Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mother Scorpion with Young

I spotted this group of scorpions below a large pile of rocks that were left untouched for quite a while. I was kind of expecting to find them as they are always present in such piles. There were many tiny young scorpions together with a large mother. Not wanting to disturb them, I covered the crevice with a rock and left.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Green Tree Frog

There's definitely something with tree frogs and my sister. She's always the one who finds them. This time, it wasn't any tiny tree frog. This tree frog was big, and bright green! She screamed to me from the second story upon seeing the frog hopping around from wall to wall. I was really surprised to know that such frogs still exist in this continuously urbanizing area!

Probably the most green and elegant frog I've ever seen. I'd always wanted to spot and photograph a green tree frog like this, and was overjoyed it finally happened. Like the stick insect, it came looking for as well! Here's a shot of him on my hand.

I took him out into the rain and released him onto a plant for a couple of shots. I had my sister hold up the umbrella so that my camera didn't get wet!

The frog hopped onto a nearby tree, where I took one last shot of him and went back indoors. What a beautiful find. I'm glad these frogs are still able to survive and reproduce here.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sticky's Back to Say Hi

It's evident that my friends sure are missing me. I woke up one morning to find another stick insect in front of my door, one exactly the same size and colour as the one before, and at the very same spot!

I just couldn't understand why this happened and how! It looked like the stick insect was back to say Hi or something. And another intriguing part was that I've never seen another stick insect anywhere in this area close to my house. The only one I've seen here is this particular individual who's come looking for me for the second time! Whatever the reason, I was glad he returned, as I could take a few photographs of him with my Nikon.

I let him out and he clung onto a tree trunk and slowly crawled up towards the leaves. I said bye as I lost sight of him, but I'm sure he'll be back before I know it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mating Toads

I went for a short night hunt around my house, together with Tiky my black dog (whom I couldn't see in the dark). What we found were two pairs of mating Asiatic Toads, and one of the pair was lying on the floor, having a great time! Is this some sort of sign of evolution?!?

And there was another couple, this pair on the move. Both the male and female were rather smaller compared to the previous pair. As you can see, the male here is a really bright yellow in colour, probably to attract females (that look really....ahem ahem).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Baby Bugs

I spotted this tiny cluster of bright yellow eggs attached to wall in my house one night. Curious to know what they were, I took a photograph and zoomed in to find cute little 'smiley faces' on these eggs!

The very next day, the eggs had hatched, and a circle of tiny bugs appeared around the eggs.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Random Shots

Some random shots of random plants and things I took around my house.

Water pipe

Tipe of a banana leaf, wilted and going to drop off

Friday, August 19, 2011

Russell's Viper

It was a Friday evening and I was relaxing in front of the TV when all of a sudden, a neighbour burst in, telling me his dad caught a Russell's Viper. My eyes opened wide. Something I'd been wanting to see for quite a while. I got my camera and in a hurry left to his house with him. On the way, I recalled that a few years ago, I had been in a similar situation, when my grandad told me another neighbour had caught one of these snakes. But it had turned out to be a Checkered Keelback. However, this time, it was a real Russell's Viper!

My fingers went over the shutter button a number of times. Finally, I was staring at a wild Russell's Viper, a highly venomous snake (one of the 4 most dangerous snakes in India) that I'd been wanting to spot and photograph for years. It was rather long, about a metre in length. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), this snake was almost dead as my neighbour had whacked it several times with a metal pole. Well, it's not surprising, as the people here kill almost any snake they see, like I said in the Spectacled Cobra post.

Here's a close-up of it's V-shaped head and big nostrils.

This snake is known to kill more people than any other snake in India- hence being one of the most feared. The other 3 most dangerous snakes of India are the Spectacled Cobra, Common Krait and Saw-Scaled Viper. These are commonly known as the Big 4. Russell's Vipers are especially dangerous as they prefer to reside in human habitation and settlements, to forests. Its venom is haemotoxic, which prevents blood clotting and results in internal bleeding. A bite from this snake could prove fatal unless treated properly and in time. It is a really beautiful snake, but at the same time, a very dangerous one.

By the time I was done with my shots, it was completely dead. I carried it by hand to a spot where I dug a big ditch and buried it. Rest in Peace, the only Russell's Viper I've ever seen.

CAUTION: Snakes like these are, like I've already said a couple of times, highly venomous and dangerous. I handled this one only after making sure it was dead. Please NEVER attempt to handle, provoke or go near such snakes. Always keep a a good distance when photographing them. And remember, respect them, and they'll respect you.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Trip to the Idukki Hills

Due to several environmental reasons, I had to return to India for my studies. During one of the holidays, I decided to visit Munnar and the hills of Idukki once again. As usual, a number of beautiful landscapes appeared before me, but no interesting animals. Here's a waterfall. You have seen a B&W photograph of the same waterfall in the previous post.

A shot I took of the tea plantations while in the moving van.

A lovely fern...

And then a type of 'park' where you have many tiny shops selling various forest products. I just focused on getting those landscape shots.

The water here is still as there is a big dam just beside it, and hence you could go boating in the water.

The only animals I managed to spot and photograph were these tiny birds fluttering around and resting on the unattended boats by the banks.

It was an unsatisfactory trip for me. There are (or used to be) many wild animals like elephants and deer in these forests, but now they and many other wildlife are hardly spotted, probably due to the large number of visitors.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Black and White Photography

I recently became interested in Black & White photography, after 'accidentally' decreasing the saturation of one of my photos. I understood the real beauty of black and white. But it isn't easy! So far, I've only captured a very few shots that when converted to B&W, looks fairly good. Here's the big Hindu temple I shot at Kanyakumari.

A thick dictionary!

Cars. Singapore is a perfect place to photograph sports and luxury cars. Catching them in action is even more exciting. Here's a BMW sports car as it zoomed past, after turning it into B&W.

And a luxury car, a Bentley soft-top. Hey, I might wanna try making an advertisement with these photos!

Last, a shot I captured of a waterfall in Munnar, India.

Purple and Golden

Purple and Golden don't seem to go very well, do they?

I captured two shots from the Chinese and Japanese Gardens once again, on a fine evening. After some minor editing, I was fascinated by the two images, one of a purple shade and the other rich golden. Here's the former, which is a silhouette of a bundle of vines, with the lake in the background.

This next shot was taken with my old Casio compact. I realized the sun was, at that very moment, hiding behind the park lamp. I decided to take a shot as it was before my eyes, as if the sun was producing light from inside the lamp.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Singapore Cityscapes

I left home one Monday afternoon with my camera, with no intention in particular. I boarded the MRT and the first thing that appeared on the map was City Hall. I made up my mind to alight there and capture some shots of the sparkling cityscape of Singapore. Here are some shots. The Singapore Scotts Tower, a tall, circular and straight tower you see just as you exit the MRT station.

The main business buildings in City Hall.

Marina Bay Sands, an integrated resort fronting Marina Bay. It is billed as the world's most standalone casino property at SG$ 8 billion! It holds a casino, 2,561 hotel rooms, an Art Science Museum, and a huge shopping complex with a countless number of luxury shoppes and outlets.

View from below:

One shot I took from inside the mall. There are boat rides along the shops inside the mall!

I left Marina Bay Sands, and headed towards the Singapore Flyer. Just before I did, I took a photograph from where I was standing. I have to admit that this is one of my favourite shots of the Singapore city.

The Singapore Flyer is currently the world's largest Ferris wheel, with a total height of 165 metres. At the bottom of the wheel is a terminal building which houses a number of shops, bars, restaurants and a miniature nature park.. From the top, it offers broad views of the city centre and beyond to about 45 km, including the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, as well as Johor, Malaysia.

After taking all these photographs, I was left stunned. Despite having lived here for the past 15 years, I never realized how beautiful Singapore and its cityscape was. But wait, there's more! It looks like something new is on its way!

So I returned home satisfied with my trip. The very next day, I left to orchard, the most popular and favourite destination for shopaholics. There are hundreds of shopping malls here, full of luxury shops and expensive eating places. Here's a shot I took from an overhead bridge.

Ngee Ann City, more commonly known as Takashimaya, is a big shopping centre within Orchard. It stands out from other buildings due to its red marble exterior and palace-like look.

So there you have it! You've just seen a fraction of what awaits you here in Singapore. Tourists, photographers, shopaholics and more, don't wait! Book the next flight to Singapore, the ideal destination for an awesome and fun-filled holiday you'll never forget nor regret.


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