The first showers of monsoon covered the parched earth with beautiful green sprouts of grass. The yellowed trees started to regain there lushness. Out of the golden grass came out the beautiful tigress. In the afternoon lights we became spellbound.
It was a late autumn morning. For three days we were travelling through the maze of rivers and canals that is Sundarban. The beautiful mangrove forest had us mesmerised with it's pristine beauty , the colourful kingfishers had kept us enthralled ; the predatory raptors accompanied us in their search for food , which was a journey into wonderland for us. But in spite of the rich experience , an untold miasma of longing was hanging heavy in the air. We were yet to have a glimpse of the king. Be it in the concentrated search of the early hours , or during the collective resignation at the the fag end of the evening , or at the time of hearing captivating tiger stories from our veteran guide in the evening, we all wished for a glimpse, a glimpse , only a fleeting glimpse. And at the last day, when all hope was lost , we were awarded a sight by the king. Male man-eater from the Delta, the ghost of the mangroves for you all.
It was a spring morning, the wind still retained some of it's chill. I was following my Guide through the meandering jungle path, the dry twigs crackling under my shoes, overnight dew dropping from the ferns and orchids all around. My heart was beating almost audibly at the anticipation of the glimpse of the phantom. They are elusive , shy and often fly away at the slightest hint of human presence. And when I finally saw the "White Winged Wood Duck", it was upon it's classic perch, a branch of a dead tree, hanging upon a quite , vegetated pond. I had goose-bump and I almost forgot to press the shutter. A moment of sublime quality , quite inaptly captured by me , presented here for the pleasure of the swell ladies and gentlemen of this forum, The "Deo Hanh" or "Ghost Duck" from Nameri National Park.
It was a dream come true for me when I first met a hard-to-find "Forest Baby"/"Slender Loris" face to face. They are incredibly cuddly and shy.They are primates and are actually close relative of humans.They are facing a very bleak future due to habitat loss and hunting. Apparently slow but actually moves lightning fast to take shelter behind foliage. I photographed it with a torchlight and ensured that the intrusion was minimum.
A young male Leopard at Nagzira came disconcertingly close to us , hence could take some frame-filling images. This is one from the medium distance but the surrounding and low POV attracted me. Will post more later
It is this time of the year when most of us pack our bags and wander off to disperse destinations to watch that elusive bird , or to be with our dear ones , or to savour nature , or just to enjoy a few days away from the daily hustle of life. I will also be away , and hence won't be visiting this beautiful forum for some days. So all my wishes for a very Happy New Year to you all. Let us enjoy the festivities, with our friends and near ones, close to nature.
The first wobbly steps to an uncertain future. Porcupines are shy, nocturnal creatures and they are mercilessly persecuted , for meat and otherwise. So when I heard the news that there is a chance to watch a litter , it was a dream come true for me. At GRK , very near the Pakistan border , after a walk on the dry riverbed we reached a ridge. We had to lie down and wait for an hour before the sunlights hit the burrow , which was just at the opposite side of the dried river and the kids, two of them came out and played under the watchful eye of their mother. It was a fascinating hour of my life , watching them play , enjoy , sometimes being chided by their mom. Then it was time to say good-bye.