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Showing posts from June, 2011

How to Point-and-Shoot: Amphibians and Reptiles

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The nights are getting louder in the Northern Hemisphere. Whether it is near a wetland or in the trees, there is a choir of clicks and croaks and ribbits all around. As these little chorus singers try to impress their counterparts, there are large, armoured, slithering creatures lurking in the waters or under the leaf litter, silently looking for their future partner. It is summer and the hearts of the cold-blooded are getting warmer in search of love. Welcome to the world of amphibians and reptiles. We naturalists admire these warm nights as much as we love the daylight. Not for any other reason, but to walk miles in search of these love-ridden animals of the dark – the amphibians, as well as their distant relatives – reptiles, to study, photograph, or just admire them. Let’s focus on how to photograph them in the middle of a day or dark rainy nights using a point-and-shoot camera.
I have been focusing on how to photograph using point-and-shoot cameras for the past four months…

Leea - An Insect Haven

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The clouds roared and rain poured in Mumbai on the evening of 2nd June 2011. The weather is still (extremely) sultry, but after a long summer, the cloud cover is beginning to take over the sun. As the pre-monsoon showers bathe the ground and wash the dusty leaves, many little flower buds will bloom into a grandeur celebration. While the rain will provide a respite for shriveled roots and thirsty throats, the flowers will provide a nutritious feast for the nectar lovers. It is that time of the year for one of the favorites of all the butterflies, bugs, beetles, ants, bees and wasps – Leea.
Leea is a genus of a perennial shrub in the family Leeaceae (or Vitaceae, according to Angiosperm Phylogeny Group II System). There are around 34 species found in the Indo-Australian region and parts of Africa. About 10 species have been recorded in Mumbai’s forests – with L. indica and L. macrophyla being the most common. Both of these are easily distinguished from the shape of their leaves – L. indi…