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Showing posts from March, 2011

Revisiting Nagla Block

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Nagla Block (wikimapia) is the northern range of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), separated from the main park by Vasai Creek. It is one of my favourite destinations around Mumbai (read the 2009 article here). This article is about my visits to Nagla Block in year 2007, when my camera was a month old and my blog yet nonexistent. Let’s revisit this place and look at the pristine forest of Mumbai that is a hot destination of naturalists and photographers. It is only a small portion of SGNP, but it is of prime importance to the wildlife of Mumbai and the surrounding areas. It is the only corridor joining SGNP with other Protected Areas to the north. If you take a look at the map of SGNP, south is a dead-end to all of wildlife, and it is here that many man-animal conflicts, especially with leopards, occur. The east and west of SGNP are also arrested by urbanization, and it is here that encroachment is most concerning. This leaves Nagla Block, the north-end of SGNP as the only escapade …

How to Point-and-Shoot: Butterflies!

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It all started on a trek when I saw a butterfly flaunting false eyes on its wings. I began the quest of identifying it, and discovered many more intriguing ones. Very soon, butterflies became a passion. As a kid I used to chase butterflies to capture them by hands – overlooking their splendor over sheer joy, but then I developed a hobby of capturing them through lens. This was the beginning of excursions to nearby forests, as me and my friends tried to find and identify butterflies by stalking them cautiously with a field guide in hand.
Our fascination for butterflies has come a long way. From the medieval poets and artists to naturalists – all have shared a profound passion for butterflies. It was these pioneers who not only described the butterflies right from their wing venation to the length of the proboscis, but also meticulously sketched every detail of the butterflies they observed. Recently, Vladimir Nobokov, who had described and named a number of butterfly species, was cred…