Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kaas 2011

Kass plateau, has become tremendously famous in the recent few years, and there is huge influx of visitors which created problems last year and forest department took its note to initiate putting restrictions on the movements of visitors. However, it still attracts the huge attention from the all sort people, may it be botanists, photographers or families with curiosity to view the spectacle. The spectacle of blooming of millions of small colorful, short lived flowers, is still happening every year and next generations could too view this if proper measures are taken. It is to be noted that there are many educated and enlightened people, youngsters from the Satara city working to the safeguard this wonder of nature. As the influx of people increases, the potential of tourism in the form of resorts and sports is posing a serious threat. Majority of private land over the plateau is being developed into hotels, resorts. This is easily to be noticed as I myself visit this place almost every year since 2006. Eventually this land will fall prey to this and huge task of conservation and education to the the locals as well as common visitors about the ethics of protecting the mother nature's wealth will be/is needed. I wish these efforts to acquire more and more strength.

In this modern age of communications over the internet, via facebook, emails, the words are spreading fast, so people get encouraged to visit, but let everybody understand that it is critical to follow the guidelines laid by FD and NGOs , let us respect the Mother Nature's offering.

As a photographer I have derived limitless joy from the spectacles of the wild flowers at Kass uptill now and hope to continue. Many of you who are reading must have seen and experienced what kass means. I feel, its my sincere responsibility to bring out the beauty of kaas in the best possible way. I could add some more information as learned during the nature trip headed by Adesh shivkar and Mandar Khadilkar.
Satara city view from Kass ghat.


Kass Plateau has a very thin layer of sand as the heavy rains and winds wash it out. Small water puddles and streams formed at plateau supports various life forms and rare species like Satara Aponogeton. 

Flowers of "Scarlet Milkweed" (हल्दी-कुमकुम)

Ants on Lantana (Lantana camera, घाणेरी) 
 Verbascum Chinense (कुटकी) 


Smithia bigemina (लहान कावळा)

Solanum xanthocarpum (रानवांगे) 

Glory Lilly (अग्निशिखा) 
The above flower is not pollinated yet and is in dual colors, yellow and red giving it appearance of fire flames.

Glory Lilly (अग्निशिखा) 
The above flower is pollinated and turned into complete red, and on the way to end of its purpose of existence.

Ceropegia Media (मेडी खार्चुडी) also known as "Flytrap" flower.
This flower has interesting method to pollinate, insect which enters from the top open channel have no option to move downwards into the base and pollinate, after which flower droops down vertically and insect is released. It thus keeps the insect as hostage un till it gets pollinated. This group of plants is highly sought after by researchers due its mystical ways. It's tuber is eaten by tribes and locals and is known as हनुमान बटाटा .

Drosera Burmani (Burman's sundew, दवबिंदू ) 

This is another interesting and most popular species found at kaas. As the sand layer is thin and there are very few nutrients remaining due to heavy rains washing them away, the plants have adopted and developed mechanisms to trap insects and take out nutrients. The dew drops is in fact sticky substance to trap the insects. 

Drosera Indica (Indian sundew, गवती दवबिंदू ) 
This is sub-specie of the Drosera. 

Eriocaulon Sedgewikki (Spherical pipewort, गेंद)

 Utricularia Purpurensis (Puprple bladderwart, सीतेची आसवे) 

Jungle Babbler 

Formation of pleocaulus ritchei (टोपली कारवी)

Ceropegia Vincaefolia (कंदील खार्चुडी)

Green Beetle


Euphorbia Laeta (Common hill spurge, दुधी )

Commelina Benghalensis (Whiskered commelina, किणा)

Paracaryopsis colestina (common hill borage, निसुर्डी) 

Ceropegia Vincaefolia (कंदील खार्चुडी)

 Ramphicarpa longifora (Tutari, तुतारी)  

मायाजाल... Network of traps by Drosera Indica

Utricularia Purpurascens (सीतेची आसवे )

Murdannia Lanuginosa (Marsh Dewflower, अबोलीमा)

Aponogeton satarensis, (वायतुरा) 
Above plant isendemic to kass and only found at kaas plateau in the world.

There are many many more beauties found at Kass other than above all images. And many of their colors and charm is not reproducible by any means of camera and lens, for example the vast expanse of the floral carpets of variety of hues can not be shown in limited space. You HAVE to EXPERIENCE it.!!  Image created in our brain with our best lenses of eyes are far more enthralling and stimulating........

Waterfall near Thoseghar.


Photographs taken with Nikon D200, Nikon D50 + tamron 90mm macro lens and 18-55 zoom lens.

(All above images are copyright of the photographer, and can not be reproduced in any other form without proper permissions, you can email me at

Monday, September 19, 2011

Uran Road near Killa Gaothan - 18 sept 2011

It was a perfect sunday morning in mid-september to get cravings to get out of bed early morning, pick up camera to go out for to watch greenary flourishing after the constant rainfall. It is also good time for wild flowers and one can cheer to see them and overcome the boredome of rainfalls. So i set out towards the palm beach road, vashi and decided to run away from city towards Uran side. I could continue towards Uran and then stopped just after the Panvel creek to check out some water ponds formed after rains.

The first bird that crossed the path was Yellow Eyed Babbler, perching atop a thin shrub branch, and the sunrays were just out to beautify the bird. Ashy prinia came on the same shrub and proudly kept warbling it 's sharp tune. I had set out of home to photograph the flowers and bees, not birds this time. So i went ahead, and stopped at a spot to spot spotted doves spotting food from ground and there came spotted munias. :) out of them dozens were unspotted, guess why? because those were fresh generation juveniles.

often we kept on following trails to find out birds, but sometime sticking to just one place and watching whatever passes by, makes wonders...While going little ahead, I stopped at the WHITE PLUMBAGO plant, to photograph flowers which were different than the regular ones of wild seasame, wild moonge, wild lady finger and brazil jute. So i remained near the plant for next hour. I kept enjoying the scene from camera viewfinder, where the numerous perfect water spheres resting on slope of grass blade appeared like precious jewels. Many of the spider cobwebs near around were decorated with chain of several such water pearls.

Water pearls - surface tension works for droplets to form perfect sphere


"Plumbago Zeylanica" - A rambling shrub found in shrub jungle, forest edges and fallow land. It is feed plant for caterpillars of zebra blue butterfly.

Many buttreflies were fluttering around spot, those visited the shrubs around I could identify were, the Common Rose, Common Crow, Blue tigers.

A mongoose crossed the path ahead twice and disappeared. Spooted munias settled on a small puddle on the path. Yellow eyed babbler came again, and sat and sang a while to highten the mood, and so that I can turn deaf ear to the crows perched atop a dead tree. Red whiskered bulbuls were whisking from here and there, as the pied starling warmed its vocal cords too.

Wasp's going on wasp? errrr...whats going on wasp?

A wasp was seen on the same plant, doing something, upon closer look it was devouring something, I dont know whats the type of caterpillar.

Few dartlets darted too, It was routine for every single small big lifeform, to do their best to survive, to take advantage of best season. Spiders were many with their cobwebs and were having their catch.

Dartlet ? Damslfly ? help pls.


tiny BUG

This was a very very tiny bug moving slowly on the grass blade. I was bugged so horribly by the limitations of macro lens and camera's focusing system, getting just one good frame of the bug, moved my tired legs and left the plant and the place.


(clcik on images to see larger versions, all images shot with Nikon D200 + tamron 90 mm macro lens)