Monsoon Moods From Coochbehar, West Bengal, By Ripan Biswas
Coochbehar in the far east of India in the state of West Bengal is a small, beautiful town bounded by Assam in the east, Jalpaiguri to the north and the Indo-Bangladesh border from the south as well as the west. Coochbehar boasts of nice, pleasant and moderate weather throughout the year but it’s the monsoons in this part of West Bengal that truly shapes the landscape and its plants and animals. It beckons varied bird species from far off to feed on the fish and to breed here. Tiny little damselflies lay eggs in the vegetation of small waterbodies formed by collected rain water. Feast your eyes on the images on these pages that give an overview of the vast and diverse natural phenomena that the monsoon delivers to this part of the country.
The eye-catching buff striped keelback is caught in a rare moment in the water. This non-venomous snake usually prefers to be on land. Here, it must have spotted a potential prey such as a frog and followed it into the water.
A female elephant with her young one, on a stroll in the thick green forest. Just like other animals, the rains come as a relief to these gentle giants after the hot summer.
If you are wondering if these are tiny flower buds growing on a twig, you are wrong. These are the eggs laid by a green lacewing, a tiny winged insect. Monsoon is its egg-laying period.
This beautiful sundew flower looks harmless. However, it’s a carnivorous plant and the tiny droplets of what seem like dew are in reality sticky juice to trap unsuspecting insects. It’s impossible for prey to pry loose, and the insect will eventually be dissolved by the plant juices. Its body fluids are then consumed by the plant.
Dew drops adorn a spider web – to make a dramatically beautiful image. This is why early morning walks are great for spotting spider webs.
The tiny grass blue butterfly’s wings and body sparkles and shines with the morning dew. Did you know more dew is formed on clear, cool nights than warm, cloudy nights? Such a scene can be only observed in the early morning before the sun rises and the dew begins to evaporate.
A beautiful fern leaf with its spore (special kind of seed) bags clearly visible. Ferns are seedless, flowerless wonders of the plant world that reproduce by means of spores.
Monsoon is breeding time for damselflies such as this spread-winged damselfly. Once they mate, the female will choose a shallow waterbody such as a paddy field and lay her eggs near or in the water. On hatching, the larvae breathe through three long, leaf-like gills.
First appeared in: Sanctuary Cub, September 2014.