A group of friends playing with the gurgling waves of Arabian Sea is a common scene in Goa. The loud music accompanying the dance lovers on the sandy beach makes it the right destination to forget worries and indulge in sheer enjoyment. While Goa is a place to attract tourists with its number of beaches, there are the silent misty rain forests holding a world of myriad creatures waiting to be explored. The bliss of experiencing nature in the truest sense is another reason to be in Goa, which most people aren’t really aware of.
Each year, during the monsoon, we head out to Goa for our macro photography workshop. The arrival of rain turns the forests rich, green and moist. Life emerges from every corner. The amazing diversity that one gets to experience is just stunning! This happens to be the exact time to trace the trails of the creatures of the rainforest, observe them closely to study the patterns on their bodies and understand their behaviour. Any photography enthusiast would crave to seize such moments in the camera.
Macro photography tour to the place, this September, gave us several memorable encounters. It brought us moments of curiosity and wonder while we noticed actions and interactions by various species. The dripping raindrops from the treetops added extra excitement to our adventure in finding our macro subjects for photography. Raincoats, umbrellas and torches were our constant companions.
There were a number of snakes that crossed their paths with us. Malabar pit vipers, Checkered keelbacks, Hump-nosed pit vipers, Saw-scaled viper, Green vine snakes, Painted bronze-back tree snake to name a few.
On one drizzly night, we spotted a Malabar pit viper while walking in search of our subjects.
Pic by Vamsee Krishna :
The snake was getting ready to coil itself on a twig and was moving gently to find itself a safe place to wait for a prey. As we stood there observing the snake, a juvenile Checkered keelback came out of nowhere and started heading towards the pit viper.
We waited eagerly to witness the unfolding scene between the two snakes. The keelback seemed to get closer and closer to the pit viper. Within the blink of an eye, both the snakes became aware of each other’s presence. After a brief stare game, the Checkered keelback retreated. We heaved a sigh of relief after watching the eye fight of these two snakes.
One of the early mornings, while sipping our hot cup of tea, we noticed a gentle sway on the trunk of an areca tree. Guessing, that a monitor Lizard had arrived, we rushed to examine the tree when a rat snake appeared from the branches. It was trying to climb the slippery tree only to lose the grip and fall with a thud. As soon as it fell on the ground it disappeared amongst the thickets.
Just as we were trying to get back to our tea, there seemed some tiny spots of colour standing out amidst the green leaves on another tree nearby. We were absolutely elated to find out the colourful entity was an Atlas Moth, one of the largest and rarest moths in the world. A very beautiful specimen at that. This indeed was a magical sighting and a big highlight of the tour.
Throughout our trails in the forest, we were accompanied by several species of frogs. We had the chance to capture the Amboli bush frog, Malabar gliding frog, Common tree frog, Indirana species, Night frogs, Reddish-burrowing frog, Common skittering frog and many others.
Pic by Satish :
Pic by Vamsee Krishna:
An innumerable number of spiders, insects, crabs, and snails posed for us in silence. We came across many beautiful caterpillars and also a group of weaver ants who were busing weaving their nest, an amazing display of effective distribution of work.
Pic by Satish :
Pics by Vamsee Krishna :
Beautiful, colourful fungi enthused us with their presence and incited us into trying various creative lighting techniques to capture them in the best way possible.
The glowing bio-luminescent fungi allured us in the dark as we immersed in deep appreciation.
All in all, this macro workshop was one amazing outing with fantastic sightings and great learning. We were taking back some great memories and beautiful images to relive them.
The Group :
As the tour came to an end, we just wondered at the power of the Universe and it’s magical ability to create Mother Earth and fill it with mind-blowing variety of creatures. It’s blessing to the humankind to be able to see the beauty and nourish the soul was beyond our comprehension.