Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Night stuff

Taking picture after dusk is a big challenge.

Last sunday, 16th October, Anil, Srinka & me happened to visit Bellandur lake. 6:30 pm to 7:30pm. Bellandur lake is one of my favourite spots around. Years ago, as part of the bngbirds I had been there, and not until 2002 did I re-discover it. It was such a pleasant surprise to find such a rustic countryside so close to the city. Dharin was driving his kinetic, I was behind, we were searching govt. schools in that area. And, Belandur lake thrilled me like anything.

I guess I have so much to say 'bout this lake that I can go on & on. Its very close to Airport, and also easily approached from the kormangala part of the town.

I had wanted to walk around the lake in the afternoon. That morning while running along the tank bund, a water snake had crossed my path. So, I was keen on spending some time looking around. Plans went awry, and we reached after the sun had gone down. Instead, we had an yellow full moon, which had climbed around 30 degrees, playing with the clouds. Yes, a cloudy sky.

What you see here is the eastern sky, the lights are from the outer ring road (Marathalli to sarjapur sector). A big tree, paddy fields (not distinguishable), & the lake water (white streaks)flowing out. All shots taken in sports mode (least esposure time). Didn't have a tripod for taking pictures in night-mode. All images shown have had their brightness & contrast tampered.

Anil with his new Canon A95 was experimenting a lot. He was thrilled with some of the shots that were coming out. Srinka simply loved the moon, and couldn't take her eyes away from it.

This particular road goes away from Bellandur lake towards *** agrahara - a small village -. The katcha road is flanked by paddy fields. Its a breath-taking sight. Off-late, people are converting these agricultural lands for other purposes. This particular tree, had a nice sun-bird on the top-left branch (10 O clock position), when I was running that morning. A chirping bird seen from close quarters is a wonderful sight.

I love planes. One of the wonderful things about Bellandur & Varthur lake are that planes seem to just fly over the lake. As they approach for landing they just disappear into the coconut trees. And, thats a wonderful sight. Herz a craft that was coming in. All the above snaps were to the left of the road - eastern sky -

To the west, among the paddy fields, stands this solitary coconut tree. And, this tree with green fields around, is a joyous poem to me.

Some planet, just to the right of the tree. Know what, one of the great fun in life, is walking in fields - agricultural fields - They usually have a small path for walking, and for city-folks like me, it needs some getting used to walk on them. You need good balance. And, just after rains, its fun to walk on them. Water from the lake irrigates these fields.

And now the planet has miraculously moved to the left of the tree. Wow! what magic ;-)) Lakes in the outskirts of Bangalore have traditionally been networked. I mean, they are kind of directional, connected graph. Each lake after it gets filled up, the excess water starts flowing thru man-made(???) canals towards the nearest lake. I see this arrangement in lots of lakes around B'lore. Its important that these canals are preserved. Lotz of lakes are drying up for these network is encroached upon.

Now, we walked back to the lake, and took the road (which is on the tank-bund) towards Bellandur village. Here, we had the lake to our right, and the paddy fields to our left. Right, besides the lake, to our right, is the airport. The light in this snap comes form it. Water hyacinth - weeds - have majorly covered up the lake surface. These invasive species are becoming a scourge of the lakes. The dark patch at the bottomof the image are the weeds.

The lake again. The lake is huge. Don't recall the figures. This could be easily converted into a eco-tourism spot. And, the lake better maintained.

Here, the lights are from the Koromangala region. Notice the reflection of the lights. And, also the weeds in the lower half of the frame.

Therz a temple mid-way on the road. The road, a snaky one, tarred ages ago, wide-enough to take a bus on it. Anil, liked this tree (Rain tree ??), just before the temple. Srinka kept looking at the moon all along. I looked around for owls. No luck.

This un-edited snap looks terrific isn't it ;-) Night photography is a challenge, Most of the time nothing had come out of my earlier aim & shoot analog camera. These were a pleasant surprise, with simply fast exposure time, and little adjustments with the brightness & contrast. Thanks actually to the bright moon. Talking about one of may favourite lakes with mostly grey images isn't the best way around. But still, I hope to have excited you enough to visit a lake closeby. Check it up, find out its health.

Bellandur lake can be reached from the airport side by

1) Taking the wind tunnel road, and ask for Yamlur village

2) Going on the airport road, past the airport, and taking the right at the petrol bunk before Marathhalli, basically you follow the airport compound wall are reach Yamlur village.

3) Can also be reached from Koramangala thru the outer ring road, coming thru Bellandur village.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Nothing's gonna change my love for you!
Touch me not, feel me not,
Yet I just can't live without YOU!!!

10pm, saturday 15th october. I am lying on my bed, going thru images in my camera, and a neighbour plays this song - quite loudly - or was I hallucinating ??

Guyz, had yet another great session amidst the 'grasslands'. I had finished my class, tried meeting up Vishwa - he was stuck in British lib. - then checked up Shantanu - our man majorly giggled & said hez shopping for his in-laws landing the next day - well, well, well. There was no call from Neelam either, so I simply walked & looked around from 14:30 to 16:00. And, met much more interesting characters!

Nothing's gonna change my love for you.
Touch me now, feel me now,
Even though I may not be able to name YOU!

Yes, barring a few of them I am pretty confused of their lineage. Grasshoppers, crickets, locusts they all look alike to me. Even butterfly's & moths confuse me, so do excuse me. We will just meet & have a good look at them.

As I moved along, the first to catch my attention was this yellow butterfly. Moving around restlessly. Reminds me - when we were small the myth was that if U apply the 'tilak' from a butterfly, you will get some money - the butterfly's wings are delicate & as you hold them, a powdery substance gets deposited on ur finger tips, that was our 'tilak' material. We kept a carefull watch for 50 paise, 1 rupee....well, no treasures unearthed!

Nothing's gonna change my love for you,
Touch me not, feel me not
I simply can live without YOU!

As I walked close to the tall grass blades, they were at times taller than me, itz a seemingly thick grassy area. I dread the day when the gardner's would simply swipe that area clean.

Catching my attention next was this grasshopper(??). The colored streaks by its sides attracted me. This was a younger one, compared to the guy below.

He was a bit deep amidst the thick grass forest, thankfully was able to zoom in without much obstructions.

As I leasurely moved around, moving slowly & silently. Came across this fly. He let me snap him up for quite sometime, untill my macro snaps irritated him & he turned around - second snap - and flew away.

Nothing'g gonna change my love for you
Touch me not, feel me not
I just wanna live without YOU!

At this point, as I looked around, I spotted a big bird on top of a tree. This tree is beautiful. No other tree close by. So this guy, stands tall & wide, with a lot of spread & majesty.

Looks like a paraiah kite.

Decided to get close to the tree. Had a round about walk & slowly approached the tree. With hardly any other tree cover, my approach must have been highly visible. The Pariah kept calling - a long note, don't they sound like horses neighing - And, I went to the base of the tree & looked up. Well, no sight of the bird. I could hear its call though. After, checking various angles. I spotted it.

All pariah snaps with digital zoom enabled. I like these snaps for their nice bottom up feel.

This was the tree the Pariah sat on. The bird seemed to keenly watch me. He wasn't happy & took off. Flapping its wings, dived in a bit, and went up and sat on a far off tree.

Nothing's gonna change my love for you
Touch me not, look at me not
I simply want to be without YOU!

An african tulip. That cluster was unfurling in all directions.

I just sat in a shade, and looked around, lots of crickets/grasshoppers were jumping around. Various butterfly's were gliding, inspecting flowers and moving on. Dragon fly's & Damsel fly's.

This pansy with it torn wing majorly attracted me. I went around it, and took hazzar snaps. I was looking for that elusive snap. This one ?? So many snaps, I feeel I will write on them in detail later. Infact, as I was following this butterfly, seemed to develop some personal attachment for this guy. Some more of his clan were flying around, but this chap with his torn wing was easily identifiable and emotional bonds were spontaneously established ;-)

Nothing's gonna change my love for you

Touch me now, feel me now

I just can't live without YOU!

Well, well, look at this dragonfly head. The head looks like it has been partially scraped.

I wonder what this guy was doing. I mean, I don't understand these guyz at all. Most of the time they are flying full speed, not sitting anywhere at all. But, once in a while, you come across one of them glued. relaxing or sleeping or .... I took quite a few shots, and when I got too close, he just flew away. Notice the yellow coloring in the tips of the 2 pair of wings.

This guy, pretty good camoflauge with that granite, sat still. I was fascinated by its eyes. Kept going closer, until I was satisfied, the chap wasn't disturbed.

Mmmm. Golden abdomen ants. Not a well focussed shot. But the glitter of itz golden back stands out. This guy kept going up & down that grass plant. I suppose, he must be collecting some food/nectar from the flowers in them.

This is a better shot. Its fun to watch an ant going 'bout its job.

This is how I spend those 90 minutes, watching myriad life forms. You need to slow down, wait, and just look. Lots of wonderful guyz moving around. The play of the light, the time of the day, your dress, walking style, companions with you, all these matter. As an orthodox cricket coach would say 'bout test match batting 'Give the first hour to the bowler, then the rest of the match is yours'. Give some time for them to take you in, don't shuffle too much, your footwork should be soft. And, your eyes should be sharp. IISc main building seen from those grasslands.

Nothing's gonna change my love for you

Touch me now, feel me now

I just can't live without YOU!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

4 ur Ice 1ly

My fastest picture upload & writing. These are what I saw today afternoon 2:40 to 3:20 kinds around IISc lecture hall, after my class. Partha was around, and was giving some 'n' funda's. I kept looking around; thats fine with him.

First to capture attention were these ants. Ajay during the ant watching outing had given me its name. I had repeated it aloud twice. Well, looks like my neurons haven't taken a liking to it. Ok! so these chaps were busy building their home...majorly pushing the earth out. And, when I placed my fingers close to one. It scurried like mad.

Notice the golden back. An identifying characteristic. And, if you can see what I see, therz a dot like structure just above the golden part, apparenly thats a distinct feature for any ant.

This guy, a few weeks back, ontop of a grass blade. I suppose, he likes the heights. Look at his wedge (triangular) shaped face.

Moving on. Partha joined at this point. And, we admired the African Tulip. Two flowers have...what do U say...flowered...the 3rd.. ready, 1 2, 3 kinds.....hey hold on....so many of them to unfurl. Must be quite a sight. And may pose serious real-estate problems. So, would they take their own time, making sure atmost 2 or 3 are unfurled at any point of time ? Need to watch.

Then these moths. Notice the eyes. The big ones at the centre, and smaller ones at the periphery. This chap sat - jappayya andhru jaglilla - I moved very silently to take snaps of it and later Partha created enough sound waves to attract - females of whatever kind - but this guy - yeah, surely a guy - sat and simply starred back!!!

One more moth. For your eyes only.