Wednesday, September 20, 2006


This trip wasnt that easy to start.. It is always a struggle to get ur dreams and so was it this time.. Just befor the night we were supposed to leave it was raining cats and dogs... THe rapid lightning and thunders made my mom think again of the decision to go so far that to in an ST bus.. I was quite firm on goin COME WAT MAY and forutnately my friends also didnt drop the idea..
I and my Mom left from Vasai at 8 p.m on friday night.. It was my Mom's first nature trail.... Already the first sign was not good..We had planned to meet at Dadar stn at around 9. We reached by 9.40.THe train was terribly late.. 2nd bad sign. We hurried to Elephinstone station.. From there we walked to Parel Bus depot. The 3rd sign- Was good. We immediately got a bus and tht too a decent one.. We were nicely seated and had a good journey though a bit bumpy..
FIanlly we reached Satara by 4.30 am..
I called up my friend's uncle who stays in satara and we went to his place. THe wee hours of satara was chilly and quite..
After a quick wash we got ready for leaving.. Uncle spoke to a Rickshaw fellow in the neighbourhood. By the time the Rick came the sun was slowly coming up.. THe WhiteBrowed fantail, MAgpie robin, tailor bird were callin out loudly.. We also started takin pics of plants in his garden.. We then had a quick breakfast and departed for Kas.. We also had a word with the local reitred botany prof who also guided us on the probables.
I took the pillion seat on uncles bike to stay ahead and look out for anything interesting to stop the rick. We left at We were a bit late actually..
We drove past narrow lanes featuring old historical houses and finally huge set of mountains came into sight.. Uncle but pointed to other mountains at a distance and said that we r goin there..
I was really excited as the view that he showed was tall GREEn mountains crowned with creamy clouds and flanked with mist.. My heart leaped with joy.. As soon as we covered around 2 out of 25 kms i felt at bliss.. On one side was a beautiful valley whereas on the other patches of flowers on elevated hillocks.. The first stop revealed the lavender plant (Lavandula) a member Cyanotis common called cats ears in plenty.. THe lavender plants are herbs growing upto 1-2 feet height. They have purplish flowers and narrow leaves.. We also saw Lot of Oriental white eyes. Unfortunately didnt get a pic of it.. We walked here and there seein and photographin some more plants.. I took a snap of Indian robin too with blue sky as the backdrop. He let me come almost 4 feet close.. THen on insistence of the driver we pushed on reluctantly..
Though i kept seeing some new plants which are rare and interesting i dint stop him.. I made a mental of the places and decided to stop when we return.. Further ahead we stoped at a point which gave an excellent scenic view.. After some quick pics of landscapes and some more plants we hastened back to our vehicles...
Soon we reached a point that seemed that we were in heaven.. Birds like Red vented bulbul, Pied bushchat, wire tailed swallows, Spotted doves, Laughing doves were our constant companions.. Some were sitting leisurely on wires and some busy eating....They were least bothered abt our presence and gave good pose.. But we cudnt stop all the time for them.. THey were really annoyed with us... Soon we crossed some 5 kms which seemed like endless miles... We stopped to see interesting wildflowers. The butterflies tht were active at that time where the Grassyellows.. The biggies were not up stilll.
The road we were riding upon was flanked on both sides by green valleys. we cud see the satara city too.. The mountain on which we were riding was crowned with flat pleateau.. From this plateau u can clearly see the hills of Mahabaleshwar..
the unwinding paths, green floors on either sides, occasional tribal kids and people, small hills, PAtches of bright yellow flowers was knocking us of.. I cudnt stop sayin WOW WOW WOW.. I and uncle then were much ahead of ht group tht was followin in rick.. Goin ahead i did miss the Crested bunting of which Ritesh got a good snap..
Finally aft continuous nonstop drive of 15 mins i requested uncle to stop at one point. HTere was a gentle stream running and lots of wild plants around... I just coulnt stop exclaiming ' O god wat is this, O god this so cute'' Then i went on snap snap snap.. There were beds of Eriocaulon species...They themeselves are very short plants.. Amidst them were hidden lots of small plants with flowers of size 3-12 mm in length.. We also found a Crustose lichen on the Ficus tree there.. There i spotted the first Utricularia of the day.. A beautiful blue flowered plant. Besides it there were balsams and Euphorbias and Neonatis and Murdannia species..We had been there for quite long as the grp also joined us there. My friend satish who is also a taxonomist was mad with joy.. He was showin plants for photographing.. My mom also started pointing out ' vidya he bagh, te bagh, yacha photo kad' ( Look here, look there, did u take pic of this?) Finally with heavy heart we moved on.. We did becas the driver said that place ahead he muchmuch better than these.. We moved on.. From there the main flowering region started.. We spotted shades of purple and pink from a distance. When we approached closer we noticed the purple flowers waving gently with wind.. It was a lovely sight.. I cud have jumped frm the bike but fortunately the bike stopped by the time i actually did.. I wished i cud just run like mad along these beautiful flowers gulping fresh air and beautiful scent of the grass.. Everything around looked so neat.. It was as if some painter had done some brush strokes.. The soft blue sky with creamy fluffyt cloud over bluy green mountains and against them were these flower beds.. We clicked lots of pics and then moved a little ahead to find thick patch of Pink Balsams,, HEre we took groups pics, landscapes and individual shots.. At certain points u see alternating patches of pink, blue and white flowers. Looks more of a band of colors when u see them bent down.. THere were some patches with mixed colored patches too.. On of the Balsam i noticed a caterpillar of the hawkmoths.. WHen u r at such a place u just stop thinking.. Only thing that came in my mind was lie down and just stare at the clouds.. I wish i cud have.. We went ahad with little stopovers and finally stoppped at one point where we saw Karvi flowering and excessive balsams.. We took the snaps of Karvi and Sonki and went ahead.. THere was a huge grp of children spread out on that patch of balsams so we did go there... At that point we saw Malabar Crested lark picking up nesting material.. I got a decent shot of it.. When it was on the ground we cudnt actually trace it, its tht camouflaging..
We moved ahead contented and eager to see wat is in store more.. We were now heading towards the Kas lake which is suppose to be the Picnic spot for lot of ppl.. ENroute i snapped a few landscapes frm the moving bike itself..
We reache the lake and decided to have our lunch there.. As soon as we settled down to eat it started raining.. We still sat and ate. Slowly the rain drizzled and hten ceased... We had a cup of tea and returned back.On our way back we stopped only at few places.. I took pics of few plants and insects... There were a few plants which still remained to be clicked that i saw while coming here.. We stopped at regualr intervals whenever i spotted those aimed plants.. We also stopped at an waterfall which had chilled water gushin down and wetting us.. We also saw a specie of CHlorophytum and Persicaprae on the walls.. I took some more landscape shots and we moved ahead.. Earlier i had stopped to see a rare and one of fav flrs of the Pinda concanensis. Finally stops were for Pimpinella, Tephrosia and Anagallis. I cudnt locate the Sopubia delphinifolia plant which i had seen earlier.. We had started off frm Kas lake by 12.30 odd as we had planned to return back by 3 o' clock bus so as to reach back the same day. Since i had to attend some meeting on sun in New mumbai i decided to get off at Belapur and go to my Sis's place. we reached back to her home at 10.
THereofore we my dream trip indeed was covered in 24 hrs.. Thanks to my mom who came along and encouraged me, my uncle who took me on his bike, got up early and took so much pain for us, My friend ritesh who took some mind blowing shots of landscapes, plants and also MINE.., my friend Satish who guided me with the plant identifications and also shared the joy of seein flwers (this only botanists can understand) and finally Mayur dada the rick fellow who was quite patient with us and had started shwing us plants and birds to photograph... With those memories still fresh and Bright i just pray god tht i get to go back there again to se those lovely flowers again before all these seasonal beauties go away for next season.... U can have a look at the pics on
BEar with me for such a long report.. Wil be puttin up my checklists on my blog...
Pls give ur comments ... Do go to kas.. U can contact me for details abt how to go and even otherwise its quite simple. Canbe figured out frm the report.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Silonda detour gives a surprise

A week ago i had been in silonda to tale trail for some school kids. I had taken a route which actually an detour in silonda of national park. I never shoot pictures when i am taking a trail but i could not stop myself taking the picture of this beautiful SILVERLINE butterfly especially matting.


Then i also clicked a Common pierrot with wings open slightly. ISnt the best shot as it was a t an distance.

Common Pierrot

The last image is of the caterpillar i dont of which one.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Ruddy Turnstone amazing camouflaged with the surroundings

Ruddy Turnstone


Red Wattled Lapwing

Plain prinia

NEst of Lesser Teal .

A Yellow Moth on This Yellow Brazilian Jute (Malachra capitata)

MArsh Harrier

Little Stint

Glossy Ibis

Garden lizard

Group of Ibises
Citrine wagtail

Black winged stilt
Baya weaver Male

Ashy Prinia

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Killegaothan ROCKS

Well i have posted the photos of this trip on this site. U can click on this and go that site. Wil post the report soon,del%3as,3%3af,0

Friday, September 16, 2005


An Uranid moth. Gave me a tough time to focus. It just dropped beside as a dry leaf when it caught my Eye.
U can take ur eyes off this one- The beautiful Common Jezebel ( Delias eucharis)
Black Rajah(Charaxes dolon Fabricius) with Wings open

The Beautiful COMMON SMALL FLAT on Wadelia Flower
Danaid Egg fly Male with wings closed
Danaid Egg fly Male with open wings
Common Bush Brown
Look at the Long proboscis of the Baron. He is busy sucking the fermented juicy stuff.

The COMMON BARON Butterfly with Wings open

Thursday, September 15, 2005


The crocodile which landed up in the lake in the national park. It was caught

Yellow orange tip with closed wings

Tailed jay

Indian palm bob

Plain tiger mating

Othreis fullonia ( Family Noctoidae calpinae)

Stauropus spp.

Eggs of some thing?? Beautiful orange ones, very small in alignment
Cerura spp ( Family Notodontidae)
Common JAy

Monday, September 12, 2005


Overcast Sky, Swaying Palms, Raindrops falling and Just Greeenery all around
The beautiful Peacock Pansy with Closed wings

One of the Beautiful constructions of the BAssein Fort. I love those arches.
The upper portion of the Dilapidated Chapel. Rain drops are quite visible in the picture.
We waded through this water filled path. Pretty exciting as last time we visited it was dry and loads of hairy moth caterpillars and mushrooms around.

One of favourite part of the fort to photograph. In the picture captured earlier during dry time we can clearly see the lack of this pool of water.

The arch that took my breath away.
The LIME butterfly which gave me tough time to photograph as it didnt stop beating its wings and neither stopped for a second.
For a while the Rain gods had stopped crying and the roads were not pooled. This path promises a lot of butterflies, a huge congregation of weaver birds nest and leads to the Water front.
The creek end or the water front. THe water level had tremendously increased after the deluge.
Pool of water all around the Fort. Looked amazing.
Indian Palm bob
The lovely dragonfly which was defintiely worth a lense.
The plant always has its flowering drooping and at the ventral end. Cassia tora. Quite common in this season. Belongs to the Family Leguminosae.
Sailor Butterfly with its magnificient Wings open showing of its amazing black and white stripes.
Thats a bird at a very very far distance, perched on the brachch of an tree growing near the boundary walls of the fort. Its actually the Long Tailed Shrike. The distance was easily more than 300 m approx. Also notice the OVercast background.
The walls are almost taken over by climbers, creepers and shrubs.
The highly active nest of the Baya weaver bird. In the picture itself u can easily spot at least 6 weaver birds busy building nests.
The pinkish spots that could be made out in this vast bush are the flowers of the climber Oxystelma esculentes Belonging to the family Asclepiadaceae. Its a very beautiful flower and seen in this season. Could not get a close shot though.
The beautiful Crimson Rose butterfly
The pooled path leading to the Chapel.

The common SUNBEAM butterfly. Has attractive color inside its closed wings. Lifer for me that day.

Our actual plan was Tungareshwar WLS. Jus a dya b4 the trail it had rained cats and dogs down here in vasai which lead to flooding of the streams and rendering them unsafe to cross and conduct the trail. Though we did get the news on the way abt the condition of the stream, i insisted on taking the ppl to see the sight and also feel the place even if we dont go ahead. We retreated back and went to Vasai fort instead. Even the condition wasnt so good there but with the high spirits and enthusiastic crowd we pulled up a great successful trail there. Wading through feet water and walking through slushy mucky ground was kind of fun. The pictures are the history.

Flooded stream that we decided not to cross!!

At the start.

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