My Dream Trip!
“Are these for real…??!!” I gasped as the video ended. The husband was equally dazzled by what we had just seen. An amazing array of colours still danced before our eyes, overwhelming our senses. I quickly looked up on the net.
“….most of them living in the remote mountainous rain forests of New Guinea in the Pacific, are known for their extravagant, brightly colored plumage, crazy courtship dances and bizarre behaviors. Some of them can change in the blink of an eye to almost otherworldly beings: mysterious cloaked creatures; with flared skirts of feathers; or odd-looking black and iridescent blue psychedelic smiley faces.…”
I found it hard to believe that such ‘otherworldly beings’ actually existed in my lifetime. How I wish I could go and see them for myself:
The splendor of the *Birds of Paradise* in all their glory.
I dreamer, I am. So, let me share with you my dream of going to Papua New Guinea to witness these marvelous creations of nature. My sole companion on my journey to the other end of the world, to Papua New Guinea, will be the person who shares my dream and my love for the Birds of Paradise – the husband. I need him to tackle tricky situations, carry heavy bags and click the camera. But mostly, to hold my hand through both ecstasy and disappointments that may transpire during the journey.
For once in my life, I shall let go of my desire to plan everything to the last detail and relax my typical Virgo trait of controlling everything. Instead of looking up the hundred ‘best routes’ to Papua New Guinea myself and lose sleep over what I had missed, I shall delegate this job to Yatra.com, the people who are supposed to be best at doing just that. Phew! A load off my back and I can concentrate only on the birds without worrying over flight tickets and hotel bookings.
I have never been to that side of the world, the islands comprising the small country of Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean. Yet, in my imagination, I conjure up images of thick, mist laden rain forests. A suitable green cover for my Birds of Paradise, who can serenade and seduce their partners away from the prying eyes.
These little known birds came to focus with the Birds of Paradise Project, led by National Geographic biologist-photographer Tim Laman and Cornell Lab of Ornithology scientist Edwin Scholes who documented for the first time all 39 species of bird-of-paradise in the wild with photographs. The time taken? Eight years and 18 expeditions.
I dream of only one expedition. And yet, in that one expedition, I wish to witness the famed courtship dances of the Birds of Paradise where they change their appearance in the blink of an eye. While the courtship dance of a particular species look like a ballet dance from the ground where they flare out their feathers like a tutu and dance back and forth, this actually looks like an egg-shaped blob from the female’s perspective, who would be perched atop a tree. Another quirky courtship display by some species includes serenading females by hanging upside down from a branch!
I have doubts if we would be able to photograph these mysterious birds as capturing their spectacular displays require highly advanced technical know-how as well as sheer luck and human determination. But that’s fine. Whatever we shall see, will be etched in our minds forever. Both of us will rejoice in the fact that we saw what our hearts had desired. Perhaps, someday this dream of mine, actually ours, will come true. Cheers to that!
PS: Want to see what sparked off our interest? Take a look!
Note: All images are courtesy facebook.com/BirdsofParadiseProject
(This is an entry for Indiblogger and Yatra.com’s contest ‘Creating Happy Travellers’.)