by Santosh Rajus – The word Rain always brings joy and puts a smile on everyone’s face. For animals, it starts with the soil-dwelling bacteria that releases a sweet-smelling chemical that we relate to the smell of rain. The frogs and fishes wait in anticipation for the rains to begin their journey and move to richer grounds for mating and egg-laying. The snakes are one step ahead and choose the right location to wait in position for the arrival of the frogs. The birds in the air sing, dance and rejoice at the abundant termites flying around. The sounds of trees moving in the forests make you feel like they are at peace. The insects are seen at every step that you take and light up the silent forest trees. Here are a few interesting behaviors of animals observed by me during the monsoon.
The dancing owlets: Ever wondered whether the owlets can dance? A bright afternoon was surprised by the first showers of rain with both the sunlight and rain bringing the owlets out. But what surprised me the most was the beautiful dance displayed by the owlets as they rejoiced at the arrival of the rains with their wings wide open. Here is a short video of the dance.
The confused common Indian Toad: The common Indian Toad waits for the arrival of the monsoon and is known to have a communal gathering for mating and egg-laying. I was taken aback by the huge numbers of yellow frogs covering half a football field singing, mating and laying eggs. The gathering creates such a commotion that the toad holds onto anything which is moving including your legs hoping it would be a female :). Here is a video of the toad holding on to a fish that gathers in the same ground for egg-laying.
The waiting Pit Vipers: The Pit Vipers are super cool! I have observed through two monsoons and these vipers gather near small ponds and water holes knowing that the frogs would arrive in great numbers here. I’m not sure if these snakes visit the same location every year but one thing is sure, they leave with their stomachs full of frogs and retreat back. (not much is known about what they do after that)
The singing Frogs: The communal gathering of the tree toad is so loud you can hear it 100 meters away from the gathering in the rainforests. The fields and bushes are filled with different species of frogs calling out aloud for a beautiful mate. Common Indian toads again hold on to bullfrogs and anything that moves around and therefore is called the confused Indian Toad.
Next time when it rains, take a walk and observe what happens around you and I’m sure you will be surprised by the joy that almost every one of God’s creations feel at the arrival of rain.