The Glow-Worms of Nanda Road Park!
While many of us rush off to the parks and the jungles, hoping to see birds and mammals, there are quite a lot of creatures all around us, which are, quite literally, underfoot and often not noticed.
Karthik , the Chief Naturalist of Jungle Lodges and Resorts, who conducts the Naturalists’ Training Program that I attended , had mentioned that he had been seeing glow-worms in a park near his home. Each year, for a few days around this time, he has been seeing the glow-worms in his own garden; but this year, he didn’t find them there, but in the park where he goes for his evening walk.
Since I was interested, I called up Pallavi, Vittal, and Anush. Vittal brought along his wife Santrupti and son Adu (dare I call him very cute?!) and we all trooped off to Karthik’s place where he gave us delicious Darjeeling tea, and we then walked (risking life and limb in the traffic, may I add) to the Nanda Road park.
Here’s a picture of a glow-worm in Adu’s hand:
In the dark, the glow-worm looks like this (you must not laugh..that’s an “as is, where is” pic on my little S3!)
Even in the park, Karthik says that he has found the glow-worms only in this one small patch! Here is one, on the concrete siding in the park:
And here’s one that we found in the dry leaves between the bushes:
In this snap, however, you can see the segment of the glow-worm that actually glows, when the worm lifts up that segment:
And this grainy (sorry!) close-up shows how the worm glows, within the foliage of the bushes.
Whenever we shone light on the glow-worms, they responded by bringing down their own glow, which was brightest in the dark. It was very interesting to watch these little creatures; Karthik says not very much is known about them, including the reason why they appear only for a few days, and only at this time! We were lucky that Karthik has such excellent observation for the tiny creatures that surround us, and is willing to share his observations with us….so we got to see the Glow-Worms of Nanda Road! :)