Monday, June 14, 2010

Transformation - The Magic of Monsoon

Finally !! the monsoon has arrived. After the sweltering heat of the summer months, the whole landscape and every living organism including human beings, look up at the sky and wait for the clouds to burst. The effect is magical, particularly in forests… the monsoon changes the visual sense of the forest completely and recharges the whole environment. It's a whole new scene of wildlife that takes place….

Just a few days back, when the sun was at its scorching best, the forest was set for this transformation as if anticipating the monsoon, like it has for millions of years. Life emerges from the forest floor in a myriad forms. Such is the variety and diversity, that it is just unbelievable. This breath-taking natural wonders has to be experienced to be able to believe. The forest floor is now littered with flowers, crabs, bugs, beetles, spiders, caterpillars, frogs and what not. It is amazing what the first shower does to the landscape. The monsoon proclaims the beginning of plenty, a season of new life….. a Transformation.

Take a walk in the forest and enjoy this treasure never know, how many years this magic will last !!

I have attempted to portray this “transformation” through some images that were captured around Mumbai (Tungareshwar, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, aarey colony area, Yeoor and Nagla forests) during the last few days.

(Click on the image to enlarge and to see the text)

Fruits of Schleichera oleosa also called locally as Kusum.... these are collected by tribals to tastes something like "khata meetha" lichie

At the height of summer, the forest abound with wild fruits, that are not just collected by the tribals, but also enjoyed by all the forest denizens - Here the Rodents feed on the fallen fruits

Before the rain starts, the tribal make merry - they collect forest produce like they have been doing for several centuries, this is the month of bounty - Children collecting wild fruits in Tungareshwar WLS

Camouflage - a Grasshopper camouflages itself amongst the dried leaves

A bark Scorpion ssp. hides amongst the leaf litter in wait for its prey

Baby skink slithers away amongst the forest litter...most baby skinks sport colourful tail

Male calotes fighting to gain the dominance for the approaching breeding season

A wolf Spider scans its territory from his den

Nymphs of Red-silk cotton bugs emerge from under the dried leaves

A weaver ant tends to the Aphids - Ants have been farming the Aphids for millions of years to obtain a sweet secretion

Mushroom emerge to carry out the mission that best suits them - Decompose and Recycle

A crysalis of a butterfly waits in anticipation of rains.... the caterpillars will then have a better chance of survival in the season of abundance and greenery

The reptiles in all their glory

The rains have started - the first drops collected in Bracket fungi

A velvet mite emerges from its loooonnnngggg sleep .....
It is believed that the emergence of these mites signifies good monsoon :-)

A Deccan banded Gecko is on a look-out for the baby insects..... it is the best season to encounter reptiles and amphibians

Orchids bloom - Rhynchostylis, Arides, Dendrobium, Habenarias (These are Orchid varieties).....its a season of bounty for all of them

Velvet mites tussle with each other to occupy feeding territories

Wild turmeric emerges from the parched land

Various species of Chlorophytum emerge immediately after the first showers of rain..... they would just last for about a couple of weeks, before they fruit and disperse their seeds..... such flowers / herbs are called "ephemerals"

Curculigo - Kali Musli...of the a.k.a "Musli Power" fame. Such and hundreds of medicinal herbs sprout immediately after even a little amount of rain

Scilla hyacinthina flowering

A baby brahminy skink scampers amongst the forest floor

Fungoid frogs emerge from their aestivation.....their summer sleep

It is also a colourful season of beetles

Mushrooms everywhere....they get the vital "water" to speed up the decomposition process and give the nutrients back to soil

Scilla hyacinthina in bloom

The Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher has also arrived..... they are breeding migrants to our region arriving at the onset of monsoon.

Splashes of green - The Praying Mantis looks on with its 180 degrees head turn

Myraid colours of the insect world

The rains have arrived ..... Finally !!

Amorphophallus commutatus or Wild-Yam sprouts everywhere....a favorite amongst vegetarians

Mahua seeds (Madhuca indica)germinating....proclaiming that the season of Life has arrived


sush said...

Amazing Pictures!!!!

Neelam said...

Beautiful pictures! Nothing to beat Mumbai Monsoons...missing Mumbai:(

Sagar Mhatre said...

Hi Adesh

Nice to read such a blog and nice to see picture !

Missing rains in India.


E.Thiruvengadam said...

Thought provoking nature is shown in excellent photography

E.Thiruvengadam said...

---Thought provoking nature is shown in excellent photography

birdbrain said...

What a wonderful collection of visual poetry!Love the colour and variety.

Kannanoor Pada Haridasan said...

It is unbelievable – such a transformation after very few showers! It is a motivation for others to enjoy the nature. Only I hope that these insects, birds and flowers etc will also show interest in me and introduce themselves when I walk in the track taken by Adesh!

Rose said...

Thanks, Adesh--brilliant photos! And a breath-taking view of India such as I have never seen...

KB said...

Wonderful, Adesh. Keep up the good work and the voluntary spirit of MBC alive..
Miss the Bombay birding with all of you.

Rajpal Navalkar said...

Very Nice Pix!U know when we were young 1976/77/to 83 we used to hike frm goregaon to SGNP and stay fr 6/7 days in one of the kanheri caves.IN mOnsoons!!trekking barefoot in shorts thruout!no camera nuthin !

Girish said...

very nice pics adesh. whats the skink like thing with the red tail?

Anu said...

WOW!! absolutely fantastic photographs! thanks for putting this up....

Madhav said...

the pictures are amazing. I visited SGN park last month in typical tourist style with the guided or misguided tour of tiger park and saw some miserable examples of tiger and lion. You showed me the best of the park thanks, Madhav
P.S. Keep up the good work.

ketki said...

excellent adesh
enjoyed all your pixs.
thanks for sharing and reminding me to go out and look for ODF

tauruskvs said...

hi adesh
surprising to see you leave out the birds (except for the shot of odf) that too for a birdman. the pix are great especially of the mushrooms, lovely play of colors and light.
Nice blog and enjoy your passion, love and hobby, leaving others to envy you.

Arjun Haarith said...

Amazing pictures sir !!!!

I loved the calotes hugging !!!!

Its too good,
cheers to monsoon :)

Yazdo said...

Hi Addi,
Many thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures that you have shared with us.
You will receive a lot of praise, however, the most satisfying reward is your experience in the woods collecting picture after picture.
Truly the best in somebody comes out when he is alone.
Yazdy Palia.

Anonymous said...

Dear Adesh,

Beautiful shots and nice write-up. Felt like experiencing the transition live. Nature never cease to amaze us. Thanks for capturing the wonders of nature, they are visual treat for eyes. Keep it up!


Anonymous said...

Splendid capture of life in all its glory. Just goes to show how much We need to conserve water if Life is to go on!

Ganesh said...

Wow !!!. I just started to learn photoraphy, and your work is truly inspiring... Thanks.

P. Raghavan. said...

I was entranced!
How are you so knowledgeable about plants, insects, birds AND the forest creatures like the skinks?!!

P. Raghavan.

Adesh Shivkar said...

@Raghavan Sir: I am not knowledgeble...... it is just some experience that helps..... and Nature always inspires to learn more. Nature offers so many amazing things in all its branches that it makes every thing interesting :-)

Mandar said...

Beautiful photos - I did not even know we had orchids here.

Sunshinemom said...

Amazing observation! I love the rainy and autumn seasons best! Nature seems to transform land into fairyland:). The picture of the two lizards fighting is the best of all!

Sudheer dharmadhikari said...

Amazing Photos!! Sir will you Pl give us a chance to be associate with you while you will be visiting for micro photography

Sudheer dharmadhikari said...

Hi Adeshji Thanks for the photo sharing I would like to request to pl intimate me when you will be visiting for next time for micro photography so that I can learn the technics of Micro.

Anonymous said...

wonderful blog.really intersesting....

vivekraj said...

wonderful blog.really intersesting....

Bird House Country said...

I just want to echo what everyone else has said Adesh. Wonderful pictures!

Alka Adatia said...

It is a Magical Writing with Photography too

depalan, saju said...

subtle and rare sensibility !!!

Subhani said...

Excellant Adesh. I just gone back to my childhood when I was in Tribal village along with my family, since my father works as Forest Guard in Andhra Pradesh by seeing your pictures. Thanks a Lot