Posted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:11 pm Post subject: Re: The Chembarambakkam Chronicles
Thanks all again. The total recorded species count for the lake is 64 (more or less) and we shall keep haunting the place until we collect 'em all.
We also found a nice spot for sitting down and lazing around. Good enough to hold our monthly meetings which should ideally start again now that Prasoon has come outta hibernation. A small collection trip followed by some meaty munchies while discussing the catch and other hobby related matters should be good fun.
If Rajeshwaran is reading this please note that we found an AC fast food that served awesome biryani and maybe Rosa Poo Idhazh Parotta very close to the collection spot.If this is not lure enough to make him take a break from his 6 month long honeymoon I dono what is.
Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:16 pm Post subject: Re: The Chembarambakkam Chronicles
And so it continues................
Another hastily planned trip. This time with more participation (all credits to death threats). The members who went on this trip were :
Usaid (A colleague)
After a botched attempt to collect the Horadandia atukorali last time around, we were determined to collect some of these insignificantly tiny schooling fish. Marcus has collected 'em one one occasion but the same spot yielded none during the last trip.
Were we successful in collecting 'em??? What strategies did we use??? What pains did we experience??? How did we feel at the end???
The answers to these will be revealed...........................................................................................
Right below here :
No we didn collect those damn things this time around too.
Strategies??? Did you actually fall for that???
Pain yes. A few thorns in the wrong places.
Well a bunch of dolts would perfectly sum up the answer to the last question.
But I digress. Back to the trip now.
We left as 2 groups as Bala and Shankar had to leave early. So twas Prasoon,Sai, Usaid and myself in Prasoons bumpyridensis and Bala and Shankar in Bala's car. 5:00 Am was the planned departures. But really now. Twas a Saturday and everyone knows what bachelors do on Friday nights (or on most weekdays too) and how they crawl on all fours to reach home from the bar. So it eventually became 5:30 Am.
We met at the Guindy railway station and proceeded from there to the first spot.
Tequila Sunrise (though Beer Sunrise would be a more apt title cos thats what the car was reeking of)
L-R : Usaid,Me, Someones head, Prasoon (notice how Prasoon has an inbuilt stand for his hands in the belly region) and Marcus
A scene from the first spot.
I was on Shutter Island.
Not a very yielding spot. The most impressive catch here was a baby Macrognathus pancalus.
Thats one pissed off eel.
With nothing else very exciting collected here, we decided to move on to another spot.
This is the spot that made Prasoon realise he needed to go on a diet the last time. Now it made Bala do the same thing except in a manner that was way funnier. Thats right. He slipped and fell but the studious guy he is, he saved the bag of shirmps from certain death by clinging onto it.
Notice how the right side of Bala's tee looks darker???? Guess why????
This is where Sai wiped off Shrimps from the map. Both Red Nose and Wood hrimps were collected here in significant numbers and are ready to go on the Red List.
All the collecting and falling down and splashing and laughing had made everyone ravenous.
I have to thank Marcus for bringing breakfast again this time. Marcus we enjoy your food so much and cos we are quite cheap we have decided none of us will bring anything edible henceforth. All the omelette's and bread loaves are on you.
After a sumptuous breakfast of bread omlette's,cake and bananas, we realized we had come on a collection trip and forced ourself back on our feet and headed to the second spot.
A peek at a fisherman's catch en route revealed this :
Hyporamphus limbatus (????)
Prasoon Id'ed this as a Pelican. He s still refusing to share which angle he was looking from.
The next spot was Thandal which is bout 8 Kms away.This spot was the best in tems of species collected. More importantly, Bala fell down again.
A few pics of the spot.
We had to navigate a 45 degree slope to reach the spot. Not the easiest when looking at the body size and shape of the participants. An innovative approach adopted by me was scorned upon by the others.The losers.
Not the most dignified method but quite effective I should say.
Star catches from this spot include some amazingly coloured Colisa lalia, Puntius sharmai and Puntius gelius.
But all this paled in comparison to this bugger :
Some ID's were discussed but I remember none of 'em. All I remember is that they can bite quite well. He came with a part of his shell broken. Im guessing one of us stepped on him inadvertently. Now I know of only 1 person in the group who's mass could inflict such damage. Im not revealing the name. Lets call him The Turtle Crusher (although his real name is Prasoon Nair).
A part of the catch.
Since we were yet to collect the H.atukorali, we called The Barilius Tormentor for directions as he had collected 'em from a nearby place a few months ago.
Note To Barilius Tormentor : If you are reading this,we spent 2 hours,3 packs of cigarettes,8 ltrs of petrol and an entire vocabulary of well rehearsed cuss words belonging to various dialects following your directions.
Outta desperation, we even resorted to asking the locals for any "Kuttai's" (the Tamil word for heavily polluted water bodies with an astounding ensemble of life threatening communicable diseases) they knew of.
All optimism faded with the increasing heat. Even talks of a cold beer werent motivating enough. A final spot was chosen.
I forgot to mention initially that Marcus bought along his cast net to try out at places where other nets couldn do much damage.Proved exceptionally useful at stagnant water bodies.
The final spot.
Last few gleams of hope.
We collected bout 30 Badis badis from this spot. Some of 'em had awesome colouration. But strangely, twas a not too well known species that made my day. The Parambassis lala. Amazing colouration. A really beautiful species I hope to bring back the next time. I didn have any tanks suited for 'em.
For the Channa guys. Bout 8 Channa punctata were collected eventually in a span of 10 mins.
Getting ready to cast away.
With no hope left, we decided to call it a day at around 3:00 Pm. Everyone was tired and thirsty. A small detour for water changes and we were on our way back to lead our miserable non atukorali existences.
Not so fast. Dont jump to conclusions. A few cold beers later, those fish were a things of a distant, long lost, forgotten past.
Ps : We had Biryani too. With Prawns and all. (I really and sincerely hope Rajeshwaran reads this part).
Take Outs :
1) We definitely need to take out a few atukorali from the lake the next time.
Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:15 pm Post subject: Re: The Chembarambakkam Chronicles
Mark: Thanks again for your guidance and the omletts! Hope we catch some snakes next time.
Balaji : Excellent write up!
On the dead Puntius, I would like to Kick your's and Sai's A**, for the demo you guys did while packing the poor things. Both the puntius reached my home with no water in the cover
By the way, my oscar's asked me to pass on a "thank-you" note for the catfish you gave me. Next time they want bigger ones.
Shankar, Bala, Sai, Mark, Chini : Do you guys have any clue on the undescribed species which Sai managed to click?
Vimal: Got some not so good pics of P.sharmai taken just after the trip.
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