The rains have transformed the landscape. Concavities in the ground everywhere fill up with water, all sizes accommodated. The gulch in Jubilee becomes a pond. Ephemeral plants cover their surface and equally ephemeral insects skim their surface. The birds twitter and cry out as they skim through the insect clouds. The rain heralding dragonflies and mosquitoes alike.
It's green everywhere and wet. Mists hang in the air each morning and the previous nights precipitation clings to every available surface. A walk through the grass soaks right through my pants and socks and I have wet toes.
Grass after a stormThe water drips past my hands and over the lens hood and mists obscure any ability my lens ever had to pull together a sharp image. There's wetness everywhere, clinging to spiderwebs, leaf litter, the wings of still asleep insects and on the bright red abandoned eggs in a small sorry looking-nest. The eggs are now home to new young ones, those of ants. Life particularly in times of plenty abhors a vacuum.
A Giant wood spider female on her web with a tiny red maleThe water transforms the vegetation which relieved of one constraint seems to abound. But the time of year causes another plenty. Each year has a cycle of appearance and disappearance. Where the Giant wood spider go in the warmer months, where their eggs are laid, where they reemerge from each year, I cannot tell you. But here they are now with their huge meter wide webs cast across any open spaces they find. The garangutan female sits at the center sensing with her legs who walks upon her lair. The tiny red males wait to take their chances.
come and go from however we have a somewhat better idea of, only somewhat. They shuttle between their breeding grounds and wintering grounds or over smaller distances between the hospitable and the more hospitable. I hope they keep returning, to enrich the chorus at Jubilee.
For the birder geeks: over the last few weeks, I've seen all these birds arrive in IISc for the winter (whether all are true winterers I amn't sure):
Brown Shrike, Bay-backed shrike, Loten's sunbird, Paradise flycatcher, Forest wagtail, Grey wagtail, Greenish leaf warbler, Blyth's reed warbler, Blue capped rock thrush, White breasted water hen, Asian brown flycatcher, Indian Pitta, Black-headed cuckoo shrike, Golden Oriole and another flycatcher I am yet to identify.