It’s only recently that I ventured into what I can only describe as a completely new dimension to this world.
It’s is one that is tiny and cannot be fully appreciated by the naked eye. Yet it is so amazingly different that it’s difficult to believe it coexists with our otherwise mundane surroundings.
The key to enter this world is a macro lens.
This is an image of a commonly seen moth (less than a centimeter in size) that was resting on our kitchen hob. I don’t know about you but I was totally blown when I saw the image on the computer screen!!
A week ago I decided to take a trip to Ovalekar Butterfly Garden situated in Thane, Mumbai. I got to hear about this park through a colleague and a Google search threw up a surprisingly large number of good reviews from both local and international guests.
Mr. Ovalekar has a prime piece of land in the middle of Thane. Instead of succumbing to the lucrative temptation of property development, he decided to dedicate it to his long time passion: butterflies.
On his two-acre plot he’s planted a number of shrubs and trees with the sole intention of attracting butterflies and other similar insects. Strategically located on the border of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park it is not surprising that the park is visited by a large variety of these colorful creatures.
The park opens at 8am on Sundays. Between 8 and 8.30am guests are given a short lecture on the history of the park and butterflies in general.
It was during this lecture that I got my first macro shot of the morning: this cheeky mosquito who was intent on breakfasting at my expense!
Butterflies are cold-blooded creatures and in the cool of the early morning they are less active and more amenable to photography. Later in the day the heat seems to turbo-charge them and then, infuriatingly, they never stay still long enough to get a decent shot!
These are a few of the images I took at the park. (A small selection from over 500!) I must admit that I am a total amateur as far as identification is concerned so do forgive me if I have got any ID wrong!
At various points among the bushes and shrubs are containers of over ripe fruit and vegetables that seem to be a magnet for a number of species. This Tawny Rajah was so intent on guzzling the succulent fruit that it was oblivious to the cameras furiously clicking from only inches away!
By mid morning it tends to get quite warm so if you are planning a trip be sure to carry adequate water and a hat. Also, extra batteries and memory cards for your DSLR (especially if you are going to shoot in motor drive using RAW format) may not be such a bad idea!
For those interested in photographing or observing butterflies or simply wanting to spend a morning with Nature, Ovalekar’s Butterfly Garden is certainly a recommended option.
Would I visit again…MOST DEFINITELY!
In fact I am planning to go back next Sunday!