The Enchanted Woods
We limbered as we walked through the exhausting, yet enchanting woods in search of those brilliantly coloured inhabitants of the forest. The fascinating tune formed by the dwellers as they sang synchronously, was so misleading. But then a glimmer of bright green caught the eyes of the earthy, uprising the slightest sense of hope deep inside the otherwise dejected.
The "Malabar Gliding Frogs" showed up finally! And i was able to make this image. A steep learning, these frogs aren't easy to find as i assumed it would be. Endemic to Western Ghats, they are predominantly nocturnal tree frogs, found settled in the dense trees of the rain forest. The colors are vibrant, and as the name suggests they have webbed feet, helping them to glide in the air.
Alas! The long awaited moment arrived and i was able to photograph them. This is what i love about wildlife. The very aspect of that search, that pain and adventure to dig in deep, to just get a glance of that amazing creature. There is so much more that humanity has to experience. It was a moment, I shall always cherish. It is just not about making an image, photography has lot more to it that meets the human eye. The lifecycle of making a photograph starts at the very point of thinking about it. Whilst we see those breathtaking images of species, one should also wonder about the effort that has gotten into making that image. The sense of fulfilment and satisfaction one attains in making the desired image is incomparable.
The sun had swept in, and as we moved deeper into the mysterious darkness, a sense of solitude overwhelmed us. The mind tried to take us on a ride making the land an unwelcoming fantasy. The intimidating silence played its own tune. The heart would not let us stop. And we moved on and on, into the vast wilderness, until we came on to a huge plateau. We knew, they were somewhere there, although, spotting them was as difficult as finding a dumb black cat in a dark room. We pointed our electric torches, at random places, and to our joy, their eyes lit like diamonds. Western Ghats are known for their rich bio-diversity. The forest dwells a wide variety of snakes and amphibians, even some endemic to the Ghats. Our prime motive for this visit was to document and photograph the Malabar Pit Viper, the Green Vine Snake and few species of amphibians. Although we had succeeded in finding most of them, we still continued to explore the wilderness.
Our encounter with the Green Vine Snake was magical. The snake is one of the best examples of the camouflage that nature has to offer. It is very difficult to distinguish the snake in the thick greens, especially in the monsoons. While the snake isn’t poisonous, and it feeds on small animals like rats etc, the bite is indeed painful. One should be cautious while treading through the forest and mistaking the snake as a branch. While we were using our torch lights to find the subjects, fortunately we came across this one. The green on the snake is so beautiful, it’s just difficult to take your eyes off it.
The expedition was a success, and more than that we had made a lot of amazing memories. I owe a lot to photography, a lot of breathtaking encounters that i have, would never have otherwise happened if I lacked the drive to photograph and document. I am no less thankful to Mother Nature, who has endowed us with such rich, amazing flora and fauna. We as humans should understand and appreciate our existence, we are blessed to have what we have. Our life is in our own hands, lets strive to live ethically and the world would be a lot better place.