Once Upon a Bug…
24 / Mar / 2010
Photographed by Ganesh H. Shankar

Long, long ago, in the days before PCs and video games, when TVs were tourist attractions at the homes of the connected, children in South India prospected for precious metals in their backyards. When you did strike gold, or any other likely gem, you tucked away the precious catch in miniature safe deposit lockers, which […]

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Jewel Bug, Coorg | Posted in Insects | 27 Comments »

A turtle by any other name…
10 / Mar / 2010
Photographed by Dr. Ajit Huilgol

So what’s in a name? After all, a turtle is a tortoise is a terrapin! But not if you were Australian. Down under, they only have tortoises, irrespective of where they’re from. In America, tortoises own the land and all aquatic tenants are called turtles. The British, finicky as ever, have the naming down to […]

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Indian Pond Terrapin, Kabini | Posted in Reptiles | 16 Comments »

Tea and Snakes served here!
24 / Feb / 2010
Photographed by Kiran Poonacha

If you’ve ever wandered off the urban jungle into the hinterland of India, chances are you’d have been assailed with sign boards and menus that shocked the palate and tickled the funny bone, albeit inadvertently. Pride of place probably goes to the all too common boards outside wayside eating joints with signs reading, ‘Tea and […]

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Short-toed Snake Eagle, Kabini | Posted in Birds | 25 Comments »

Some Damsels are Gentlemen
10 / Feb / 2010
Photographed by Ganesh H. Shankar

A Damsel is not always a lady. For, even the males of this species are called Damselflies, though they don’t seem to mind too much (proof that metrosexuals have been around much longer than our fashionistas would have us believe). The females too are definitely not products of those Swiss finishing schools that insist on […]

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Damselfly, Coorg | Posted in Insects | 24 Comments »

The Macedonians of Madikeri
27 / Jan / 2010
Photographed by Balan Madhavan

Legend has it that they are the remnants of Alexander’s army, who stayed on in India, when the conqueror marched back to Macedonia. The Puranas claim that the Kodavas are the children of the river goddess, Cauvery, whose waters irrigate the very soul of Coorg. Whatever their provenance, these hardy sentinels of the hills are […]

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Kodava Couple, Coorg | Posted in Culture | 15 Comments »

The Lost Emperor
13 / Jan / 2010
Photographed by Kiran Poonacha

He may be the monarch of all he surveys, but this is one member of the avian royalty who’d much rather avoid the spotlight, thank you! No flashbulbs, no glitzy ‘coming out’ balls, and definitely no obliging those pesky jungle paparazzi, no matter how noble their intentions. If you want a glimpse, much less a […]

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Black-naped Monarch, Coorg | Posted in Birds | 26 Comments »

Sting Operation!
30 / Dec / 2009
Photographed by Jayanth Sharma

There’s nothing undercover about this sting operation. It’s all above board, very public, and cruelly exposes the pretentions of dangerous denizens like Messrs. Bee, Wasp & Hornet, and the limitations of their supposedly invincible weaponry. The main theatre of operation is the lush expanse of Kabini, where the Blue-tailed Bee-eaters are the designated super sleuths […]

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Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Kabini | Posted in Birds | 24 Comments »

A Cow in Goat’s Clothing
16 / Dec / 2009
Photographed by Shivu K

You are looking at a picture of Kabini’s most prized cows. Now, now…hold your horses! Before you think we’ve been grazing on a different kind of ‘grass’, allow us to clarify. Goats, in much of rural India, are considered the ‘poor man’s cow’, and Kabini is no exception to this belief. A herd of just […]

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Goats, Kabini | Posted in Mammals | 32 Comments »

Insecticide
2 / Dec / 2009
Photographed by Ganesh H. Shanker

If the marketing whiz kids at those multinational companies could just brand and sell them, the Small Pratincoles of Kabini would probably be their No.1 bestsellers, at least with harassed housewives looking for deliverance from termites and bugs. These grey little shore birds are perhaps the most efficient insect hunters around, and are so confident […]

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Small Pratincole, Kabini | Posted in Birds | 11 Comments »

For your eyes only!
18 / Nov / 2009
Photographed by Vijay Rao

Very few people have seen this sleek, green beauty up close. Those who do manage it haven’t seen her again. Or seen again, if one were to go by a popular myth in southern India. For the green vine snake is reckoned to strike you blind with her arrow-like head if you poke your nose, […]

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Green Vine Snake, Coorg | Posted in Reptiles | 25 Comments »

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