Sunday, July 31, 2011

Butterflies & Caterpillars

I spotted and photographed several Common Mime Butterfly caterpillars one afternoon. One of them hadn't grown as much as the others, its size and colour was one stage behind. They can be easily mistaken for bird poop.

The others had grown a bit more, and had red spots on their body.

Later that evening, I spotted a bright and beautiful butterfly taking shelter as it started to drizzle. I'm not sure of the species, but these sure are common here. I took several shots at full zoom (200mm) and was really satisfied with a few!

Leaves and Mangoes

Ignore the title - I couldn't find any better title for this post. Here, I just wanted to display some pictures I took of a few mangoes and leaves that grew around my house. I'm not really good at plant or artistic photography or anything, but once in a while, I obtain satisfied results. Here are two shots of the mangoes that grow beside my house.

I love the 'bokeh' (background) in this next one.

And then a couple of young leaves. This one looks like a distorted man with his arms in the air.

And a young plant, growing out from the undergrowth, its green standing out from the brown colour of the dried and dead leaf litter. Minor editing has been done on these photographs.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Huge Beetle Grubs

My grandfather is a nature lover. Or more like, he did agriculture for a living, and still indulges in planting crops around the house and eating natural fruits grown in our compound. One day, he got a pile of manure to feed the plants and while he was digging through the pile, he spotted several huge beetle grubs. These grubs are the larvae of a species of beetle, and they feed on such manure.

These beasts were huge, about 5 inches in length, and disgusting (to some, even more than that)! Even I couldn't bear to look at their milky white and blackish translucent insides.... Ugh! So I quickly took a couple shots before our chickens found them and started feasting on them.

Pray hard you get a good sleep tonight.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


A neighbour of mine happened to receive an unusual visitor one night. A small owl, probably a Spotted Owlet, flew into their house and couldn't get out. Eventually they caught it and tied its leg onto a chair with a string and left it there for the night. The very next morning, I was informed. I walked across and they showed me the owlet. It was small, just a bit bigger than my palm, and closed its eyes all the time. Maybe the morning light was too much for it's eyes?

Here is one rare shot with its eyes open.

I took it home, where I kept it in a dark and warm, well-ventilated container. When evening came, I got him out, and let him sit on my palm. He sat there for a while, and upon realizing it was dark and that he was free, he hopped out and flew away. I felt happy for him as he flew off.

Night Hunt

I went out for a short night hunt in the frontyard one cool night. I was expecting to find many nocturnal creatures I had yet to see, but it turned out the hunt was a rather boring one. All I managed to find were a couple of common critters. Like this katydid.

And a Two-Tailed Spider with two small legs and 6 long ones.

And nasty mosquitoes that made me wish I never went out at that point of time!

And, well, the big resident frog, who apparently was getting stung by four mosquitoes at once on his face. Zoom in and try to spot the mozzies!

I decided to retreat back indoors because of the mosquitoes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Unlucky Cobra

Word spread around the area one morning that a Spectacled Cobra had been sighted and killed by one of the locals in our neighbourhood. Surprisingly, I was one of the last few to know. My driver came up to me and told me about it, and I immediately set off to see the snake. I prayed they hadn't buried it yet, and, thankfully, they hadn't. There, lying in front of me, was the biggest Spectacled Cobra I had ever seen.

Its a pity I couldn't see or photograph it alive. Its the first one I ever got the chance to photograph, and it was a dead one. Apparently the old man of the house came out of the back door at midnight to see the cobra slithering around the working area. He immediately grabbed a stick and beat it to death. Well, that's what everyone here would do; they care more about the safety of their family than that of the constantly perishing species.

Here's a close up shot of the 'spectacle', which is present on the back of the hood.

What everyone who came to see the snake was, "It's long, it's big". Fair enough, this snake measured a good 6 feet! You don't usually see cobras that long here. This is the first time such a long snake was being spotted, and, well, killed. I got a full-body shot, and left. RIP the only cobra I've ever photographed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mommy Cat & Kitten

My sister spotted this cute pair of cats in our backyard one evening, a mother and its little kitten. It was a really cute sight to see the kitten wrap itself around its mommy's legs.

But what I couldn't understand was how the pair ended up here. They couldn't have jumped in for no reason. Or perhaps the owner decided to dump them here? I have no idea, but whatever it is, they looked adorable and there seemed no reason why someone would want to get rid of them.

A close shot of the mommy's cute, sleepy face.

Eventually we led the pair out to the front gate where the mother carried her young with her mouth and ran off. What a cute sight!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Critters From an Evening Stroll

I was bored at home one Saturday evening so I decided to do a mini hunt I do everyday around my home. Several dragonflies were beginning to find their resting spots to spend the night.

And guess what, the Flower Mantis I spotted the previous day wasn't the only one around. I checked the same shrub and immediately spotted a baby flower mantis, just about half an inch in length.

It hopped onto the ground and I had great difficulty trying to photograph it. It was so freaking small! I managed this photograph, with a slight increase to the contrast.

Here are two random plant/flower shots I took during my search. I'm not really that good in photographing plants and flowers, but once in a while, it seems to work for me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beauty and The Beast

I spotted this Jezebel butterfly resting on a plant, hardly moving at all. It seemed unusual as these butterflies usually flutter around all the time. I took a closer look, and then noticed the hidden reason to why it wasn't flying off. The poor butterfly had been caught by a Flower Mantis!

As you can see, this camouflaged predator had caught the butterfly when it came close enough, and started eating it head first. It was a sad sight to see the poor little butterfly being devoured by a cunning beast. But well, its the way of life! It was also the first time I ever witnessed something like this, and hence took a few shots.

Head done, the rest of the body to go! Look at the way he's staring at the camera.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Insects Galore!

I went out for a walk in the afternoon to my relatives house. With me, I had brought by camera, on which I mounted my zoom lens. I brought the basic lens along as well. It was good thing I decided to mount the zoom lens, because I managed to spot and shoot a number of insects from a good distance. Here's a small wasp nest with a few wasps around it. The zoom lens helped me shoot the nest from a safe distance. I would never wanna get stung by one of these!

My relative joined me in my hunt and we spotted this beautiful Painted Jezebel Butterfly. I had always wanted to rear the caterpillars of this butterfly when I was young.

We came across another attractive butterfly too. But sadly I couldn't manage a shot of it with its wings open. That was where the bright and beautiful colours of the butterfly were hidden. Anyway I got a few side shots and I still like them.

And then this rather big stick mantis showed up. It sure was a beautiful creature. Although I've seen many like these here, this was definitely the biggest stick mantis I've ever seen.

And then, a number of common garden insects like caterpillars, katydids and dragonflies. But it was surprising to have found so many little critters in such little area!

Friday, July 8, 2011


Well, these are just a few critters I spotted one morning around my home. Frog, who already is a permanent resident in our tank.

I bet I've never managed a better photograph of a dragonfly than the one here. The image is really crisp, if you zoom in.

And, some other critters.


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