24 November 2008

The sky over Jaisalmer

Mare's tails, Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer crouches in the desert, surrounded by sand and thorns. The fort looks out over the desert, down to the surrounding town, up to the sky. Here, you look up and the sky goes on forever.

All content © 2008 Pete McGregor


Relatively Retiring said...

But where are the vultures?

pohanginapete said...

RR, the vultures have disappeared from India because they're being poisoned by diclofencac, which is used as a veterinary medicine.The consequent proliferation of carcasses, which formerly would have been quickly disposed of by the vultures, has led to an irruption of feral dogs, and therefore to an marked upsurge in the incidence of rabies. Apparently, India now has legislation in place to greatly restrict the use of diclofenac, but it's probably too late for the most susceptible species of vultures. And now, diclofenac is appearing for sale in Africa. Imagine Africa without vultures?

Relatively Retiring said...

When I asked that deceptively simple question I had no idea that your answer would be so shocking and so terribly sad.

Vultures are the most wonderful creatures.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pete,
That is a bit shocking. Also because I thought that name rang a bell, and so I had a look at the prescription given to me for the arthritis in my hip. From time to time it flares up and so the doctor gave me Diclofenac! I have rarely used it, and think I might just biff it altogeter. A better world through chemicals eh!

Zhoen said...

Knew about the vultures, stupid and sad.

The clouds look like ferns.

pohanginapete said...

RR, yes, shocking and sad. I heard somewhere that a "vulture-safe" substitute for diclofenac has been developed, so maybe there's some hope.

Robb, diclofenac is of no direct concern here in Aotearoa as far as I'm aware (we know it by the brand name voltaren). It has its uses — but I don't count among those uses the the killing of vultures and the drugging of cattle so they can produce more milk and plough more fields.

Zhoen — yes, it is indeed stupid. I'm dismayed by the apparent inability of so many people to think beyond the first link in the chain of cause-and-effects. Even if we can't be sure of the effects, surely we can remain open to the possible effects — and respond quickly when they're realised.
I wonder if I subconsciously saw the clouds as ferns; as a reminder of Aotearoa, where ferns are so characteristic of the environments I love; where the silver fern is a powerful emblem?

Michael said...

Marvelous photo. Perfect balance of land and sky. I'm taking flight.

pohanginapete said...

Michael: "taking flight" — yes; I had that feeling often when I was there.