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The Elements of Typographic Style

Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Pullover

Minding the Earth, Mending the Word: Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis

North Face Base Camp Duffel (Medium)




Entries in Tamil Nadu (5)


Throwing Parottas


Parottas are delicious flatbreads from Southern India. In some markets, the rolling out and the frying of the parotta happen in two different places. Which requires a bit of ingenuity and dexterity on the part of the breadmaker and the cook. [NOTE: You clearly have to pay attention when you walk through this market in Tamil Nadu].


Tamarind Trees

The road from Coimbatore to Kotagiri (see Kotagiri Landscape and Kotagiri Tea Estates) is lined with large tamarind trees (Tamarindus indica L.). Each of the trees has a number and two white bands painted on the trunk. This, I was told, is part of a government concession system in which local people can harvest the tamarind fruits, but only from designated groups of trees in certain years.  I wonder who is in charge of the tree painting?  


Kotagiri Landscape

The view from the balcony of the guesthouse where I stayed in Kotagiri on my recent trip to Tamil Nadu (see Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and Biodiversity Festival).  A patchwork of tea plantations in different stages of development. Kotagiri has some of the oldest tea plantations in this part of India. The first one was started in 1863 by the daughter of M.D. Cockburn, a Scottish planter and the district collector.  Wonder what was growing here before the Camellia sinensis took over?


Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is a 5,500 square kilometer protected area in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka in southern India. Established in 1986, Nilgiri is the oldest Biosphere Reserve in India.  The reserve contains over 100 species of mammals (including tigers, Asian elephants, and the Nilgiri Tahr), 3300 species of flowering plants, and 10 indigenous tribal groups. The reserve is under consideration for designation as a World Heritage Site because of its unique biodiversity.  This is an amazing place.


Kotagiri Tea Estates

Drove through some beautiful old tea estates yesterday outside of Kotagiri in Tamil Nadu, India. Kotagiri is the home of the Keystone Foundation, the local NGO that invited me here to participate in a workshop on indigenous cultures, biodiversity, and the adaptive management of non-timber forest resources. Kotagiri is also the gateway to the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.