Honestly till some time ago I had never heard of Valparai. It was Kalyan and a few others who mentioned it on twitter off and on. Being creature of arid or dry deciduous forest, I had resisted the rain forests for a long time. Seeing the lush green, HDR without the HDR kind of landscapes and the amazing macros of creatures unseen was tempting but the real lure however was the opportunity to photograph one of the most rare of the primates; the Lion Tailed Macaque
Valparai is located about 100km from Coimbatore; unfortunately from Nagpur there are no direct flights and it meant hopping flights in Mumbai. Till a few hours before our departure Mumbai had been experiencing the heaviest downpour of the season, I was a bit worried about flights getting delayed and we might miss the connecting flight. The rain Gods relented and we landed in Coimbatore dot on time. The drive to Valparai was one of the most enchanting drives that we have ever experienced. The 40 hairpin bends around the hills which give a progressively awesome view of the Aliyar Dam and reservoir is something to be experienced. The drive also gave me the opportunity to test my new GPS – Garmin 60CSx
As we drove up it was raining… If you want just pictures wait for part 2 else read on….
A very hectic work routine at the office, Aasim on a Himalyan trek – it looked like we were going to spend our 17th wedding anniversary doing mostly nothing. However on the flip side was an invitation from Kalyan who is shooting for National Geographic in the jungles of Tadoba. To hell with everything we said and decided to spend our anniversary in the blistering summer heat doing what we love most – photographing the wild with friends. Once decided everything else was a breeze thanks to all the meticulous planning by Swati and assurances by Kallu about taking care of logistics at Tadoba. Continue reading, 12 more pictures
With so many pictures from our Tanzania trip I wanted to something different than my usual wildlife photography style. I have tried to compile a series of five pictures which I call “Animal Portraits”. Each of these animals are from a group referred to as the African Big Five. Continue reading and grab the other 4 too!!
On the morning of our departure from Kirawira, western Serengeti it was cloudy and we had almost given up all hopes of seeing anything but then as it can happen with any jungle safari our luck changed. Just 20 meter form the road was sitting a part of a lion pride three lioness with two cubs. Initially the cubs were just content to suckle but then one of the lioness took upon herself that it was time to teach a few things about hunting to the young ones. So she cajoled them into play and what looked like a lot of fun for the cubs she proceeded to teach them some moves about how to hunt! I won’t bother with much verbal details and will let the pictures do the talking. Continue reading 9 photos after the link
26th Jan, 2010: Roughly 250 kilometers on bumpy terrain with temperature ranging from 7 degrees Celsius to 34 degree Celsius and lots of dust. Am dead tired, my face it all chapped but it was the best Republic day celebration for me ever Continue reading, 9 more photographs
25th Jan, 2010: This can be termed as “The day when nothing much happened”. We left CEDO, Nakhtrana at 6:00 am and reached Rann Riders , Dasada at 12:00 a distance of 350km. Continue reading, but just 4 more photos
24th Jan, 2010: A day of “Super specialty birding” is what I would call the day! Swati and Aasim opted to stay back due to yesterday’s tiring drive. So I went along with Mr Jugal Tiwari to a thorn forest near Banni grassland searching for the first target species of the day. “White-naped Tit” – This species underwent a rapid population decline in the recent past. Its small, severely fragmented population continues to decline, although at a reduced rate, as a result of the loss, degradation and fragmentation of its tropical thorn-scrub habitat. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable. Continue reading, has 14 more photos
I just realized that this was the first photo that I took in 2010. We were on our regular morning walk and the roads were pretty much deserted. This particular fellow we have been tracking since it was a juvenile just out of the nest. Usually raptors are very camera shy but this individual I would like to think knows us and likes to pose
This photo also made it to Flickr explore on 6th Jan 2010
Hard Ground Barasingha Cervus duvaceli branderi. Because of its adaptation to hard ground habitat is regarded as a distinct sub species. Continue reading