Saturday, October 27, 2012

Trip to Ovalekar Wadi

Sorry for the long absence. I am restarting with the hope that I will be more prolific in the future. I start with a small post on a trip that I took to the Butterfly Garden at Ovalekar Wadi in Thane. The place is about 20 kilometers from my home and it was easy to convince the wife to come along with the kids even though the eldest one had his examinations coming up within the week. Also accompanying me was a close friend and his daughter.
The briefing before the walk
Once you are inside the park, you would need to put in your names into the register and pay for entry. We paid INR 100 per head for the adults and INR 50 per head for the children. The owner of the place briefs the visitors on the habits of butterflies before starting out on a walk through his property. He is very knowledgeable and passionate about his area of interest.

Caterpillar of the Striped Tiger (Danaus Genutia)

The audience was first shown the caterpillars and the plants on which they grow. The caterpillar of the Striped Tiger (Danaus Genutia) was the most popular because of its vivid colours as well as the fact that it was in bright sunlight and could be positioned easily for a shot. The property has flowers, plants and trees that are conducive to the lifestyle of these beautiful creatures. A lot of people were photographing the flowers as well. There are two lawns where children who are either too young or too bored can run around.

I was carrying two lenses for the shoot - the Sigma 150-500mm and the Tokina 100mm. Both performed very well.

Common Indian Crow (Euploea Core) Unidentified flower. Seems to be a big favorite of the butterflies.
Common Indian Crow (Euploea Core) Great Eggfly (Hypolimnas Bolina) feeding. This is the male of the species.
Striped Tiger (Danaus Genutia) Caterpillar of the Striped Tiger (Danaus Genutia)
Blue Tiger (Tirumala Septentrionis)
Black Rajah  (Charaxes Solon) Common Jezebel (Delias Eucharis)

Also placed through the park are metal baskets containing trays of fruit. I noticed a Black Rajah for the first time in Mumbai feeding off some pineapple. This goes to show that butterflies do not always feed on honey and nectar as we are taught during our childhood.

I will be going to the park again soon as I need to capture things alone. I saw for the first time, a Blue Mormon which apparently is the largest butterfly in Mumbai. I also took shots of the Great Orange Tip and Common Emigrants. However family and friends are distractions and I do need some time alone to concentrate and shoot. There is a nice and short write up on the origins of the park here -> The Butterfly Garden, by Sumedha Deo.

Till next time ...

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