|Let it rain|
As we marched on, we scanned the roadsides for some telltale signs of insects and birds, and reptiles and mammals. And we found none. After over an hour, god knows which one of us cursed the freaking rain (was it me?); it poured so heavily that we were drenched in a minute. Yet we continued our search for Orchids and the likes but found none to our dismay. We did find a nice, cozy tappri though, and devoured vada pav with a cup of chai. Just then we spotted a local bus headed to the top of Matheran. We rushed for it when the villagers there stopped it for us (which was very kind of them), and boarded it. We were now headed to the very top.
Plesiophrictus spp.(?): They have a naturally water resistant coat
While stomping in the flood water that was now getting collected in little puddles, we saw little frogs scuttling through the way. They did not run for cover, however, and appeared rather cheerful in the dark and wet:
This inquisitive frog belongs to the genus Philautus, a diverse genus under which new species are still being discovered in India and abroad. This is a common frog of Matheran, rather easily seen on the paths than in the dense, dark leaf litter in the woods.
After walking for over an hour or two, we finally decided to trace back to our room. We were done with the rain. The morning will bring in sunshine, and Matheran will have cleared his mind. Or so we thought again.
I woke up to the sound of Macaques jumping over the roof, screeching and scratching as they prepared to raid shops and early morning birds. In the background of the monkey commotion, a light, intermittent rhythm of Philautus sp. was worth listening to. And in the backdrop of the song of the frogs, there was a constant cling and drip – it was still raining! I got into my dry warm clothes and headed out seeking another cup of chai on this early cold morning. The fog was heavy on the plateau and the rain sneaky. It had not stopped raining a bit since I had left from home.
|Vine Snake, Ahaetulla nasuta|
|A Firefly larva (family Lampyridae)|
Finally, we rode down to where we came from, and I can still smell the fresh air and feel the rain drops streaking down my back. Remember, it was still raining when I reached home, and it did so for all of the next day. Matheran is worth visiting in all climes. Don’t keep any expectations as I did. Just explore.