I was invited for Canon’s wild clicks photo shoot in Dudhwa National Park organized by Nature Wanderers ( by Shivang Mehta and Kahini Ghosh Mehta )” . On the first morning, we set out on safari with great expectations of capturing some wonderful images of the forest and wildlife of Dudhwa.
Beginning of the wildlife experience
We entered the forest, there was a deathly silence and I was mesmerized. The morning light and mist created amazing illusions and for many moments I forgot to shoot! The jolt of our jeep jerking and stopping, brought me back into action. The jeep drove on and as the sun cleared a path for us, I felt the trees came alive, whispering to me.
Butterflies flew around, and leaves rustled, as we trundled along looking for images that we could create magic out of. The sun rose through the mist, dust from the jeep behind us creating an illusion of our flying through the air. Spider webs glistened in the light, tree branches emerged like rhino horns and sparkling sun rays filtered through the trees weaving into a fairy land. The forest of Dudhwa was simply magical.
The Magical Forest
I saw a clearing with tall golden grass on either side, and asked the driver to turn in. It was a cul de sac, with a sheer drop in front and muddy water with sloping slippery banks. There they lay, “comprise” crocodiles, like two lazy slumbering logs, oblivious of intrusions into their private domain and the disruptive clicking of the camera.
The evening safari was so different from the morning one. The road turned rusty red with the rays of the sun falling in strips through the trees, a sight to behold and store in my mind and memory card. As evening shadows fell across the dirt tracks, I was taken aback at how a forest can have so much to say with just its shapes, forms and shadows, with not an animal in sight! No tigers or four legged creatures.
Eventually, however, we did encounter a few Cheetal crossing the road, very skittish, darting back to warn the others, until a muscled stag came and took charge of the herd and made them disappear into the brush. . The grass is tall on either side of the track and as we drove through it, the rustling sounds of the tall grass was sheer music, with birds twittering rhythmically as they flapped to roost at evensong.
On our return ,amidst some perceptible noise, the jeep turned into a road leading to the lake. And there he was, in the dim evening light, a beautiful huge Tiger, furry headed, eyes glinting like gems of topaz! So sudden was the apparition, I couldn’t even take a shot! Unfortunately, I was satisfied even with the afternoon rides, and with all the drives that I went on. Not for one moment moment was I disappointed.
I would love to return and explore this forest again, and witness more of the peace that prevails, at sunrise and at sunset. Perhaps with less pressure from a competition