The Four Cubs of Bhanuskhindi (T-17) and Chota Matka (T-109), Tadoba

By now there were eleven jungle safari vehicles gaping at the tigress even as she eyed us with nonchalance (see previous post here). And as she turned and walked away into the bamboo thickets to the left, all eyes instantly started scanning the long patch of tall grasses to the right of the path. This … Continue reading The Four Cubs of Bhanuskhindi (T-17) and Chota Matka (T-109), Tadoba

Female tiger, Bhanuskhindi (T-17), Tadoba

The wind-chill that winter dawn was pronounced due to the speed of our open jungle safari vehicle hurtling, and at times bouncing perilously, down the dirt road. Our safari guide had specific information of tiger movement that morning and we had to reach the location – a good half an hour drive away – before … Continue reading Female tiger, Bhanuskhindi (T-17), Tadoba

Male tiger, Tala (T-100), Tadoba

Two sets of fresh pugmarks led away from the shores of Anandvan lake – a male and a female tiger walking away after a drink in the early hours of the crisp winter morning. The chill at dawn was suddenly replaced by a rush of adrenaline-infused warmth as the hope of a tiger sighting stoked … Continue reading Male tiger, Tala (T-100), Tadoba

Un-Pheasant Truth

The sparse brown brush was fast fading into a parched and shrivelled tangle as the once sinewy roots now groped for traces of moisture in the dusty grit and gravel. A haze of sooty flecks hung in the air settling slowly as a deathly shroud over the singed leaves. Unfamiliar sounds brutally assaulted the tenor … Continue reading Un-Pheasant Truth

‘Crab’tivated!

Dawn was just beginning to peep over the horizon and the salty tang in the air, typical of the marshy terrain, was laden with crisp, cool notes of the early winter period. Chocolate brown leaves crunching deliciously under our merciless shoes were the only sounds as the birds waited in anticipation of the moment when … Continue reading ‘Crab’tivated!

Beat it!

(Admission: This photograph is not of a quality acceptable to be publicised. It is only a memento of a fleeting, yet striking incidence that I have often read about, but never had an opportunity to experience first-hand until now.) The Lotus Lake is a small, neglected, natural water body within the bounds of Aarey Forest … Continue reading Beat it!

A Whiff of the Wild Western Ghats

The figures waving at us from way up in the lush hills before us appeared only a few millimetres tall and that was my first moment of realisation that we had somewhat (?) fallen behind the rest of the ten, 15-to-50s friends headed due north-northwest trekking along the Duke’s Nose trail from Kurvande village, Maval. … Continue reading A Whiff of the Wild Western Ghats

No Ground Rules

Passing through a green pasture, men cutting grass,I knew what was to be, a scene I would not let pass.Cause I spied a black drongo, on a perch a keen eye,soon there would be drama, a silent hue and cry. Soon the field cleared, egrets and mynas flew in,poking amid the stubble they let the … Continue reading No Ground Rules

Yet I Dare Hope

When my nest won’t be tangled, and my tree not likely strangled, while my river will flow undefiled, my forest allowed to grow wild, my pastures left free to forage, my wings not bound in cordage, will ever I wake up to this sight, or forever sleep filled with fright? [In the frame: Pied Myna … Continue reading Yet I Dare Hope

Nowhere to Fly

Skies overcast, Aves downcast, Forests fading, Men invading, Foliage lost, Steep cost, Boughs stripped, Fronds ripped, Nest unshielded, brood yielded, Refuge blown, Battle zone, Darkness ahead, Forsaken fled, Whither retreat will your wings weary, We will always leave your eyes bleary… [In the frame: Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus) in silhouette; Aarey Forest, Mumbai] – Narendra … Continue reading Nowhere to Fly