Nature till I die
My art and the environment, Yahoo’s original series tracks what loving the environment means for an ordinary person with extraordinary commitment. These are people who love an art form and from that vantage have explored the environment. In mainstream media, we hear too many ideological voices of activists, partisan NGOs and biased industry players, but sometimes it starts with what piques an individual’s curiosity. Today meet 18 year old Archith Sridhar. When he was 10, his mother caught him lovingly caressing a centipede on his palm, examining its glossy colors and its numerous legs. For him, this beautiful creature was fascinating – as was the injured migratory stork that he helped rescue and leave at the Blue Cross, an animal rescue centre. Leisure reading for him as a twelve-year-old was ‘Microcellular organisms’, a biggie with glossy illustrations. He’s currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Veterinary Sciences in Pondicherry. The camera has been his favorite gadget – from a trip with family(much to his chagrin) to Bandhavgarh’s tigers to flying solo to Gir and Agumbe or enrolling as a docent at the Madras Crocodile Bank. Ask him what he wants to become – he is not sure. Ask him what he wants to do now – and he would probably pick up his Canon 7D and his backpack. Hear him tell you about his photos and experiences with passion, enthusiasm and humor.
Tigress, Bandhavgarh: MP
This striped and endangered majesty of an animal is forever in conflict with human habitation. This picture to me perfectly captures that conflict. The tigress is stepping onto a dirt road criss-crossed with jeep tyre marks.
Walking through Pit viper terrain, wading through a pond in shorts and floaters without a torch (I didn’t want to scare the tarantulas away), my group and I came here specifically to see these tarantulas creeping out of their nests burrowed into mud embankments.
Spectacled cobra, Chennai
Snake hunting with the Irulas was an unforgettable experience and spotting this Spectacled Cobra made my day. My usual camera was at service and I had to make do with a point and shoot, and thus had to get really close to this guy for such a shot. The thrill of looking at a cobra in the wild was like a dream come true.
Jaws III, Croc Bank: Chennai
Meet Jaws III, the largest captive saltwater croc at in India at over 18 feet. He is a massive and fierce dominant male who keeps complete control over his territory, even refusing to allow mating females into his murky waters. You wouldn’t want to meet him on a Sunday swim, snout to snout.
Golden frog, Agumbe :Karnataka
The toughest customer – He kept jumping away, out of the line of my lens. Believe me, he almost missed his chance to be covered here, at Yahoo! He was the typical celeb guy being chased by this lens man. Had to crouch very low, get my camera a foot away from his eye level and click, using the flash.
A Pair of Jungle babblers, Gir : Gujarat
What makes this photograph special for me is that one bird was grooming another. They looked like they were in love with each other, totally immersed in the mood of the moment. You take the pick on who the male is, and who the female is.
Shield bug, Chennai
On a snake walk with Irulas, this flashy bug distracted me from my main quarry. Instead of looking for snakes, I began looking for more of these bugs. Little did I know then that they were capable of releasing pungent chemicals in self-defense. I am happy I did not have to find out the hard way.
Indian scops owl, Gir, Gujarat
Perfectly blending with the bark, he was patiently posing for a long while. Unusually, instead of the animal tiring of me, it was my turn to walk away. I loved his expression and his patience.
Moth in my backyard
I have been unable to identify this patterned moth, which I one day clicked in the backyard of my house. Note that it appears to have eyes, an open mouth and a flowing moustache – giving the appearance of a face looking at you. Imagine further, and you can see arms and a body to this creature.
Beautifully created, carefully designed and perfectly executed, this spider web is doomed to be destroyed for it fell right in the middle of a road entering the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station. The effort and toil of one whole night would be gone with the next motor vehicle.
My camera got wet in a sudden shower and began to malfunction. I missed most of the beginning of his spectacular dance, but luckily, was able to manage a few shots towards the end.
Dew on Branches
What better time than dawn to capture beads of dew? Indeed my first time and to me it seemed that the dewdrops formed in a second, showcased their beauty for another second, then fell to their death. Poetic.
Jungle babbler, Gir : Gujarat
I was roundly cursed by this feathery friend for disturbing his peace.
Calotes versicolor, Chennai
This male of the species(identified from its elongated dorsal spine above its head) is common lizard that you spot in your garden. Often mistaken for the chameleon, this lizard possesses the ability to change colour as well. In the breeding season, the male acquires a bright red coloured throat(like in this picture where it is faintly seen in between the black) and thus, is often referred to as a ‘blood sucker’.
Black faced Langur, Bandipur, Karnataka
Black faced Langur, Gir, Gujarat
Calotes rouxii, Agumbe, Karnataka
Chital, Gir, Gujarat
Gharial, Crocodile Bank, Chennai
Signature spider, Bandipur, Karnataka.
Photo credit : Archith K.Sridhar
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