Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Butterflying day, back at school!

Had been a long time since I'd met my old school pals... I mean, the Baronets, the Common Jays, the Crimson roses and many more amazing friends I'd made during my last year in school. I was missing them a whole lot now that I'm in college. So I decided to give my friends a brief visit.

A sunny, almost cloudless day. Blue skies. Perfect. The day began with a few Grass Yellows and Mormons.... met all those I was familiar with. Then later, caught up with a Common Nawab, who was very busy shooing away other butterflies in his territory. Struggled to capture a glimpse of him, was very close to hurting myself as well.

Common Nawabs are very territorial, and the chase away any other butterfly that enters one's territory. No wonder its called "Nawab" ... It wants to reign supreme! But one thing is for sure, he was the king of my attention that day! I did everything I can to make an image that would do some small amount of justice to its beauty. And this is all I got...

After I was done with meeting my winged friends, just hung around the school and had a great time. My lovely school and its lovely campus!

The Incredible Hulk!

Gaurs are one of my favorite animals ever. The strength, the muscle, the power. Wow, lovely.
This one was taken in Bandipur few weeks ago...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My first leopard !

It had been solid two years since I'd visited Bandipur... and this trip definitely made it up for the two years! :D
Avi, Suma and I started off from Bangalore at around 3 in the morning, and after three and a half hours of a peaceful drive, we reached Bandipur National Park! I had no expectations, no wish lists, no nothing. Thanks to Avi and Suma, I had a brand new Canon 55-250mm IS lens in my hand, and I couldn't wait to experiment with it. This was the best birthday gift ever, thanks loads Avi, Chumi :) As I said, no expectations. As we reached there, we enjoyed the morning safari. Gaurs, Spotted deer and some peafowls. After that, we got back to the car and took a drive down Bandipur main road...

Fifteen minutes after we started, Suma casually looked outside her window and said "Spotted deer... leopard..." Then a second later, realizing what she'd said, "LEOPARD!" she exclaimed :D I was thrilled and super excited. This was my first ever leopard. Looking at where she pointed, I spotted the leopard. WOW.... it was SO CLOSE! It gave me a 5 second eye-to-eye look. Must have been not more than ten feet away... for a moment there I forgot about my Canon 500d and my new 55-250mm lens. I was simply stunned by this super amazing leopard. Coming back to my senses, I pointed my lens at the lovely animal and clicked. Didn't realize that my image stabilizer was in the 'off' position..... seconds later, the leopard darted into the bushes.
I looked at my cam LCD screen "Oh damn! The image is too shaky! :("

We waited there for around 20 minutes, hoping that the leopard would cross the road again. And Avinash's calculations came true (as usual) and the leopard leapt across the road and got to the other side of the road. This was definitely the most glorious leopard sighting I could have had, and it happened to be the first one, which made it all the more glorious! :) A good image would have definitely bettered the overall experience. But nevertheless, it was absolutely enchanting. Here's the shaky early morning image of the awesome leopard:

Later on, I got to photograph and observe some butterflies in the Jungle Lodges campus. Some healthy pictures from my new lens...
Striped Tiger:

Three spot grass yellow:
Common Five Ring: