My trip images - Eravikulam National Park, Western Ghat, Kerala - Dec 2012

Started Jan 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Dileep Kumar
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My trip images - Eravikulam National Park, Western Ghat, Kerala - Dec 2012
Jan 12, 2013

Dear all,

My postings used to be limited to Bird-life and Wildlife for a while. This time what I got to share is some landscapes from my recent trip to Kerala.

One of the main objective of this trip was to take part in Munnar birding survey. Munnar is a breath taking place in South India. And this survey facilitated the access to otherwise strictly restricted areas of Western Ghats. Our location was grass land shola forest of Eravikulam National Park.

Since we had to concentrate on birding survey, bird photography was compromised. Was lucky to get some time in the late afternoons do some landscape shots for the Kerala Forest Department's publication purposes. Not sure I could do justice to the breath taking beauty of the locations we trekked.

Please feel free to provide your critiques & comments.

Equipment used:

Nikon D800, D4, 14-24mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, 500mm f/4 VR

Filters: Hoya ND400 & ND8, Lee Neutral Gradient Filters & Foundation Kit and Tripod

Brief write-up and images:

Western Ghat:

Older than Himalaya, Western Ghats form one of the four watersheds of India, feeding many of the remaining rivers of India. This mountains ecosystem presents one of the best examples of the monsoon system on the planet.

Many states including Kerala would have been a drought ridden desert without Western Ghats. So, we all have the equal responsibility to protect our shrinking forests.1) A slow shutter speed shot portraying the motion of water (This lake in the middle of the forest is formed and guarded by the grass land and shola forest)


Therefore, any opportunity to explore Western Ghats are always appreciated all by nature enthusiasts and scientific community alike. Munnar birding survey organized by forest department under the leadership of Dr. Nameer P.O. paved the way for us to experience the rarely seen richness of our “God’s Own Country”.


Moreover, Western Ghats are identified as one of the world’s eight “hottest hot-spots” of biological diversity of the planet earth. At least 325 globally threatened species occur here. And it’s believed that many more undiscovered species still live in the Western Ghats.

2) View of a natural spring formed by spongy grass land

Mist and dues collected by the spongy grass are gradually drained to these springs which eventually form the river and serve us with most precious mineral water.
This shows the significance of even empty grass land for the survival of our ecosystem & humanity.

Team Work:

Initiative by the forest department to conduct this survey and marking the arrangements for such a large group with the constrains to be highly appreciated.

Efforts taken by Dr. Nameer, Praveen and Kerala Birding team for systematically organizing this survey and utilizing the expertise of volunteers came from various parts of South India is the best example of team work.


The spirit spread by this team is something I can’t express in writing. Thaju and I had joined this survey from Qatar. Mental and physical energy we gained during this period will help us to carry on hopefully till the next visit to India.

3) Anamudi (View of the highest peak in the Western Ghats & South India – 8,842 ft)

4) Dramatic scene prior to the sunset (2nd day of our trip)

Bird Survey:

We know birds are early warners of potential changes in the environment. So, regular surveys to monitor the bird life have significant importance for the conservation of our fragile ecosystem.

I recite an incident happened in Kruger, one of the most famous national parks in Africa.


Bateleur Eagle is so sensitive to the ecosystem and probably first to leave the place if any deterioration happens to the ecosystem. Numbers of Bateleur Eagles lived inside the Kruger National Park started declining and they almost disappeared from the park at one stage. It was the indication of large scale disaster awaited the park. Fortunately, authorities with help of scientific community assessed the reasons behind its disappearance, and addressed the problems before it’s too late.


As a result, population of Bateleur Eagles started returning to the park and during our recent visit we spotted many of these magnificent birds busy performing their duty.

5) Malabar Trogon (one of my all time favourite birds from Western Ghats)

6) Yet another click of the waterfall. Slow shutter speed helped to create the dramatic milky water effect.

Future:

We have our own limitations in all areas and conservation arena is not an exemption at all. One of the reasons probably is lack of resources.We all know that not much micro level studies or documenting of our rich nature life is done in our part of the world. With the current pace of loosing the habitats and species, there is an urgency for this requirement. Keen interest shown by young academics in nature and wildlife is the hope for all of us, so the activities of several Nature Organizations striving hard to protect the remaining richness.Let us believe that our authorities and government will be able to nurture and capitalize these moves for the future conservation programme.

7) Star trails (37 minutes long exposure at night pointing the camera towards the North Pole. The curved bars shows the rotation of earth in 40 minutes duration.
Placed the tree in the foreground, mountains in the middle to create depth and contrast to the frame)

8) Misty sunset in the Western Ghats. We observed the mist mostly in the shadow areas in the early morning hours and late afternoons.

Probably moisture in the sunlight falling areas are vaporized easily and therefore it’s restricted to shadow areas.

Special Thanks:



Attached herewith pls find a few photos from this trip which I hope will help you to understand and appreciate the disappearing beauty of our planet. Big thanks to Naveen for his support on making these images.


I can’t conclude this without appreciating the service extended to all of us by Mr. Kapilan and team. He looked like a man born to serve the forest.

Arrangements made by the Forest department for this survey was remarkable. On behalf of survey team I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Saju – Wildlife Warden, Munnar Division and Mr. Shanavas – Range officer (Munnar) for all their kind support.
9) Milky mountains

Dedication:


I feel It’s high time we add “Jai Vanpalak” also to the “Jai Javan, Jai Kisan” saying we learned…

Kind regards,

Dileep

www.dileepanthikad.com
I would like to dedicate these images to all the Forest Officers who stands for the conservation of our remaining forest, even sacrificing their own lives. We have the highest regards for our “Javans” who guard the boarders of our motherland and her sovereignty.
Current Forest Officers have equal or probably larger responsibility protecting the fast disappearing forest from our own greedy shadows. Entire humanity is gonna go with the remaining forests and therefore we all will have to rally behind them extending our full support or next generation will not forgive us.
Nikon D4 Nikon D800 Pentax K-r
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