Friday, May 20, 2016

The lake after the May showers

Puttenahalli Lake (Pic: Jaba)

Panoramic view (Pic: Usha Rajagopalan)

Aerial view (Pic: Geetha Balan)

With just two showers, yesterday and the day before, the water level has increased considerably making the lake an absolutely delightful sight. More photos here
Do visit the lake, take photographs and share them with us and all. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Green to Clean

We are delighted to tell you that finally our lake is showing, almost, its true glory! The alligator weed which had covered most of the entire expanse of the water has been removed thanks to funding received from Deloitte Shared Services India Private Limited. 

27-Mar-2016 Before deweeding

18-Apr-2016

Their CSR support enabled us to hire Yellappa and his team of fishermen who began work from 3rd April and completed it on the 20th. They were an excellent group of workers who did not let anything deter them. Not the heat nor the water snakes nor the tangled shoots of the alligator weed which had spread like a large thick sheet over the water. 

Deweeding in progress

Indeed, except for us trustees and a few regular visitors to the lake, almost everyone who spoke to us doubted if there was any water at all in the lake. But little by little the water started to show as the men cut the weed deep down in the water and hauled the strips along for their colleagues to pull onto the land.They piled it along one side of the lake bed which is higher and still dry land. And what huge heaps they made! BBMP helped us dispose these off. They have sent a couple of JCBs to dig deep pits in the lake bed and tractors to fill the pits with the waste. 

We've documented all these through photographs, a selection of which you can see here. Yesterday evening, as if in celebration of Earth Day (22nd April), Yellappa released over 1200 fingerlings in the water. The four species of fish released included the Grass Carp which feeds on aquatic plants. We hope it lives up to its name and keeps the weeds under control. 

22-Apr-2016 Fish being released into the water

It is for the first time since 2009 that the lake has some water at this time of the year. (See here for pictures through the past few years.) This is because rather than depend on the unreliable monsoon, we have treated waste water from South City STP feeding the lake. What a welcome sight it is!     

21-Apr-2016

While we can now breathe easier than in the past few months, our work isn't done yet. We need to ensure that the lake remains free of all invasive aquatic weeds and implement measures to improve the quality of the water. 

It has been a long haul for both the lake and us, trustees, who are driven more by passion than by qualification or prior experience in conservation. We would not have been able to come this far without the help of all our supporters, donors and volunteers. Among many others, we would like to thank especially BBMP (lakes), South City apartment owners' association, Fisheries Dept, and Yellappa and his men. Above all, our heartfelt thanks to Deloitte Shared Services India Private Limited, our CSR Partner in this "Clean Puttenahalli Lake Project". 

- Usha Rajagopalan

Friday, April 8, 2016

The food chain captured

A part of the food chain, captured by Madhurima Das at Puttenahalli Lake this morning. The Purple Swamphen chick was lost to the keen eyes of the Brahminy Kite.



The Brahminy Kite fleeing with its breakfast

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Summer shade

We realize the value of shady trees only when the heat becomes unbearable, as it is these days.

See the walkway at the lake now as against three years ago. The trees on the left are Cassia Javanica, with exquisite flowers.

April 2016

Three years ago

Cassia Javanica (Pic:Vishnupriya Hathwar) 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A pelican visits

Today morning we got the exhilarating news of a new bird sighted at the lake - a Pelican no less! To be precise, a Spot-billed Pelican. Birder Madhu spotted it at about 7.30 a.m., followed by Srinivas Pai from the Nature Conservation Society and then Deepa Mohan who happened to come with her group of enthusiasts. We trustees got a flurry of messages about the sighting and photographs. I managed to see it from my balcony. It was so huge that I didn't even need the binocs.

The Spot-billed Pelican has been listed as "Near Threatened". For more info about this bird, please see here. Madhu's report below captures the excitement of seeing the Pelican. She in fact, saw another beauty - a Golden Oriole flying overhead. This is a gorgeous bird which we hope will land, (maybe nest?) at the lake. 

All you birders, a big, big thanks from us. Here's hoping that the Pelican returns with his/her friends. May the number of winged wonders to the lake increase giving you and us, great joy. 

Usha

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Madhurima Das

This morning, when I went to the lake, one of the first things I saw was a huge boat  near the viewing deck. Looking closely, I realized that it was a spot billed pelican. Upon hurrying to the viewing deck, I saw that a group of pond herons and cattle egrets, which are normally foraging in the reeds, sitting huddled on a perch, while the coot family and the little grebes were going to great lengths to avoid the humongous guest. Pics attached. 

The pelican swam for 15-20 minutes, then it flew and landed on the perch where the cattle egrets and pond herons had taken shelter, scattering them in all directions. Later, the cattle egrets did try to reclaim the perch, but in vain. A black kite also tried to dislodge the pelican from its perch, but was repulsed as the pelican remained seated unperturbed for almost an hour.

Besides the pelican, a golden oriole was also seen at the lake today. It flew around the lake and disappeared near the coconut grove. The greater coucal, little cormorant and purple heron were seen after a long time too.

Thanks,
Madhu

Cattle Egrets and Pond Herons (Pic: Madhurima Das)

Golden Oriole in flight (Pic: Madhurima Das)

Spot-billed Pelican (Pic: Madhurima Das)

(Pic: Deepa Mohan)

(Pic: Deepa Mohan)

(Pic: Thimanna Bhat)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Report on the Mime Workshop

"Don't be the Object,'' was the mantra on Saturday evening, 27th Feb 2016, at the Puttenahalli Lake gazebo.

The children, impeccably dressed in black and white (the dress code was such), started off by introducing themselves in a novel way in which they had to prefix their names with an adjective which had the same first letter as their name. The younger children thought, the older ones prompted and we had several adjectives flying across the gazebo...Awesome Anoushka, Smiling Sidhanth....

After a fun theatre game, the 25 children were divided into groups of 5 and an exercise to sharpen the auditory senses, harmonize voice and improve awareness, movement and spontaneity was conducted. By now, the kids were all ready for the real thing! Murali Krishna, the super talented mime artist from ASMI, an institute of art, culture and theatre, introduced the children to mime, which is an art of silent recreation. In this art form, facial expressions, gestures and postures do all the talking.

The very first mime enactment was peeling an imaginary banana and eating it. After this, the highly interactive session encompassed different activities, actions and scenes....how to ask and tell the time of day, cricket batting, lifting a heavy rock, switching on the TV with a remote control, opening the refrigerator and drinking from a bottle, riding a motorbike, etc.  In between all this, the groups were given several topics such as, a scene from a Zoo, a wedding photograph and finding a treasure, to enact using the mime techniques that were taught. The groups with children ranging from age 7 to 12, huddled together and then came up with extremely creative and interesting ways to mime these concepts. All the time, the children remembered to 'not be the object'. After each enactment, there was animated interpretations and discussions.





The children lost their inhibitions and found a way to express themselves in a manner much different to the one they are normally accustomed to. Puttenahalli Lake once again resounded with the laughter of happy children and proud parents, that evening.

When the session ended the excited children tried walking back home by doing the mime walk, before realizing that it was only the illusion of walking and the body actually remains stationary in the original place J  

- Divya Shetty, PNLIT coordinator for the Mime Workshop 

Seven year old Subhashini who was one of the participants had this to say about the Mime workshop:

The day when I went to Mime Workshop, I had lots of fun. I enjoyed Miming that means pretending that I opened a fridge and got out a juice bottle, and opened it with a bottle opener, and drink it! Yoo Hoo! It was nice, really nice. And I learnt 3 important things in Mime. First important thing is the size of the object. Second is shape of the object and the third is the weight of the object. The main thing about Mime is "Don't become the OBJECT" . We also learnt to do a Mime walk! The walk was to walk in the same place! That was fun!

To know more about ASMI, please contact Poornima <poornimaprabhakar20@gmail.com>.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Qigong for the 60+ - 28th Feb 2016

Silver Talkies and PNLIT are happy to announce an introduction to Qigong for the 60+ at Puttenahalli Lake on Sunday 28th February 2016 from 5 p.m., for about an hour. 

Qigong is a traditional Chinese form of physical healing which is gentle in nature and can be done by all age groups. It is now practiced worldwide for recreation, exercise and relaxation, self-healing and meditation. Master Debabrata Dutta will be conducting this session, specially for senior citizens (60+). All you need for this session is the ability to stand for 20-30 minutes at a stretch. To know more about Qigong and for FAQs, see here.

This is a free session with limited seats. Hence register asap. To register, call 99805008000/ 9900025525 or write to mail@silvertalkies.com.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Mime Time at the lake - 27th February 2016

It's time 
for MIME!

PNLIT is happy to announce that on Saturday 27th February, ASMI Institute of Art, Culture and Theatre will be conducting a Mime and Theatre Games Workshop for children between 7 and 12 years. 

Mime is an important non-verbal technique used in the performing arts to communicate and express various emotions and characters using facial expression, gestures and movement.


Time 4.30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Venue : Gazebo, Puttenahalli Lake
Dress Code : Black and white or only Black.

This is a FREE event and limited to 25 children. To register, drop a mail to PNLIT event coordinator Divya <divyadshetty@hotmail.com>.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Clay and fun at Eco-Art Workshop

At the Puttenahalli Lake on Sunday, 31st January 2016, twenty children aged between 7 and 12, got their hands dirty and their parents said not a word. Instead, they watched with pride as the kids unleashed their creative potential through the medium of clay. The occasion was an Eco-Art workshop conducted by Vicky Smith, a therapist from the UK to celebrate World Wetlands day on Feb. 2nd. Passionate about social and environmental justice, this nature lover is on a mission to promote awareness of the threat to the environment and climate change through such workshops for children. 

Vicky wove a beautiful story around the miracles of the lake, the Banyan tree and a boy named Bhuvan who loves the Puttenahalli lake in his green city of Bangalore. Bhuvan once wakes up with a deep fear that his beloved lake is drying up and the fish are dying but people with scary faces are laughing and cheering at the plight of lake.  Integrating the narrative with clay modelling, she distributed the clay among the children and helped them to make their own Ganesha idol, the saviour of the lake. This was followed by getting the kids to make a Scary face with clay. The excited children came up with a variety of interesting poses and designs. 






After this, they tumbled out of the Gazebo, divided themselves into two groups and made two  "lakes" and decorated them with miniature flora and fauna.  One group even made an island in the middle of their lake and put a palm tree on it, a neat copy of the original! 




At the end of the two hours, the children left for home carefully holding the precious Ganesha idol and scary face they had made themselves. What better way to celebrate a Sunday evening than by connecting with nature? By learning through fun to love lakes and take care of them?


Divya Shetty
PNLIT Associate

Friday, January 22, 2016

"Eco-Art" for children

PNLIT is happy to host "Eco-Art"  a unique story telling cum clay modelling activity for children between ages 7 and 12 on Sunday 31st January 2016 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Children to assemble by 4:15 p.m. 

The artist: 
Ms. Vicky Smith, a.k.a "Little Miss Compassion"  is a therapist from the UK. Passionate about social and environmental justice, she's on a mission to work with children around the world to help them connect better with nature. Her website is www.littlemisscompassion.com.

No. of participants: 20 only (twenty) on first come first served basis. 
Registration fee: Rs. 200 (inclusive of materials)

To register your child, please email puttenahalli.lake@gmail.com