful photos and the interesting texts was great to see.

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  3. What a feast for the eye in your wonderful photos Rosemary. I loved the little green bee eater too, what a sweet bird. You have opened my eyes to such much of Sri Lanka, of which I know very little. The sleeping leopard is both fascinating and a little frightening, and likewise the idea of the crocodiles lurking. The famous Ceylon sapphires are stunning - I hope you took home one for yourself :) I am planning to share your posts with our grandson who visited Sri Lanka recently with his mother, but is a bit too young to be able to verbalise what he saw. Perhaps he will recognise a few things and talk to me about it.

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    1. I really love the idea that you are going to show these photos to your young grandson and I hope that he then lets you know more about what he also saw whilst he was in Sri Lanka too - that would be really great.
      I actually have a sapphire stone from Sri Lanka in a ring already, but I must admit the jewellery there was very tempting.

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  4. Dear Rosemary,
    This is a most beautiful post. You must have been so excited for every morning to come because you knew that new adventures where waiting for you.
    Did the little elephant have his group nearby? He/she looks like ready for adventure.

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    1. Dear Gina - the photo of the baby elephant is one of those from the rehabilitation centre for orphaned baby elephants where they prepare them to be returned back into the wild.
      You are right each and every day revealed lots of new experiences and unimagined surprises for us.

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  5. Lucky, lucky you. What a beautiful country and one I'll probably never get to visit so I enjoyed your photos very much, what a variety of animal life.

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    1. I know that you too have been fortunate enough to enjoy lots of interesting trips around the world.

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  6. You were fortunate to see so much astounding beauty, animals and birds dear Rosemary - and your photos are just fabulous. The owls in the tree are so sweet, the tail on the monkey, so long! The Sloth bear is new to me too - hopefully there will be a way to save them from extinction if there are so few remaining.
    I really wasn't aware that there were leopards in Sri Kanka - my favorite big cat when on African safaris.
    First and last photos of the ocean are stunning too.

    Your visit there was definitely memorable for you I'm sure, and many thanks for sharing so much beauty with us.
    Mary x

    The nutmegs were a surprise, have never seen them like that!

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    1. Dear Mary - you may recall that we had intended to visit Burma but changed our minds due to the treatment of the Rohingya people by the military there, but we do not regret changing our minds and going to Sri Lanka instead. We saw so much that was completely new to us, and thoroughly enjoyed each and every day.
      I have been looking on line to see if I can use the nutmegs and mace, and apparently they need to be dried in the sun for 5 or 6 days, so I will probably give it a try and see how I get on.

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  7. What an exciting trip you had! I've enjoyed reading about it and seeing the wonderful photos of the sights you saw in this fascinating country.

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  8. Replies
    1. Yes, the leopard was lovely to see, and appeared to be so relaxed

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  9. I have loved your posts Rosemary. What a truly magical place. I’m sure you will remember seeing so many memorable creatures and plants for a long time. Your hotel looks perfect. B x

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    1. Every hotel we stayed in had something unique about it, but I think that staying in what had been the British Governers tudor residence and this little chalet in Yala hit a very high spot - all of the food at the hotels was wonderful too.

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  10. Hello Rosemary, There are not many places where you can see so much wildlife in just a few days. And they throw in tropical fruits and gemstones, to boot!
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - we were really surprised to see and learn about so much that was completely new to us, and all set within such a very tiny island that is smaller than Ireland.

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  11. Wonderful. I have followed all your posts as well but not always commented. Still, I have thoroughly enjoyed them. Thank you.

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    1. 💕Thank you Susan - delighted that you enjoyed them.

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  12. Dearest Rosemary,
    Your Sri Lanka visit was a very colorful, in every way, and rewarding trip!
    Architecture, culture and above all such a rich flora and fauna and what a treasure in minerals to be found deep inside the soil.
    It is so sad that certain species, like the Painted Stork, do become extinct!
    Lots of fond memories to look back on and excellent photos.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Thank you Mariette - we feel that we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to see so much of what Sri Lanka has to offer - definitely we are left with lots of wonderful memories - thank you for your kind comment re: the photos.

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  13. A wide range of animals and beautifully photographed as usual. A pretty good zoom on it with that kind of close up detail.

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    1. I only have a small point and shoot camera Bob - but I must say that I pleased with the shot of the Jerdon's baza - with my naked eye I could only make out a large brown bird in a distant tree. I took a pot shot at it, and this is the result - the large yellow eyes and the black tufted feather details really took me by surprise, and of course enabled me to identify it.

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  14. What a wealth of treasures you found in Sri Lanka. Your posts have been so informative and I thank you.

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  15. Wow! I so enjoyed this, especially the leopard in the tree....and that cute little bear.

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    1. Thanks Janey - I thought that the cute littIe bear was something rather special to see. I just missed seeing a leopard when we were in South Africa last September so it was lovely to see this one in Sri Lanka, and we were literally just below where he was sleeping.

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  16. What an amazing holiday you must have had, I was looking at your pictures and information and kept urging my husband to look over my shoulder! Sarah x

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    1. The trip left a very big impression on me - I am pleased that you enjoyed having a peek at Sri Lanka.

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