Thursday, 16 August 2007

Animal Life in Greater Kailash

Since I am not travelling much these days, I have to find motives for my photographic obsession a bit closer to home. Luckily the colony in which we live is filled with fascinating and beautiful creatures. I here show some of my more successful animal pictures, most of which are taken on or from our terrace. It is mostly birds and insects, but in the end there are also some mammals. One nocturnal mammal I had to go find in it's very special habitat.

A dragonfly posing beautifully for me, hanging from a stem on the terrace. I find the intricate pattern on its wings to be very beautiful.

An even closer look at the dragon fly. With modern cameras you can get much more detailed views of small animals than you ever could with the naked eye. I know some of my readers might find close ups of dragon flies less than interesting, but I am very fascinated by the incredibly complex natural design of such little creatures, which we tend to overlook. I think Albert Einstein expressed it incredibly well, when he said:
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
I fall squarely within the last category. I find constant amazement and wonder in such little details of nature.

Another beautiful design, created by millions of years of evolution. This picture was taken yesterday when Nitoli called me out to the terrace because she spotted it while watering our plants.

Same butterfly, only with it's wings closed and in a different location. Notice in this picture how it is using its long proboscis to suck water from the leaf. It's like a straw as long as the butterfly's legs.

Another butterfly, this one with big green-yellow eyes using it's proboscis to suck nectar. Notice also how dusty the leaves of the plants get. It's like that in Delhi. Unless you wash them daily they dust over, like everything else here.

A strange four-winged insect. Perhaps a moth of some sort?

From insects to one of their mortal enemies: A common tailorbird, easily distinguishable by its yellow back and red cap. You can see by its long tail, that this is a male.

And here is his mate, to the left looking after their duller looking chick on the right. The whole family frequently hangs out on our terrace, where the grown ups hunt for insects, while the chicks hide in our many plants.

A squirrel checks out one of the local electrical poles. You would think it was a dangerous place to hang out, but I've never seen any of these get hurt.

Enough with the insects, birds and rodents. Time for some mammals. A few weeks ago I had a very unexpected visit on our terrace from this fellow:

A macaque monkey! These guys are very common in India, but never before and after that day have I seen them anywhere near our colony. I was sitting at the table near the door working on my thesis, when suddenly I saw a flash of something big and brownish-red jump onto our terrace from the neighbouring rooftop and continue downwards to the terrace of our downstairs neighbours. I grabbed my camera and ran to the railing and looked down to see the monkey check out it's new position. It turned out that he was being attacked by a murder (meaning "group") of crows. For some reason the crows hate macaques - perhaps because the monkeys steal their eggs?

After the attack in which it got pretty badly defeated by the crows, the monkey found a spot - still on the downstairs terrace - to sit and regain it's strength and confidence.

Now it is time for a look at the last mammal I promised. Mostly nocturnal and the only one I couldn't catch from the terrace. I am talking of course about the party animal:

Yes, this is it. A small group of party animals, in their local habitat: A lounge called "Polka", which is much preferred by the party animal for it's plentiful supply of alcoholic drinks at low prices.

Okay, silly jokes aside this is an aspect of my life, which I haven't shown much of on this weblog. Party pictures tend to get very boring, very quickly for people who aren't actually there, so I tend to keep such pictures on my facebook profile (if any of my readers want to be my "friend", just search for Esben Agersnap on facebook). However I felt it was time to show that I do have a social life, which extends beyond the company of birds and butterflies.

There is a story to the crazy scene above. India is in many ways stuck in the early 90s and one of the ways in which this manifests itself, is that Bryan Adams is still a superstar here. Especially his song "Summer of '69" is a massive hit, which frequently gets played in night clubs to the great joy of all the locals there who stand up and sing along. However, Emil (sitting bottom right), hates Bryan Adams and particularly Summer of '69. So naturally we have made a habit of specifically asking the DJ for that song whenever he is present and then sing along like the locals. This is what we are doing in the picture above. Standing from the left Mirva , Sidsel, Me and Peter. Nitoli took the picture.

A quick introduction, although most have been mentioned before: Mirva is from Finland and is working at the Finnish Embassy. She is the girlfriend of Emil, who - like me - is a former intern at the Danish Embassy and currently working with Danish company Kring in Delhi. Sidsel is also a former Danish Embassy intern and she will also soon be working with Kring. Peter is also working for Kring, whenever he is not busy running his website for Delhi Expatriates.

A little trick photo using the decorative background of Polka Lounge. This picture and the one above was taken with Sidsel's camera and I borrowed these pictures from her weblog.

Looks like the camera was drunk when this picture was taken? Well it sort of was - at least under the influence of alcoholic beverages. We had left the camera on the table and some sticky drink (probably vodka/red bull) had gotten smeared on the lens making it so sticky that the lens cover got stuck halfway closed. The camera is fine now.

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