Friday, December 17, 2010

Malabar Pit Viper

 Malabar pit viper and My first experience with a venomous snake.

When i took my new canon s5is camera, i was 16. I had the craze to travel in search of nice shots. But i had never took a photo of snakes before this incident.

One day we planned a trekking from kemmangundi hill station to Hebbe falls which is scenic 7 km trekking route. After 3 hours we reached the falls which was amazing(see the last pic). Like most of us will do, i gave my camera to one of my friend and asked him to take a picture of me in front of the falls,and claimed on a rock. Few seconds later i noticed something odd and looked down, there it was, ready to strike my bare feet!!!


Man! that was the longest 2 sec in my life, i experienced my heart pounding like crazy, my mouth was a dry desert, to save my very life i jumped into the water which was the right and only thing that i could have done to save myself. Medical help was/is a dream in such places.
Everyone rushed into that place, scared snake tried to escape like it didn't do anything to me. But it couldn't escape from my curiosity, i picked up a stick and picked it up on that and started to take photographs. This one is the first.

Malabar pit viper
 Though i did not know it was a venomous snake. I did not wanted to take risk and did not enrage the snake as the people in natgeo will do.So after few minutes it seemed like it was getting irritated so i let it go.

They are found exclusively in Western ghats, they are mostly inactive during day. Nocturnal and found on the rocks near streams. Malabar pit vipers have heat sensing organs(they are called heat sensing pits) in their head, which helps them to hunt the prey even in the dark. They are slow moving snakes but strikes very quickly (tested!).Amazing creature and one of the gem of the Western ghat's crown.

Here is another picture of malabar pit viper that i took in Agumbe.

malabar pit viper

 This is the falls where i had a wonderful opportunity to take these pictures.Unforgettable moment in my life.

hebbe falls
 The snake was on a rock, somewhere situated in the bottom right in the above pic 
After searching the snake in the web i got to know it was venomous(was feeling very proud) and since then am very interested to take photos of these beautiful creatures.

 They are dangerous creatures to play with, in some places of India u couldn't get treatment if u got bitten by a venomous snake,so know your limits and be responsible when you have a chance like this.

 © srivathsa.s
 Wildlife and artistic photographs that i publish in this blog are copyrighted.
contact me for full resolution pictures.
Indian wildlife photography.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

yellow footed green pigeons

  Yellow footed green pigeons or yellow legged green pigeons are found all over the subcontinent, mostly in thick forests. These green pigeons feed on many kinds of fruit, i would say they are mostly dependent on ficus or fig trees.
  One day i found a fig tree full of ripen fruits near a village and decided to wait there to take photos of birds which comes from the forest areas near by. Few hours later i saw two green birds feeding on the tree and that was the very first time i saw a green pigeon! I was stunned with its beauty , its purple eye was amazing.

female yellow footed green pigeon
  On the very next day i visited the same tree and found them again,they were regular to that tree in the morning time. In the early morning, green pigeons are often seen sunning on the tops of emergent trees in forest areas so finding them is very easy if u have keen observation.They build delicate nests in the thick trees for reproduction.

male yellow footed
  Massive destruction of fig trees for widening of road or for other development purposes leads to the loss of habitat for these kind of birds. Even though they are widely spread across india, am quite uncomfortable saying they are "least concerned"  rather i would say they are "nearly threatened". Saving fig trees benefit many such birds including hornbills and other threatened species.

 © srivathsa.s
 Wildlife and artistic photographs that i publish in this blog are copyrighted.
contact me for full resolution pictures.
Indian wildlife photography. 
  Return to home here, Indian wildlife photography.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Green Vine - part 3

   I don't know why, but i feel like posting more and more pictures of green vine snakes (also you can see the previous posts if u haven't ,click here). Such a beautiful snake, they are in huge numbers in westren ghats of India but sadly there are getting killed in the road accidents. Fragmented forests lead to the crossing of roads, unfortunately they get hit by speeding vehicles.
  Once i went to aagumbe  to visit ARRS(Aagumbe Rainforest Research Station). On the way to the ARRS, i was enjoying the nature walk in the forest, suddenly a green vine appeared on the muddy path and picked it up at that instant. Man! it was furious! Here is the evidence.

  Many times it tried to bite me in defense, so i took a stick near by and picked up the snake on it. I was lucky, i got the moment like this to capture but my point ant shoot camera failed to focus correctly, instead the focus point is little far away from the head.
  I have heard a lot about these snakes eating small birds, but never believed it. Actually i got to see how big they can open their mouth and yeah they can eat a small bird !!

  Read my previous posts to learn more about green vines. Don't miss ARRS if you visit Aagumbe  in future. They give very good information about wildlife, westren ghats and it's biodiversity.

© srivathsa.s
 Wildlife and artistic photographs that i publish in this blog are copyrighted.
contact me for full resolution pictures.
Indian wildlife photography.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Indian Macaque

what was this male macaque thinking?
 Scroll through the blog you will get to know.


  Any rocky mountainous place with few tourists, there they are, macaque monkeys. 
For some tourists they are nuisance. Most of the time they steal food for their living in those places. But i enjoy taking   pictures of them. They actually respond like humans while taking photographs.

 Once i went to see shivanasamdra falls which is nearer to bangalore( about 100kms), fabulous place by the way. I got the opportunity to observe their behaviors closely. A dominant male(in the above pic) was heading a group. I followed them and i was very happy that i was getting good pictures of them ,suddenly a monkey grabbed the potato chips i was eating, yeah they eat anything that they encounter. Snails to lays.

Group head was sitting alone silently for a while (above pic) after few min this happened(below pic).

 Group head was mating one of the female in the group.I rushed to that place as it was rare scene and took some pictures of it thinking, in 4 to 5 months there may be a new member to that family.offsprings/younger monkeys are the center of attraction in the family. All the females take care of the baby even if they are not the birth mothers, they bond each other,similar to humans. Males protect the family from other group of monkeys.that could be a violent scene. They even fight to death in such situations.

© srivathsa.s
 Wildlife and artistic photographs that i publish in this blog are copyrighted.
contact me for full resolution pictures.
Indian wildlife photography blog. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

wood spider

  Yes, it is a wood spider. I was watching a documentary about Indian wildlife, there was some information about these creatures. surprisingly there are no articles in wiki.  
  These wood spiders form the web between plants  or trees in much open space. They are found in many bright colours, that makes the most scared creature beautiful. These spiders are intelligent, and chooses the perfect location to feast bugs.  

These spiders covers the victim with web and hangs it. Surprisingly they are not threatened by birds.
U can find these in and around madikeri,bhadra,bandipur  forests etc..

© srivathsa.s
These wildlife photos that i publish in this blog are copyrighted.
contact me for full resolution pictures.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


 Gigantic webs that are built between trees !!  and the spiders that could be spotted even from the the distance of 50 meters!!
yeah am talking about spiders found in bhadra forest. That's how big they are!! These spiders are really big , some of these can oversize your palm. I tried very much to gather information about these fabulous spiders but i dint get any!! If u know any info please share with me. Help me to extend this post.
Spiders were mostly in dense forest areas. I managed to get these picture in macro mode. Some of the spiders were upside down which made me to use manual focusing and even glares behind the spiders can be seen because of that(in below pictures).

 Mostly these spiders rely on butterflies and such insects for the food. These spiders are not seen in dry seasons that much.
Its really amazing to see a spider building a web between the trees. Man! these made me very curious about mother nature. The story goes 6 to 7 years back when my friend had got his 2 wheeler. We used to travel a lot in the weekends we started to visit bhadra forest which  was about 20 to 30kms from our town. That was amazing  " a real silence.. sometimes chirping of some colorful birds and these gigantic spider webs by the side of the mud road. Cloudy days with mansoon showers made this place magical. I was amazed by the size and color of these spiders. From that day i started observing more and more while i was in forest".
those observations helped me to trace such  things to photograph.
Sometimes i think such observations are needed in photography. Buying costly cameras and riding in safari jeeps wouldnt help.

  I'l post more pictures of the spiders in few days. Leave some comments that would help. thank u.

© srivathsa.s
These wildlife and artistic photographs that i publish in this blog are copyrighted.
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Friday, May 21, 2010


 These flower pictures are really beautiful. These pretty flowers are seen in some mountains with a  good altitude. Most of them i had never seen before, so i thought i put up some pictures of it. 

macro shot

Its really fun to take macro shots of the flowers. Creativity wins at the end.

Light plays a very important role while taking flower pictures. If there is no sufficient light, picture would be dull like the one below. of course u can do photoshop, but i dont like post processing . I think  usage of these softwares makes less creative on the field.

There is nothing much to say about these, actually i dont know. Stay tuned people lot more to come.

© srivathsa.s
These wildlife and artistic photographs that i publish in this blog are copyrighted.
contact me for full resolution pictures.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Green vine [continued]

Well, this is the continued part of the previous green vine post[if u havent read it yet ,pls go thru' the link green vine ]  Here is some more information about the snake.

 You can see how the snake is reaching the another branch ,its just awesome. Hardly it bends.
Since it is green in color the preditors are comparatively less. Mainly preditors are eagles, hawks, and peacocks. As i've seen, this snake's movement is different from the others. The whole weight of its body will be balanced in the tail and bending of the body is really less,so you would feel something much difference in the movement.

 Eggs are laid on the ground. There may be cases of delayed fertilization, it may much time to get fertilize the egg after mating.
As i told i was bitten by this snake, after few shots i felt my finger was swelling and we went to a doctor and he gave me some antiboitic injection and told me to be less adventures lol.
expect more posts folks.

© srivathsa.s
These wildlife and artistic photographs that i publish in this blog are copyrighted.
contact me for full resolution pictures.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


    Green vine, the most beautiful snake i have ever seen. Green vines are mildly venomous and active during day. It highly depends on the camouflage,as they uses it as transport medium. The snake stretches its whole body to reach the highest point and it can almost stretch up straight without any support. The snake is least seen on the ground which makes very difficult to find out.

One day we were out in the jungle searching for birds, we noticed some unusual moments in a low level tree and we kept observing it for a while ( its really hard to find out) and we noticed something moving around  and we went there to check in. We saw a beautiful snake which was stretching its whole body to move around.

                                                               green vine

They are very thin and it can grow upto 1.5 to 2 meters. The body is aerodynamic. The snake feeds on Frogs,lizards and even birds sometimes. It goes to the highest point and uses its binocular vision to hunt. And almost i cannot forget this one because that was a first snake bite in my life. My friend told its not venomous( actually he meant slightly venomous), I was like too much excited about it.  I took some photos for a while. And i wanted to take some macro shots, so i leaned towards it and started to take snaps, suddenly it got annoyed and gave a nasty bite. and then it started itching, we went back to see doctor, that was another story to remember.

There is a stupid myth in parts of southern India, that the species uses its pointed head to blind its human victims. Actually its behaviour towards humans are neutral. I got to say it can surely scare you by opening the mouth as widely as possible.
More story about green vine in next post.
© srivathsa.s

These wildlife photos that i publish in this blog are copyrighted.
contact me for full resolution pictures.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Coppersmith Barbet

  Coppersmith Barbet  is a bright colored sparrow sized bird,which is more heard than seen. It has a gorgeous green plumage which serves as an effective camaflouge in greenery. Barbet's call is very familiar for any one lucky enough to have a fig tree around their neighbourhood. The call is a loud monotonous ringing. The barbet gets its name because the call resembles a coppersmith hitting a piece of metal constantly at a distance.It is ventriloquistic in nature . So the bird is hard to locate when it perches high above in a fig tree and makes this peculiar sound for hours at once. Most of my friends told they have never seen it(Funny thing->I have seen like 6 to 7 barbets which are regular to fig trees in our campus)
                                      Male coppersmit.
Captured it when it was feeding on a tree.

                                     Barbet entering the nest to feed.
The parents bring back figs, insects as regularly as possible. The nest will be usually in a fig tree and other berry trees.

                                This moment is the best.
The Barbet coming out of the hole makes the shot beautiful, all u need is some patience(another word for wildlife photography) and a decent camera. Nest is a cylindrical hole with horizontal entrance made in a dead log of tree. Male and female both share the domestic duties. Sometimes the old abandoned nest will be renovated by them.

This pic seems like they are kissing eh? The scenario is actually one parent is leaving the nest, another is waiting to get in.

In photography, sometimes, things are not always what they seem. . Atleast the chances are less in wildlife photography unlike artistic and other photography.. I remember Calvin telling Hobbes " thats what i love in photography, people always think the photos tell the truth".
© srivathsa.s

These wildlife and artistic photographs that i publish in this blog are copyrighted.
contact me for full resolution pictures.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

sun bird family

One day we were roaming around a village to take photos of a peacock (needless to say a villager misguided us). After sometime we were disappointed n planning to leave the place. We found a nest which was hanging to a lantena in a shrubby area. Our faces were lit and we wanted to check out the nest.


Sunbird chick

I touched the nest gently n we heard some faint sounds and we saw the hatchling(chick) opening its beak . At this moment i took some snaps, n my camera was too close to the nest,So with limited light the image came out less sharper

Male sunbird
 The male is a beauty. Male helps in feeding the young .The male was very careful when it was around the nest, it used to take 2 min to approach the nest.
It was metal glossy and dark purple,it was spectacular.Sadly there was much shade around the nest. So we couldn't do much.


Female sunbird
 Female builds and incubates. Female alone builds the nest.Breeding season mainly from March to May.
mainly it feeds spiders and small insects to its chick. You can see the spider in the beak if u observe properly.

Male feeding
The frequency of feeding in the day time is too high. We noticed the .
birds returning to the nest within 5 to 6 min. You can see the shiny body of the male,its just gorgeous.

Female feeding
 I could see only 2 hatchlings, i guess  there was another. I decided to take the  shot close since i had 72mm digital  camera. The optical zoom was not  enough to frame the birds.

The way i took these shots
We planned to make some hide using surrounding natural stuff, we collected some arecanut leaves . I sat down on the ground with dried foliage all over me. Bird did not recognize any of the changes.

© srivathsa.s

These wildlife photos that i publish in this blog are copyrighted.
contact me for full resolution pictures.