Reaching the 50th edition of the monthly segment “What I saw” seemed to be a dream when I started it back in August 2016. I was traveling a lot, and encountering a lot of species of flora and fauna. Posting individual species would take a long time. As per the current schedule one post a week meant that I wouldn’t be able to tell my story properly.

Hence the first post in August 2016 began with just 92 words:
“This is my first attempt to summarize what I was able to see in the previous months. For August 2016, I was able to take pictures of some moths ranging from just 1 cm to 7 cm. I was also able to take a couple of pictures of beetles and also an Orange Oakleaf Butterfly which is my third sighting till now along with an orb-weaving spider and a Caterpillar.
Hoping to share many more interesting stories and photos in the future from this monthly series called “What I saw!!!”………Stay tuned!!!”

Evolving through the storytelling from that time onwards to what now consists of an average of 1000 words per post is exciting. Recalling and telling the stories of what I was able to see in that particular month has changed how I document various species. This is more relevant when I have missed a chance to take a picture of the species. The other factor that motivated me was the need to do some sort of record-keeping of the various species I would encounter.

Looking back at the first blog posts along with the first “What I saw” segment, the focus was on the small world as I wanted to show how diverse the macro world was. Writing about this in various newspapers also became a priority. Years passed by and the more I was exploring the more important it became to highlight the flora and fauna I was encountering. I finally was able to save up and get a bigger telephoto lens to take photographs of birds and mammals. This move helped me broaden the aspect of my blog. When I look back at the old posts and reminisce the moments I realize the importance of this segment.

The storytelling continues, and while we’re at it September also passes by quietly. It becomes yet another month in 2020 that has the same narrative as the previous months. Another lockdown, the continuation of the self-control on my movements, the prayers for the wellbeing of those affected by the virus, the wish of people needing to be more alert and careful, along with various other emotions haven’t ended with the month.

I was limiting my movements, but I was still finding refuge in the small patch of shrubs nearby and exploring the small world. One thing that has been different all these months is finding different species of insects every time I visit the place. As the monsoon slowly gives way to more sunlight, documenting them has been easier. The tiny world never fails to surprise me with different encounters.

Waking up in the early mornings to the croaking sounds of the toads has been replaced by the Katydid grasshoppers. The curious eyes of jumping spiders, the loud calls of the Common Tailorbird, the squawking calls of the Parakeets in the evening as they return to their nest, and many other experiences have remained the same like in the previous months. While exploring the small world this month I have noticed a lot of baby insects ranging from spiders to caterpillars.

It wasn’t an exciting month compared to last year but still being able to document the species in my neighborhood has been worthwhile. Following are the summary of the species which I was able to see or document during September.

Birds: Common Myna, Spotted Dove, Rufous Treepie, Jungle Myna, Red-vented Bulbul, Black kite, Common Tailorbird, etc.

Insects: Various jumping spiders, Ladybug, Moth, Huntsman spider, Wall spider, Mormon butterfly, Jezebel butterfly, Plexippus paykulli, Lynx spider, Katydid grasshoppers, Mantis, various moths etc.

Mammals: Mongoose

Hoping to make October more exciting than the previous months and share the experiences with you. Wishing you all a very good month ahead. Please follow your government’s COVID19 safety protocol as we need to crush this virus out by being safe and controlling the spread.

Ajay Narsingh Rana