For the sky watch today, I am putting up ten pictures, 8 from my travels in 2014 and 2 from the backyard. You might have seen those pictures in some previous posts but I was tempted to put the eye candies in one place!
10. A Sunset in the Backyard
I usually reach home after the sunset, except for the peak of summer when the sun sets quite late. This evening I was lucky, the sun was yet to drop over the horizon. I clicked it from my balcony. One day I am going to see more sunsets rather than commuting through them!
9. Mandvi Beach, Kutch Gujarat
I went to Kutch in January in 2014. It was a solo, last minute trip. I was so fed up with the hotel prices in Bhuj that I settled for staying at Devpur Home Stay. That was such a blessing as Krutharthsinh Jadeja ji fixed all my subsequent itinerary. It was because of his recommendation that I ended up at Mandavi and enjoyed the sunset at the beach.
8. An Evening in Hong Kong
This year I took my niece and daughter on a trip to Hong Kong. The kiddos were quite fascinated by the Victoria Harbor. They were so engrossed that they did not notice that I was clicking pictures. I am going to take them out again but next year.
7. A Para-glider in Srinagar
This was before the devastating September floods in Kashmir. I was there in June. I was getting out of Srinagar on September 7 as well, when Jhelum breached its banks. I hope J&K would recover from the disaster soon.
6. A Beautiful Sunset at Monsoon Palace, Udaipur
There are some sunsets that get itched in your memory. The sunset at the Monsoon Palace in Udaipur falls in that category. It was such a beautiful evening, the sky had just the right amount of clouds so as to make the evening beautiful without overwhelming the sun!
5. Misty Mountains, Paro, Bhutan
This was a morning shot. I usually open the curtains before I go to sleep. Around the time of sunrise I opened my eyes to see if there was something worth getting up. The mist had gobbled up the mountain range and re-drawn the shape of the mountain! It looked like someone had repainted the landscape. I went to the balcony to click a few pictures and then I went back to sleep again! That is how I approach sunrise photography!
4. The Beach at Maafushi, Maldives
The trip to Maafushi, Maldives has been such a joy. I loved this lone coconut tree which was reclining at such an impossible angle towards the sea. I clicked many photographs but I like this one the best.
3. Batal, Spiti
Mountains have been giving me only clouds, mists and rains since June 2013. Batal, Spiti was also going the same way till the clouds parted for a while in the evening. And that was the only time in this whole trip that they showed any mercy to me!
2. Sunset at Maafushi, Maldives
Sunset at Maafushi was a magical time. It was a pleasure to be out on the beach and enjoy the sea. Sunsets became all the more special. I always thought Maldives would be beautiful but I never thought it would be so beautiful.
1. Construction Work in the Backyard
Sometimes pictures happen in the backyard as well. I was trying to click the sun peeping through the construction site but it was not giving me anything worthwhile. Then decided to go for the silhouette.
I am so very fond of bird photography. It is just that I am not fond of getting up early in the morning with the sun and the birds. And the birds like to give ‘darshan’ (audience) either early in the morning or in the evening. This time at Srinagar I did manage to wake up early morning on day 2 of the trip, to visit the floating vegetable market at Dal Lake.
And that day I managed to click some birds too. So, for this lazy Sunday I bring you a sparrow at Dal Lake playing among the lotus leafs. If you ask me, it is mandatory to get up early one morning while you stay at the Dal Lake. The character of the lake is quite different early morning.
The early morning sun gives the lake a glow. It should have been a golden glow but there were too many clouds. But there was a glow none the less. In the mornings, the lake is less crowded. The trade and tourist traffic picks up as the day becomes old. It is much more serene in the mornings. You can stand in the cool breeze and take it slow, preferably with a cup of kahwa.
Then there are the food and flower shikaras gliding through the waters early in the morning. They sell flowers to tourists and house boats. Similarly the foo shikaras sell breakfast to tourists who are up and about at that hour. I regret that I did not try any foodstuff from the shikaras. They go from house boat to house boat in the morning hours.
An added bonus was watching the birds as well. There was a time when I clicked a lot of birds, not of late. Time to try and get up early at least on one morning of each trip!
There was a time when I constantly posted birds on my blog. Then over a few years I clicked all that I could in the neighborhood. I still get excited about birds but only if I see new ones or if I think I will really get a good shot.
This time when I was at Jagatsukh I managed to click some familiar and some new birds and I am quite excited about my sightings. So here I go.
This was right at our hosts home at Jagatsukh. And there were so many house sparrows all around their place living in these hollows. They would keep visiting the Apple and the Apricot trees! It was such a pleasure to listen to their chirping all day long!
Initially I didn’t pay much attention to the Russet Sparrows. I somehow thought they were better looking house sparrows. It took a day for me to figure out that they were Russet Sparrows and not house sparrows. And then I started chasing them and they would sit only behind a lot of leaves and trees. In the end this was the best I could manage!
Then on the last day of my stay I woke up at dawn and went out for a walk. There was no traffic on the road yet and birds were perching on the tress next to the road. Like this Streaked Laughingthrush who was busy collecting material for the nest.
But the best was this Verditer Flycatcher. I was standing by the road and clicking landscapes. So I had the kit lens on the camera. And there came this lovely blue bird and sat on a clear branch. I told myself it was worth trying to change the lens then and there. So I took down my shoulder bag, opened it, then opened the kit lens. Then I fixed the 75-300 zoom, kept the kit lens in the bag and the bird was still waiting patiently right there! I could not believe my luck! I managed to click at least 5 shots before the bird decided enough was enough!
After an hour or so the traffic on the road started and the birds were no longer coming to the tress next to the road even though I could still hear them!
I am lucky I still get to see them almost daily.
PS. I clicked both these pictures at Bharatpur. Here are two sparrows that I clicked near my place.