Showing posts from July, 2011

Monsoon: July 2011 Part II

This month was so far the wettest. Since the 13 th , 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 17 th 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 One of my cherished finds was, well, a fly. It is a fly in the family Ulidiidae, probably Physiphora sp. I have only seen them once at the

Monsoon: July 2011 Part I

This is the roundup of some observations made during the second month of this bountiful season. To avoid the overdose of pictures and text, I’m going to write this in two parts. On July 2nd, WWF-India MSO had organized a trail at Jijamata Udyan (formerly Victoria Gardens) for kids. I and a few friends tagged along to explore the urban fauna, and surprisingly, none of the fauna here is urban in their habitat, but almost strictly natural – and this is what drew us to this, ironically, lost paradise. I am not just talking about wildlife caged for education (and entertainment for some), but the ones that are very free to roam inside and out of the cages. Jijamata Udyan is not just a zoo; it is a sanctuary of many trees that are found nowhere else in Mumbai, including some exotics such as the Baobabs and some rare endemic Ficus species. Getting to know these trees was a bonus of this visit, because I mainly focused on the lesser known fauna of this zoo, and this zoo harbours some amazing

Monsoon: June 2011

I went on some explorations this June, and this is the roundup of some observations and photographs made in the first month of this exclusive season. Looking at SGNP across Vasai Creek from Nagla Block I visited Nagla Block after two years, on June 11th. I’ve boasted about this place a few times , but I seem to fall short of words when I’m actually there. This small corridor is very different and better preserved than main SGNP. The day began with a heavy downpour, and it continued to rain throughout the four hour hike. After reaching home, I realized it was the wettest day so far of 2011. When it rains, it’s difficult to focus on animals – most are either into hiding or most of the time we’re protecting our camera from the rain, so the opportunities are rather less. Nonetheless, we saw some interesting flora and fauna as the monsoon released its bountiful reserve. Leea , about which I talked a few weeks ago, was only budding, but others had opened their bars to the thirsty vi