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Amboli – June 2019 – Tour report


Amboli, the charming hill station at the end of Sahyadri range opens up in full glory in monsoon. A well-known eco hot-spot in the Western Ghats, Amboli is a favourite place for macro photography workshops. We headed there this June with a wonderful group of nature and nature photography enthusiasts.

With the rains all over the forests, multitude of reptiles and amphibians come out of their hiding to get on to the journey of life, bearing young, to ensure continuance of their species. This workshop was focused on learning about these wonderful creatures of the rainforests and macro photography techniques to make lovely and interesting images of them.

Heading to a forest during monsoons is an experience in itself, being one with the wilderness. The sprinkling raindrops from above add to the excitement of finding the creatures and observing them closely. This year was wonderful as ever. We could witness a variety of species of snakes and other reptiles getting ready to welcome their offsprings to life.

We were showered with some wonderful sightings of Malabar pit-vipers, Green-vine snakes, Pied-bellied shield tail and Banded geckos.

Pic by Rajiv Basu :

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We also observed a few clutches of bush frog eggs. They were still in a very early stage of their development. Then came a male Amboli night frog, which was carefully guarding the eggs laid by the female on a little leaf. He was also calling out every now and then to announce his presence and to ward off any intruders. This definitely was one of the major highlights of the tour.

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There always are many other simple, yet beautiful things in a forest that yield to good imagery. The ambience, the rain, just add to the beauty of the whole thing.Rain-and-robberfly

The colourful and vibrant fungi that were seen here and there, enchanted our senses too. The beauty of macro photography is, it allows a chance to pay attention to the little creatures that are most often ignored. The various scale patterns on the reptiles, water droplets on their waterproof skin, the movement of their eyes, their hopping or sliding movements to move from one place to another provides an opportunity to learn their behaviours and let us capture the intricacies in our photographs.

The continuous rainfall in the monsoons takes the view of the Amboli forests to a higher level, offering greener sightings everywhere. The entire atmosphere during the season soothes the mind and the learnings from the workshop satisfy the knowledge-hungry soul.

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All in all, Amboli and the workshop were all worthwhile in every aspect.