Archive for September 2008
Earlier this year I spent time weaving together some of my Western Ghats writing into a single narrative piece for Asian Geographic. The idea was to write an article that spanned the varied habitats and experiences that I’ve had over the last 16 or so years. I quickly ran out of space and had to condense many of the anecdotes and descriptions. My intention is to further develop this into an essay that will accompany the pictures in my much-delayed book on the Western Ghats. The pictures in the photo-essay are an assorted collection of black & white as well as a two color images taken during the same period. Asian Geographic published “A Personal Odyssey: Ecology & Landscape in the Western Ghats” as a part of a special on India in its August Issue. You can read the article and see the images on the hyperlink above.
The leaf insects (Phyllium bioculatum) that I have been raising thanks to eggs provided by Haris Dharmasiri are doing exceedingly well. Haris’ own cage was overpopulated and he generously provided several adults. I now have about 6 adult females and about a dozen others of various sizes. The females, with the aid of one lonely male, have been laying plenty of eggs. They feed on guava leaves that I refresh every three or four days. I’m not sure about how the eggs will survive since their procreation is based on an incestuous relationship (they all came from the same mother). Unfortunately I can’t keep some of them at school since they periodically spray insecticide to suppress mosquitoes. We’re trying to get that stopped but meanwhile OSC is an unfriendly environment for Phyllium bioculatum!
The first picture was taken with the Hasselblad 503CE with my (new) 2nd hand 120 mm lens fitted with an extension E-16 tube. The film is Fujicolor Superia 100, which was developed and scanned by the Kodai digital lab here in Colombo. Overall I was not overly impressed with scan results although the negative is sharp and clean. I am looking forward to developing and printing the black & white version of this image. The second and third images were taken with the standard 105mm Nikon macro mounted on a D-200…a combination that is hard to beat with film.