Snapshots of Summer.

It’s terribly hot. The heat is like a net you have to walk through: you can’t really see it, or escape it, but it leaves marks on your skin, and a feeling of being trapped.

But there are some things which add colour, life, and cock a snook at the unbearable heat. Wildlife is courting. Birds are calling. The arena of life drums on, beautiful, unaffected and resonating. Here are some snapshots from May:


Blackbuck Courting 3.jpg
Blackbucks are courting in the sizzling heat.
Blackbuck Courting 1.jpg
Blackbucks in Haryana




Copper Clear
The Coppersmith Barbet Calling. When it calls, it makes a sonorous sound in its throat (you can see the action here), without opening its mouth.
Copper Heat.jpg
When birds feel hot, they often open their beaks like this, something like a panting dog.
Copper Alert May 17.jpg
Coppersmith Barbet in Delhi.


Dressing to Impress.

While the Sunbirds have finished courting, the lizards are just emerging in their finery:

Garden Lizard Breeding Colours.jpg
Garden Lizard in breeding colours: what an orange that is! Haryana.
Garden Lizard Clear.jpg
What an embellishment on the tree!



WeForWildlife- Girgit or Garden lizard

What does a wild animal mean to us? At WeforWildlife, a new section on this website, I will explore what a wild animal means to us- the memories its brings, the annoyances, the poetry, and the pique!

One of my favourite wild animals is the Girgit (Hindi for garden lizard). Girgits have a beady, disapproving glare– almost like they are about to scold the unsuspecting human. With a mohawk on their heads, they also remind me of an aging rockstar, a Mick-Jaggerish figure. And with the way they perch– usually on the very top of a bush or rock, soaking up the sun, they seem like a top predator, small in size nevertheless.

I turned to twitter to gather what Girgits mean to us, and here are some contributions from friends and followers. Thanks to Shaunak Modi (@pugdandee), Sandeep Choudhary (@sandylogy) and Akshay Naidu (@aks_immortal).

“He is a rockstar.. he seemed to be standing” says Shaunak Modi for this Girgit he photographed:

Calotes Shaunak 2

And what was the Girgit doing? Well, it was putting up a show for this enchanting female:

calotes F shaunak

Sandeep Choudhary managed to spot Calotes in a bunch of bananas.

Going Bananas, he says!

Akshay Naidu says: “Who’s the Boss?”

Girgit Akshay Naidu

And here is my humble contribution: a girgit in my garden, holding on to the side of a wrought iron gate, and still managing to give me the eye:

Girgit Neha

What do lizards mean to you, especially the ones in your garden? Is there a wild animal you would like me to feature? Leave your comments below!

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