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More from Happy Accidents


I had recently written about how I had run into problems with accessing all my images which were scattered across multiple hard drives.


First, some good news on that front…I have been able to retrieve most if not all my images and have progressed to a better system of making my images more future proof ( Till the next disaster :) ) It's still not all done, but it is in decent shape…phew…that was a mighty scare indeed.


I still had to continue working on the images from Brazil and thought would share a few more from that effort.

I have said this before and I need to say it again, simply because I continue to be struck by how one's perspective changes even over a short period of time.

As I went through my old images, there have been innumerable times that I sat back and gasped in delight at some image. Often, I realized, I might have rejected that image for precisely the same reason that it is calling out to me today ! Talk about changes in my

criteria !

Most of these images are from the Transpantaneira and the Pantanal.

I love the backstory of the Transpantaneira. In the 70's, the military government of Brazil decided to connect the North and Southern parts of Brazil by building a highway. They started on the work, but soon realized that during monsoons, the place gets thoroughly flooded and building a highway was far more challenging than earlier thought.

Work stopped and this is why the highway abruptly stops in the middle of nowhere. However, rainwater had collected in the different holes that were built during the construction, leading to an abundance of ponds, lagoons and canals, which didnt exist in such numbers earlier. These in turn, naturally has led to a thriving ecosystem all along the road

Pantanal, is another relatively unknown name. It lies in the middle of the South American continent, below the Amazon basin. It is a sprawling river delta where the water levels rises and recedes several meters and forming an ecosystem throbbing with life. It hosts some of the most spectacular birds and animals, birds and beasts carrying some lovely names, strange shapes and brilliant colours.


Not for the first time, I wondered…why does South America have such brilliantly colourful and spectacularly shaped birds ?


Curiosity, and the availability of time, made me do some cursory research on colour and here is what I found.


Research has shown that “ colour diversity was highest in birds from dense, closed forest habitats such as rainforests, and also in those who eat fruits and floral nectar”


There were two reasons the researchers have proposed – first, in the hugely dense forests, bright colours help the birds communicate and stand out from other species and helps them avoid “ potentially costly interactions with other species, which could even include mating”


The second reason, “ ability to acquire colour-forming compounds (like carotenoids) from fruit in their diet.”


I found the first reason quite fascinating. Imagine the possibility of mistaking another species if it had not been for their colour ! What about the size, the sound of the bird calls ? That's not differentiating enough ?

I guess, I need to go beyond a cursory research .

Whatever be the reason, this quote from a 19th century naturalist, Alfred Wallace, definitely resonates even today, despite the passage of time since he said it :


“There is probably no one quality of natural objects from which we derive so much pure and intellectual enjoyment as from their colours”


A Black Tailed Marmoset peers cautiously... ( those eyes !! )

I loved that expression !

A Crested Caracara lands for a drink...a touch of darkening of the shadows helped

I guess I had rejected this image earlier cos the light didnt fall on the entire body of this

Crimson Crested woodpecker...

I liked it now precisely for that reason...and I also noticed the delightful pattern in the background

The rules say that you should shoot birds at eye level...but the way this Black collared Kite was feasting on its catch...the angle now worked for me

( of course, when you're shooting from a boat, your options are severely restricted )

The Jacamar...what a delightful name !!! I had most certainly not rejected this last time, but I think I have better post processing skills now

Zorro strikes !!!

I loved the eyes being hidden and just the beak doing its job and I am certain the hidden eyes was the only reason this image didnt make the cut 5 years back !!!

The Aracari ...just look at its colours...and that pattern on the beak !

The Toco Toucan...clearly the star of the morning, the beak is striking but

look at that cute as a button of an eye !

And because its the Toucan, I can't resist putting another image :)

Gotcha !!! A kingfisher emerges from a successful dive

In case you think, only birds had got you go...

a frisky otter enjoying a cool early morning dip also hadn't made the cut


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