Monday, October 27, 2008

It's a Bug's Life!

If there's one thin I've not been able to do since landing up here is pursue one of my passions - butterfly and insect photography. So I decided that it was time to make amends, and get back into the groove. With a campus like this, it was a criminal waste for a fella like me not to be there and shooting those bugs.

It was a hot afternoon, and the (possibly) last spell of rain - and what a spell it had been - had just got over the previous day. Pratik and I set off in pursuit of the 2 big blue butterflies which have always taunted us when we set off to the library for lesser pursuits.

With the area in front of the library being unusually unoccupied, we went to the Circle of Contemplation - this fantastically wild structure, covered with this creeper with bright blue-white flowers which attract a variety of insects. There are also some garden plants planted nearby, which attract the ones we were specifically interested in - Swallowtails!

It was mayhem out there. After a week or so of almost zero sunlight, here was a bright, sunny day, and everybody was out to make the most of it. The circle was absolutely choc-a-block with dozens of varieties of butterflies, a thousand-odd bumblebees which kept scaring me by getting too close when I was busy shooting a butterfly and a million other insects. A Southern Birdwing soared in the sky above, like a royal not bothering to descend amongst mere mortals. It's stunning golden yellow glistened in the bright sunlight, and was in stunning contrast to the jet black of its forewings. As I was following a particularly interesting bug in the circle, I heard a muffled thud beside me. I turned around, only to find a rather stunned looking snake lying there! Whoa! I tried to approach it to get a shot, but as always, it slinked away before I could even manage to get an id shot. But then even to see a snake in the wild is a treat in itself :)

We went berserk shooting, when the biggies arrived. Oh, what stunners these creatures are! It was extremely difficult to shoot them, however, due to their rapid wing movements and constant flitting from flower to flower. Finally, after an hour or so, I gave up. I'd run out of memory! But it was a good experience, an absolute de-stresser. I think I'll be spending a fair amount of time here, once the mid-sems are tackled and done with!

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