Fascinated by shadows!

Here is a Haiku to go with this picture:

Light plays

Real life

Shadows

A Crow Looks In

I am sure this crow and its mate recognise me. Whenever we meet across the window, this bird looks pointedly at me and/or caws or comes to the closest branch possible and looks in.

I do leave food everyday for birds at another window. So, they probably want that service here too. Or may be it’s just a hello! Whatever it is, it sure is cute!

Serving Up Water Fowls

As promised in an earlier post, here I am, serving up water fowls—no, it’s NOT a culinary feast, only a visual treat!

And when my photos are at large, can my write-ups be far behind? Fat chance—you will get a taste of both, if you just keep scrolling down.

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An elegant cormorant cranes its neck and looks out (for prey or predator?)

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A fluffy Goose (or perhaps a Gander) emerges from a dip. And how. Wow.

 

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A shy White-Breasted Water Hen darts away, but not before obliging me with a nice shot. (Don’t worry, I didn’t tramp about and scare it; just walked casually by, pretending to be part of the undergrowth).

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A purposeful Cattle Egret goes looking for cattle friends. This species follows bovines and thus earns its name.

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A proud Pond Heron seems to say, “This expanse of water and the surrounding trees are my territory.”

 

A Bank that Incubates, Protects and Disburses—not Money 💰, but Crocodiles🐊: the Madras Crocodile Bank

It was yesterday. I, my husband and son felt like chilling with crocs (No, I don’t mean the footwear, I mean live ones) at the Madras Crocodile Bank and decided to look 👀 them up. Of course, given Chennai’s summer temperatures, we ended up simmering with the reptiles. Notwithstanding, it was a memorable trip as usual—you see, we are off-and-on visitors to the place since 2000.

“Rom and Zai Whitaker established the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust in 1976 with the specific goal of securing breeding populations of the three species of Indian crocodile: the mugger (Crocodylus palustris), the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and the rarest of all, the gharial (Gavialis gangeticus).

The Croc Bank was originally designed to be a living genetic repository of crocodiles for safekeeping, to protect and multiply until such time when they could be returned to restock their original wild habitats. This action was initially met with tremendous success, but today, release into the wild has stopped due to shrinking wilderness areas and the lack of suitable habitat.”

from http://www.madrascrocodilebank.org/web/history

Enjoy 😊 a dekko at some of the inmates in that sanctum through my photos—and my ubiquitous write-ups.

Lots of nice photographs! I am doing 3 posts—one featuring the Mugger Crocodile and American Alligator, the second covering Salt Water Crocodiles, and Gharials, and the last showcasing tortoises, lizards, and a couple of bird varieties that seem pegged to the ecosystem.

Here we go with the mugger bugger:

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“Oh, we’re not out to scare anyone! Wondering about the gaping mouth? Just cooling off in the absence of sweat glands!,” explain these Mugger Crocodiles that love swamps.

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Muggers lie piled on a sand bank, basking in shade. They seem rather too sociable, don’t they? I mean their ‘personal space’ is in the negative!

Also, you cannot miss their ‘skin tones’. No, I mean it. Can you make out how their skins look really clean—that’s definitely attributable to the cleanliness quotient in their waters/enclosures. Another giveaway for the hygiene level is the odour, which is present just as a mild whiff here, not an overwhelming stench! Cheers and 👍🏼for the management, staff and volunteers.

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Would anyone dare separate this mugger from its chosen pillow? Well, would you?

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Did you distinguish the croc from the rock? Ah, your vision is alright then! In which case, you couldn’t have missed the set of fine teeth a dentist would approve!

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“Oh no, I am not vain, unlike another species I know. (sneer). This isn’t face painting. Its merely some algae I have gathered from my wanderings. And no nail or teeth jobs. I am naturally endowed. That’s all.”

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Now, we move into alligator territory. There are two American Alligators at this place, and we have seen them since 2000. I believe this species is more aggressive compared to their tamer cousins.

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“And you can make out I am out of temper usually, can’t you?,” asks this American Alligator, with a hostile eye.

Well folks, ready for the Salt Water Crocodiles and the Gharials?

Madras Crocodile Bank Visit: Salt Water Crocodiles and Gharials

Did you check out the Muggers and the American Alligator? Eager for more? Here goes:

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A Salt Water Crocodile surfaces for a breather and look-around. It does seem in a ‘rolling eyes’ mood, no?

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And here is the ‘snorty’ look that says it all—a disgruntled crocodile about fed up with all the attention. “And don’t you go judging my ‘algaed’ teeth. Your standards don’t apply to my sort, got it?,” is the parting shot from this majestic specimen. Thanks for your time, dear! IMG_0865.jpg

A quick turning away and in moments, a disgusted tail was all that was visible.

Presenting Jaws, the massive Salt Water Crocodile and the STAR attraction here:

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“Got some idea about my size?,” asks Jaws, as it pops its head out of its lonely sanctuary.

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“That’s about my entire length. Impressive, eh?”

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And now for the Gharials, the delicate darlings—their long snouts break easily. The Madras Croc Bank literally brought back the Gharial from extinction to thriving status.

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This gharial, enjoying an algae mask, has lost part of its long snout. Look carefully and you will see. Here it is safe and well-cared for.

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I got a perfect front view as a Gharial approached.

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What a sweet expression! These creatures are shy and far from aggressive. And here’s something about their elongated jaws.

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“I am also known as the false Gharial, my long snout is deceptive to untrained eyes,” lectures this Tomistoma. I too mistook it for a Gharial.

Waves: Soothing in their Unrelenting Movement

There’s something soothing about watching (calm—this qualifier being the operative word!) waves. They seem to reflect your state of mind and say, “I understand, my friend.” 

Here’s the Bay of Bengal taken on digital memory from East Coast Road abutting Chennai.

Frothy and colourful, vast and powerful. 

Note: This bay serves to moderate Chennai’s searing temperatures. And we Chennaiites are grateful for its presence!

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Silhoutte on the Bay

Man and Bird get busy. Man sails, bird flies. Both on the lookout for catch.
Silhouetted on a shimmering Bay of Bengal on a summer morning.

Isn’t there something tranquil about this picture… but wait, would the fish at risk feel the same way? Unless they are unconscious of the impending peril—’ignorance is bliss.’IMG_0750.jpg