A Land Crab makes its way across a stream at the hills in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai.
Though the rains seem to be making a late entrance this year, the hills and its residents have started preparing for the monsoon in full swing. These crabs who spend the previous seasons underground have now surfaced in large numbers, dotting the semi moist streams and muddy trails of the region.
A flock for Lesser and Greater Flamingos gather during noon at the holding ponds at Seawoods, Navi Mumbai.
It had been a while since I last visited the site. And given the immense heat and we witnessed this summer, I didn’t expect any birds in the region. But my joy had no bounds when I saw these magnificent beings come down from the skies in large numbers, electrifying the whole area with their sounds and vibrant colors during this time of the day when I would love to stay indoors.
A pair of pigeons share a moment together on the rooftops at dusk before heading back to their nests.
A Red-vented Bulbul makes it’s morning call while perching on top of a tree at the Kharghar Hills, as I made my morning hike around the area during the last monsoon, back when the whole land was lush green.
A black kite perches on the heights of a building before making it’s way back to its nest during a rather chilly evening in Mumbai.
As imposing as they can get, these birds of prey hold a special place in my heart. They may look intimidating for most but a few experiences with them and one will realize that they are just as fun, silly, mysterious and amazing like any other creature in the animal kingdom. They too have their sets of victories, failures, challenges and finally that one thing that really binds us all together – the ultimate cycle of life and death.
To witness such a majestic being in a fragile state would be a rather heartbreaking sight. But the final moments it flies through its last days, with wounds and holes over its once majestic body, with the same pride and honor that it always carried along is one sight to witness and remember.
Husband Kittu makes a move with a rather animated yawn after I busted his ‘yet again unsuccessful’ stalking attempt on me at the parking lot as I headed back home.
Cats are amazing creatures. They always have this wild predator instinct running through them no matter they are feral or pet. Thus they are very likely to survive and hunt for themselves even if they are off human supplies and intervention. To make the matter more interesting, regardless the type of feline, they all seem to share similar hunting and stalking techniques that they use to procure their prey (with varying degrees of success). Each move they make with robotic precision is just as thrilling as it gets.
To be honest, the small dudes pack more punch and walk around with much greater attitude than the big cats. And being able to cuddle one without the ‘immediate’ threat of being mauled by is just amazing!
An army of Ants scale and attend to the tender leaves of a bush during sunrise at Seawoods.
Ants are one the best examples of teamwork, selflessness and dedication in the natural world that I am personally aware of. The amount of work they do with the precision they possess is hysterical indeed. One could learn great lessons of teamwork and management from these little soldiers just by tuning in into their schedule. But make sure you have the time – even one brief moment of your absence and they vanish without a trace!
Each scout a pawn takes is potential death is disguise. But that does not stop them, as they seem to be aware of the fact that whether it is life or death, it is for the greater good and that the whole existence of their kingdom depends on their actions, which they perform dedicatedly.
Thus even the smallest link is equally strong and important as the largest one.
When epic scares for Friday the 13th show up right at the start of the day, even in broad daylight!
This bud was pretty creepy not only for his ‘costume and gear’ but also for the fact that he managed to stalk me with his million little eyes for 20-odd minutes till I finally laid my sight on him!
Nature – Surreal indeed 😀
Tender leaves sprout out on one of the many bushes lined up at the holding pond at Seawoods amidst a rather dramatic monsoon climate that has been engulfing most of the area for the past few days.
The monsoon comes as a much relief after the heated summer. Even though unpredictable in nature, the often heavy spells are a blessing much needed.
Two Gull Billed Terns take turns to scope out fish while hovering over the holding ponds at Seawoods during early hours of the day.
The holding ponds at Seawoods and much of the area, in and around the creek harbor a vast number of marine and aquatic species. The area also has a decent mangrove cover (which is slowly depleting due to many factors). Aquatic and Marine birds are often found flying in the region and the place is visited by migratory birds during the season.
But given the fact that these wetlands and similar natural hotspots (around Navi Mumbai) are considered as ‘wastelands’ by people, the place slows get ‘developed’ and much of the region turns into a concrete jungle. The quarrying activities at multiple points on the foothills of the Parsik Hills range, the MIDC area, the Palm Beach Road and Seawoods are some proofs of that ‘development’. While making way through the Palm Beach Road, one can often see signs like ‘Proposed Golf Course’ (near Seawoods or Akshar Building Signal) or ‘Proposed Public Maidan’ (before Nerul or BBQ Nation signal) which are put up by CIDCO. If these projects materialize, pictures like the one above would only be a memory and end up in archives of a long lost past. No, it wouldn’t be the final nail in the coffin but it sure would be step closer to that.
And after all it’s man who needs a coffin