Wednesday, November 30, 2022

A peaceful sunset


We travelled to Karde beach near Dapoli. A few families from our building. A quiet restful time. I had taken my new levelling base and the Lee reverse GND filter to try out some sunsets. This time in the Konkan is very drab - gone are the dramatic skys and crisp rainy days of the monsoons. As winter sets in, so does the haze. It's all dull. The sky, especially is colourless and boring. But I had to try.

To get this shot, me and Appa travelled to a high point between the Karde and Ladghar beaches. From this higher perspective we got a view of the rocks below. The haze and the RGND combination rendered the horizon dark.

It was a peaceful sunset. No drama. No excitement. Just peace.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Portrait: Mitra Rima

Rima is a photographer and traveller. Even when she is working on her day job as a software artisan, you can see the distant landscapes in her eyes.

The photo tries to take peek at the inner struggle between the dream and the reality...

Camera: Sony A7R III
Lens: Voigtländer 35mm F1.2 Nokton SE
Light: Ambient led cealing lights


Sunday, October 09, 2022

The Mammals of the Deccan Grasslands

Indian Grey Wolf

The Indian Grey Wolf, also known as the Asiatic Wolf, is a subspecies of Gray Wolf that ranges from the Indian subcontinent to Central Asia. Though once abundant, populations have declined drastically due to habitat loss and persecution. The Indian Grey Wolf is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. It is a protected species under Indian law.

Despite its name, the Indian grey wolf is not always grey and its fur may be reddish, brown, or black. The Indian grey wolf is a social animal and typically lives in packs of six to ten individuals, though larger packs have also been recorded. It's natural prey used to be deer, wild boar and grassland birds. But now it's poultry waste or livestock from the human habitations which have encroached it's domain

The wolf has a bad reputation and has been persecuted by the loocal shepherds who long roamed these desolate grasslands - or maalraans as they are locally called - with their heards of sheep or goats. Their dogs brought diseases to the wildlife.

Not only the wolf, these grasslands are home to a variety of mammals. The Bengal fox (Vulpes bengalensis), also called the Indian fox is found here. The Indian Hyaena is a feared predator with recent videos of them attacking some people going viral. But it's an essential part of the ecosystem. The black buck and the chinkara used to roam these grasslands in the thousands not a 100 years back. They still can be seen around.

The region around Saswad and Bhigwan has suddenly become quite popular for the weekend wildlife enthusiasts. People from as far as Bangalore fly in with their huge lenses to get the wolves on record. This influx of tourism is good for the local people who are earning a lot of money suddenly. But it has also led to internal competition and then unethical practices to get the photos. Unless we practice sustainable tourism and help protect these grasslands they might end up being just a hen which laid gold eggs which was cut open.

Further reading :
1. The Wilds of Saswad: The Vibrant Grassland Near Pune
2. Dawn to Dusk on Deccan Grasslands
3. India’s Savanna Grasslands: The Unsung Tale



The wolf in the bajra









Bengal Fox / Indian Fox

Bengal Fox / Indian Fox

Blackbuck

Mongoose

Thursday, September 29, 2022

The birds of the deccan grasslands

Baya Weaver

The grasslands and the surrounding regions were teeming with life. All these denizens asked from us was to leave them alone to their persuits. The budding nature tourism in this region is full of enthusiasm but it lacks the maturity of the conservationalist approach. There is a LOT of money coming in from well-to-do urban uppies with long lenses and expensive cameras and nothing to do on weekends.

This is a win win situation if and only if the mad headlong rush for money is replaced with a mature sustainable model. The short term goals and rivalry and the ensuing unethical practices must go.

Respect for nature is paramount.

Grey Francolin

Rain Quail

Rain Quail

Painted Sandgrouse

Painted Sandgrouse, male and female

Painted Sandgrouse, male and female

Painted Francolin (female)

Indian Courser

Paddy field Pipit

Crested Lark

Southern Grey Shrike

Purple Swamp Hen

Purple Swamp Hen

Red Nape Ibis

Bramhini Starling

Laughing Dove

Monday, September 26, 2022

Deccan Grasslands


The air was crisp and cool as we travelled to the hinterlands of western Maharashtra. The regions around the Ujjani dam used to be arid grasslands called ‘maalraan’. With the dam and irrigation much of the area is now under cultivation with sugercane being the primary crop.

But there are these isolated rocky regions where not much grows which have remained as grasslands and as havens for the Indian grey wolf, the fox and myrid birds. You also see blackbucks and chinkaras roam these lands.





Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Wildflowers



The august sun shone through the broken clouds. It had just rained a few minutes back. The sada was green with life.

The wildflowers danced to the light breeze. They gave a soul to the landscape.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Colours of March — Tekdi



The tekdi is a wondorous place. A small island of bliss in the middle of the encroaching city. With each season we see a new beauty of this oasis. The colours are different. The vibe is different.

These are clicked on a couple of overcast days is March.