Last updated: 21 Apr, 2018

Footsteps through the Salad

Wildlife profiles and natural phenomena of Auroville

by Tim Wrey

What do you know about the common mammals, birds, amphibians, snakes, lizards, flying insects and other creatures that you see around Auroville? Probably not a lot – like most people. If that is the case, then here is an opportunity to learn something more about a variety of them, and the role they play in nature, both the popular and attractive ones like the squirrels, birds and butterflies, and the less popular or shunned creatures like the ants, centipedes and scorpions. At the same time, 'Footsteps through the salad' also offers an opportunity to learn about some of the natural phenomena that people living in this part of the world are familiar with, but usually know little about, such as thunder and lightning, the mechanism of the monsoon, nature's agents of destruction, cyclones, etc.

This book is written in an informal manner for laymen, largely free of scientific or zoological terminology. Hopefully it will help expand the horizons of knowledge for many intellectually curious readers, and will instill in them a greater appreciation of the natural world around them, together with a desire to protect and conserve it for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
Published by: Prisma & SAIIER, 2012
Format: Softcover
Dimensions: 29 x 21cm
Language: English
Pages: 315 

History and background

Starting back in the late 1980s Tim Wrey wrote a series of 30 articles on wildlife for the in-house journal of an Auroville-based computer manufacturing unit, with the aim of arousing interest in the natural world among the computer geeks working there.

For years those articles lay gathering dust, but sometime in 2009 he decided to make them accessible to the students of Auroville’s schools by way of a book, which he hoped would not only help them learn about the wonderful natural world around us, but also motivate them to protect and preserve it for future generations. However, first he decided to fill in some gaps in the articles’ coverage by adding a few more on missing topics, probably 10-or-so, but as time went by he kept thinking of more and more topics. From 30 the number eventually rose to over 70.

Typically he worked on average 2+ hours a night on the book for nearly 2½ years as he prepared the text, researching via books and on the Internet for the extra material needed. Being a complete amateur, just a nature lover, and never having done a book before, he was unaware of the need to make note at the time of sources of information used, and later get permission to quote them. By the time he became aware of this it was too late: he had already explored the contents of literally hundreds of sites, making notes and downloading sentences and occasional short passages.

Now he is in an uncomfortable situation, aware that the book may contain material that should not have been included without permission. Anyone who finds such material in the book is asked to please understand what happened. If they want recognition or an acknowledgement, everything possible will be done to include it immediately. (An e-mail address is in the book.)

Meanwhile, Tim feels to add that he has no personal financial interest in the book, whatsoever.