As kids almost all of us played snakes and ladders, isn’t it? But looks like that game’s obsession took me a little too far, thanks to my tryst with Mother Nature..! Ha ha ha..
In the picture: Malabar pit viper, a beautiful species endemic to south western India. This image was photographed at Amboli in Western Ghats, at about 11.30 PM under the able guidance of Shubham Alave.
This was my first close encounter of this beauty, this image was shot at about a feet’s distance.. Yeaa, I know what you must be thinking – this guy is crazy!? In fact that was the exact same expression from Shubham as well, a well trained nature guide who helped photograph this.
Common reaction from anyone is to avoid/escape a snake’s close proximity, I too had expected to react that way. Not sure what happened to me when I saw this one though, may be I was too attracted to it’s sheer elegance and went a little too close until I was stopped by Shubham. He was like, boss do you know what you are doing? I was like, mildly venomous? No! They are indeed, however thankfully this fella was ignorant enough not to strike
About Malabar pit vipers: Many different colour morphs are known to exist, including colours such as yellow, green, and brown. Shown here is a green colour morph with pattern. I have another close image of a brown morph, which I shall share in the coming days.
They are known to be slow-moving, but capable of fast strikes. Apparently, their venom causes moderate pain and swelling to humans. I am told, these symptoms subside in a day or two. More details: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/172708/0 (for our understanding and more importantly, kids learning!)