Monsoon: July 2011 Part II
This month was so far the wettest. Since the 13th, it has only been raining. It was a great relief from the hot and humid clime but I can’t say the same for the animals and plants. Also, there are five Sunday’s in this month, so I have an extra day of getting out and away from the urban brawl! On the other hand, I have to stall the How to Point-and-Shoot articles until Winter since I’m occupied with work, and writing for Monsoon Trails takes up a lot of time.
|Dioscorea near a farm
On 17th July, I accompanied a few friends to Yeoor Hills (again). I visit Yeoor so often because it is easily accessible and hence takes up a lot less time than travelling elsewhere. I woke up to the rain, and it didn’t stop raining until I reached home – so the walk was short and the activity low, but we did see something.
|Physiphora sp. (?) doing the dance
As we walked a little further, a friend of mine spotted a beautiful caterpillar of a beautiful, not-so-common butterfly – Tawny Rajah, Charaxes bernardus:
|Tawny Rajah, Charaxes bernardus caterpillar
|The Crowned King!
We also saw several Common Ceruleans, about which I discussed in Part I, as well as an empty pupa of a Common Leopard, Phalanta phalanta, a Rice Swift, Borbo cinnara basking in the drizzle and several other flies and beetles. That’s all folks, from this two hour walk. Sometimes only a few sightings are enough to keep you going until next weekend.
|It may not look much, but they're awesome - Male Velvet Ant, Mutillidae
|Katydid/ Cricket nymph
|A large, beautiful Stink Bug, Pentatomidae
Several beetles were around as well but I found a tiny Flea Beetle, in the family Chrysomelidae, rather interesting. They are also one of the Leaf Beetles which are very common in Yeoor, but their specialty is the strong, stout hind legs, which they use much like a Flea, and hence the name.
|Wooly Bear Caterpillar
|Clear-wing Moth, Sesiidae
I saw several species of Jumping Spiders again. Out of the three, I could identify only one – the small and super adorable Phintella vittata. I’m still in the process of identifying these spiders and hopefully will be able to talk more about their diversity in a few months.
|The unfortunate baby Rusel's Viper
|Along the trail
This season saw a dramatic change in the environment, as Yeoor drastically changed from the monochrome browns to vivid shades of green. We have also seen the struggle for survival of the fittest at its peak, and inevitably the struggle for survival between man and animal. We’re half way through the Monsoon, and the following two months will be really interesting to explore.
Tomorrow I might go somewhere pretty far. I’ll blog on it next month. See you then!