Things to look forward to
The days of isolation, quarantine, curfews etc. can sometimes seem endless at the moment, so we decided to find some positives and list some of the things we are looking forward to over the coming months. We hope this inspires you too and we will be sharing photos of all of the below on social media so that you can be a part of it.
- Birds prepare their nests - We have already noticed some of our winged neighbours making their nests. Some, like the parrots, are very high in the trees, some can be spotted lower down and some, like the hornbills, use tree holes to keep their eggs safe.
- Pepper harvest – Pepper is a very valuable crop in Sri Lanka and can be found growing throughout the forest here. Like the cloves, it is plucked and dried out in the hot Sri Lankan sun before it is ready for sale.
- Sinhalese and Tamil New Year – Normally a time for dressing up and great celebrations, New Year will of course be significantly quieter this year. However, we are still looking forward to a small celebration within our households and a chance to set fresh ambitions for the year ahead.
- Birds hatching – Baby bird time! We have 62 species of birds in our forest here so that hopefully means lots of little ones hatching in May.
- Fruit ready – The forest around where we are is referred to as “Kandyan Forest Garden”, which means that the large mosaic of forest is interspersed with fruit and spice trees. Many trees produce fruit in May and we are particularly excited for the mangoes..
- Rains start! - 2020 has been a particularly dry year already – we are keeping a close watch on our tree saplings. The monsoon rains start in June here and will be a huge relief for both wildlife and people, as water availability is becoming increasingly diminished.
- Kandy Esala Perahera – Famous around the world and of significant cultural and religious importance in Sri Lanka, the nearby Kandy Esala Perahera is a huge festival with processions paying homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. If it goes ahead at the end of July this year, we can expect to see lights, dancing, elephants and music.
- Rice harvest in the paddy fields – Sri Lanka usually has two rice harvests per year called Maha and Yala, meaning bigger and smaller respectively. The country is projected to produce 2.97 million tonnes of rice in 2020, that is equivalent to the weight of approximately 600,000 adult Asian elephants.
- Avocados – Avocado trees are famously water-hungry so they produce their fruit here slightly later following the rainy season.
- Elephant gathering – Minneriya National Park, to the north of where we are, hosts an incredible spectacle of nature every year. Referred to as “The Gathering”, herds of up to 300-400 elephants come together in the park to take advantage of the fertile soils and new grass revealed by the dropping water level in Minneriya Lake.
- Migratory birds arrive – An amazing 200 species of migratory birds arrive in Sri Lanka between October and April. They come from as far afield as Siberia and Western Europe to escape the cold winter weather there.
We feel there is plenty to keep us positive! What is on your list? Have a think and log in to comment below.