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Old 23rd March 2013, 03:53   #1
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Default Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

Date: 17-Mar-2013
Place: Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden, Ovla Village, Ghodbundar Road, Thane
Distance: ~15kms once you are outside Mumbai boundaries.
Camera: Nikon D90, Nikon D5100, mostly 55-300mm

The organization for which I work has a very active Ecology Club and a Photography Club. Last weekend I attended a excursion jointly organized by these two clubs. When the registration mailer came up, I wondered: butterfly garden? In Thane? Quickly rang my wife to check if she would like to attend and whether we should take the kids along. Son's final evaluations are a couple of weeks away and so she opted out. I registered myself and my 6 year old daughter.

Missed the correct left turn from Ghodbundar Road, wasted around 5 minutes, but reached the place just before 8 am. Let's see if the pictures convey thousands of words.

Basking in the early morning sun..
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Exploring the surroundings.
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These flowers were the first to catch my attention.
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Never seen them before.
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In the shade, we spot a few sleeping butterflies. Unlike birds, butterflies are active only after the sun is up.
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More flowers
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More exploring
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Found something interesting.
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After the initial hesitation...
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... a handshake with a cute stranger.
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Last edited by SDP : 23rd March 2013 at 06:52.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 04:44   #2
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Default re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

There is a small shade with some seating arrangement. We check it out.
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Lots of information about butterflies, moths, insects and birds.
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People are still trickling in. We get back to exploring.
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Can't seem to take my eyes off these ones.
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They are beautiful.
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Daughter spotted something weird on the ground. Some sort of mushroom.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 05:06   #3
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Default re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

A quick briefing about Dos and Donts, followed by few quick tips on how to shoot the butterfiles.
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Mr. Ovalekar explaining his passion about butterflies and the history of the garden.
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Time for some 'Show & Tell'.
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A colorful caterpillar.
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A few pupas.
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Kids paying close attention.
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A small caterpillar.
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After the egg is hatched, this small caterpillar gets INSIDE a leaf and starts eating.
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When Mr. Ovalekar held the leaf against the sun, we could see the living caterpillar inside (towards the bottom of the leaf).
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Don't ask me what is all that black stuff.

Last edited by SDP : 23rd March 2013 at 07:33.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 05:30   #4
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Default re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

Time for an interesting insect.
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He turned his head and looked at the camera!
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See that green dot? That's a butterfly egg! Sorry for the out-of-focus picture.
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Too many people. Difficult to see things. Daughter got bored soon.
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She found something interesting.
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Although very common, the color of these flowers never stop to amaze me.
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Its around 9:30am. Time for the butterflies to rise and shine!
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A different one.
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I can refer a chart and blurt out the names of the butterflies. e.g. this one is the Red Pierrot.
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But, the names don't matter. Let's just enjoy the sight.
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And then I spotted a interesting and familiar sticker.
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Last edited by SDP : 23rd March 2013 at 07:35.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 05:50   #5
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Default re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

More variety!
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Right in front of us, a jittery butterfly settled down on a leaf and laid an egg!
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Loved the shades on this one.
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Saw someone hiding behind a small flower.
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Time to show yourself buddy.
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A honeybee.
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Interesting flower.
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Last edited by SDP : 23rd March 2013 at 05:52.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 06:07   #6
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Default re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

There were a few knowledgeable folks. One of them said "I spotted a Blue Oak Leaf!". What's a Blue oak leaf? Its a fairly large butterfly which appears like a dried leaf when it folds its wings.
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With the wings slightly open.
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And then it shows its true colors.
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A little bit farther, I saw another one.
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This one was not blue though.
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Beautiful, nonetheless.
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A small B&W one...
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..with some interesting bright blue spots.
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Perfect camouflage.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 06:28   #7
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Default re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

My own butterfly got tired of chasing butterflies and after a quick breakfast opted to play instead.
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I went on another butterfly-chasing session. This one was gorgeous, but extremely agitated. Despite multiple tries, a shaky unfocused photo is all I could manage.
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Each tree and bush in the garden is planted with just one intention - to attract a variety of butterflies.
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I saw a beautiful orange one settle momentarily on a yellow flower.
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One moment it was there...
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..and the next moment, it was gone!
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10:30am. The day was getting hotter. After a quick group photo, we called it a day.
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Never knew such a beautiful place is so close to Mumbai. A well spent 3 hours on a Sunday early morning!

<The End>

Last edited by SDP : 23rd March 2013 at 06:48.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 07:49   #8
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Default re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

Some interesting facts about butterflies (from multiple source on the Internet):

1. There are over 18,000 species of butterflies in the world, ~1500 in India and ~150 in Mumbai alone. Out of these 150, around 125 have been known to frequent the Ovalekar wadi butterfly garden.

2. Lifecycle -> eggs (2 weeks) -> caterpillar (2 weeks) -> cocoon/pupa (2 weeks) -> butterfly

3. The butterfly coming out a cocoon takes about an hour to dry its wings.

4. The lifespan of a butterfly is just 2-4 weeks, and as if to make up for the lack of time, some of them start looking for a mate as soon as they are born!

5. Best season -> There are two butterfly seasons. The first one is from the first week of March to the second week of May, and the second season is from the second week of September to the second week of November.

6. butterflies are cold-blooded and hence get the required energy and heat to fly from exposure and absorption of sunshine

7. Butterflies are ideal candidates for lazy nature lovers. Unlike birds, they don’t get up with the sun. They get up two hours later. Since they are solar-powered, they have to wait till the sun is truly up and about. So they reach the Wadi around 9. That’s when they are most approachable. Then they become increasingly hyper, and by noontime they are thoroughly exhausted and rest in the shade.

8. Butterflies might appear as tiny and carefree but they have elaborate behavioural patterns. They are fiercely territorial and will chase other butterflies away who suck nectar in their area.

9. Some butterflies like the Blue Oakleaf Butterfly can camouflage to resemble a dry leaf, to escape detection.

10. Butterflies also ensure they lay their eggs only on fresh green leaves to ensure the survival rate of the caterpillar as it can feed on the leaves.

11. Apart from their beauty, butterflies also play a significant role in the environment. The simple action of flitting from plant to plant aids cross-pollination or the transfer of pollen from one plant to another thus enabling plants to reproduce. The garden is dotted with mud puddles where butterflies feed to gain essential moisture and salts. These puddles are supposed to boost a male butterfly's fertility and thus make them more appealing to female butterflies.


“Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you." - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Last edited by SDP : 23rd March 2013 at 07:51.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 08:20   #9
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Default re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

Note from Moderator: Thread moved to Travelogues from Assembly line section. Thanks for sharing
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Old 23rd March 2013, 08:33   #10
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Default re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

Absolutely wonderful. Thanks SDP. Hats off once again for the superb captures and insight provided. A map would also do much good please. How the hell I miss this place? Must on the list one of these weekends now that school holidays are coming up.

Edit: I got the map quickly. Thanks for highlighting this place. A - From Powai, B - To Ovalekar Garden, about 22kms.

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Last edited by parsh : 23rd March 2013 at 08:47.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 09:13   #11
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Default re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

Awesome photography. That alone earned you the 5 star rating on the thread.

Look forward to a lot more photographs and if possible identify the various species. Makes for really useful trivia knowledge.

A big thumbs up to you for the thread
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Old 23rd March 2013, 09:23   #12
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Default re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

Wow! Beautiful captures. Catching butterfly in the frame needs plenty of patience. Thank you for sharing it.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 12:58   #13
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Default Re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
Absolutely wonderful. Thanks SDP. Hats off once again for the superb captures and insight provided. A map would also do much good please. How the hell I miss this place? Must on the list one of these weekends now that school holidays are coming up.

Edit: I got the map quickly. Thanks for highlighting this place. A - From Powai, B - To Ovalekar Garden, about 22kms.
...
Thanks parsh! I thought of putting up a map and then just forgot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
Awesome photography. That alone earned you the 5 star rating on the thread.

Look forward to a lot more photographs and if possible identify the various species. Makes for really useful trivia knowledge.

A big thumbs up to you for the thread
Thanks for the rating! Appreciate the kind words and the encouragement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeetaman View Post
Wow! Beautiful captures. Catching butterfly in the frame needs plenty of patience. Thank you for sharing it.
Thanks jeetaman! I clicked around 200 snaps out of which around 80 made it to this thread. There are quite a few which are out of focus, and a few where I missed the butterfly altogether

But, its good fun to click butterflies. After a few frustrating tries, one does get a hang of it. I was carrying a telephoto lens and was able to shoot by keeping a good distance. It was alarming to see people trying to click photos with their mobile-cameras by keeping the phone an inch away from the caterpillar/butterfly. People should spare some thought about the radiation from the cells affecting those delicate creatures. Anyways, enough ranting!
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Old 23rd March 2013, 13:47   #14
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Default Re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

And this is why it made me nostalgic after looking at your butterflies after such a long time, the one from the Gir forest at 300mm micro, I consider myself fortunate to have seen some such giving me such stills in the wild at up close and personal

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Old 23rd March 2013, 14:17   #15
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Default Re: Photolog : A Sunday morning with Butterflies

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
And this is why it made me nostalgic after looking at your butterflies after such a long time, the one from the Gir forest at 300mm micro, I consider myself fortunate to have seen some such giving me such stills in the wild at up close and personal

Attachment 1065148
Its a beautiful capture, parsh!

That's the Striped Tiger butterfly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danaus_genutia
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