One tree in the middle of a grassland.
On a vast expanse of greenary, grasslands showing off traces of a long gone glory which is only memory and a fort in ruins, one can see the true beauty of the Western Ghats. Another important feature of the landscape is its sholas, typical to this part of Western Ghats. On top of one such hills in Ballala Rayana Durga in South Kanara, is a tree perhaps with handful number of leaves here and there, seemingly counting its last days in the Sun.
Whats remarkable about this tree is the fact that this tree is host to a number of Orchids. The orchids seems to be of the Aerides, Oberonia and few other genera.
Being the lone tree in the middle of a grass land on top of a hill, for these epiphytes this tree is the only support they have. Quite remarkable! The tree and Orchids stand there as reminder to us of the rareness of the habitat. Could this have been only tree of the species left? Could these epiphytes are the only of their species remaining?
Perhaps this this sounds bit too hyped if not an exaggeration. Truth is that if one looks at the bigger picture, this tree stands as tall symbol for many of regions, pockets of forests, sholas, mangroves, etc supporting lives of various species, including humans And it can’t symbolise the whole of Western Ghats any better.