Friday, 13 July 2012


Seagulls .... their day at a beach in Busan, Korea

Sunday, 1 July 2012

About Bees and Butterflies and Flowers

Sunday morning in Maharashtra Nature Park, Mahim, Mumbai on this July day was very good as far as bees and butterflies. Here are some pictures shot.

Came across a few water lilies - Nymphaeaceae, a family of flowering plants. But this picture is about the bee and not the water lilies.
And its big brother .........
And  here all the butterflies that came in front of my lens. Need to understand better, the role played by monsoon season in life cycle of a butterfly. Quite a good number of them today in the park !

If only one of the butterflies chose these flowers posing for a photograph . . .

Monday, 4 June 2012

T for Tiger, T for Tadoba

Visiting Tiger Reserves is not only about sighting tigers. It is more about being in forests and experiencing those moments with the other living world of plants and animals. At Tadoba Tiger Reserve or at any other tiger reserves one will experience 2 different forests - one when a tiger is on his hunt and the other when he is not.  The first few pictures might be when tiger is not around.

But a bear could be one such animal to whom Tigers presence around does not make much difference. He is said to be one unpredictable animal whose moves can not be taken for granted. This particular bear was blocking our road for more than 20 minutes oblivious of our presence and when our driven made an attempt to attract his attention for a better photo-op, he made such a ferocious face at us, we had no option but to let him have his way.

Birds always bring a lot of colour and music to the forests. As per Jim Corbett in his Jungle Lore - first published in 1953, birds could be categorised in 6 types. In his words they are - birds that beautify the garden, birds filling garden with melody, those that regenerated the gardens, those birds that warned of the dangers, birds that maintain the balance in the forest and lastly the those performing the scavenging duty. Here are some from Tadoba :

One one of the free mornings I walked and crawled alone towards a pond which I had seen earlier to have a lot of bird-life. I had no much luck except for this pheasant-tailed Jacana but after half an hour's wait at the place, this snake made its way about 15 ft from where I was sitting - must be in search of eggs and young birds.

I would not like to stretch the reader's patience any more. We did crossTigers' path on more than one occassion but our pure joy of watching them was marred by excessive human activity which probably stopped them from making a family appearance.

But inspite of some irritating moments created by us humans, I would never be tired of watching the king of the jungle in their natural surroundings again and again and again. The first 2 pictures are of the male tiger cooling himself in a small water pond in Moharli area and we came to know later that his whole family - his mate and 4 cubs of about 6-7 months joined him soon after we left the spot.

Here is the mother whom we saw during our evening safari at the same Moharli pond:

This cub of about 8 months was seen during the afternoon safari to Tadezari route- coming to the water hole to quench his thirst after a bite at his prey hidden in the nearby bushes. Imagine the effect of his already broad-enough paws on his prey once he fully grows.

And then comes in the mother who must have been the main power behing the kill that was lying closeby:

At the end of our Tadoba tour, I also remembered that T was also for Tavanandi along with Tiger and  for Tadoba.

Tadoba Tiger Reserve is about 4 and half hours drive from Nagpur (via Chandrapur) and the roads except for the past one hour was quite good. This was in the first week of June and the temperatures were between 44 and 46 deg C but that did not come in any way of our enjoying these 2 days.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Korea - My mixed feelings

Spent 4 days in Busan, Korea and its surroundings and I have mixed feelings about this place. The moment, I was out of the airport ..... there were buildings....tall, taller and even more taller. The city seemed to be surrounded by green hills but I also saw sky scrapers rising behind these hills which rose above the hills.

Googling came to my rescue and I did locate places of my liking but not with any great success. As for my first impressions, you will understand when you see these pictures.

On the next morning I decided to explore the city further with help of city road and railway map and it was a revelation. Spent 5 hours covering 150 Kms, changing rail-routes and levels and walking the busy streets on this week day. In this concrete jungle I met people ready to help me going out of their way. At the starting station when I hesitated at the ticket vending machine, the officer at the Information booth 'walked' me through the whole lesson and 'empowered' me for future such situations. The following picture of paintings by children exhibited permanently in one of the approach passages of the subway station tell a lot.

When I walked around, in the streets, the place seemed to be full of flower beds on the street corners and sides. When I was in the outskirts of the city, there were wild flowers which were breath taking and with  refreshing colours. In fact, the first picture below attracted my attention while travelling in a bus because of the specific 'orange' in our National Tri-colour.

But suddenly, it was easy coming across these buildings like these LG washing .... sorry, living machines:

On one of the days, our hosts arranged a sight seeing visit to a near by UNESCO Heritage site of  a million year old village of Yang Dong where people still live. That was interesting.

Nearby, there was also something called Millennium Park where I was clicking left and right when my host told me that some of these buildings were built for a movie shooting when I decided to shut-off my camera. One such shooting site :

And then there was this live show where these horseriding archers efficiently hit the bull's eye... almost. See for yourself:

Also see these hand made clay statues in the theme park:

My hotel was just by the sea beach and had a beautiful sight whenever I slid the curtains :

And every place I visit, I must look for the local birds and here are few that I found in my free time :

 Of all, I liked this duck the most, who was eager to come and eat out my hands:

And when I was at the airport on way home, I came across this bouquet of national flags of countries in the Expo 2012 held at another city in Korea and there was also our Indian flag. 

Let me know your feelings about the country.