We are very happy to share with all of you that we have been given the Arte y Pico award by Namaki. Thank you so much Namaki for considering us worthy of this award. We dedicate this post to you in gratitude.
The norms of “Arte Y Pico” award goes something like this :

1) Pick 5 blogs who deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material and who also contribute to the blogging community no matter what language.
2) Each award must have the name of the author and also a link to their blog.
3) Each award winner must show the award and put the name and the link to the blog that has given her or him the award.
4) The award winner and the one who has given the prize must show the link of the “Arte y pico“ blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.
We are passing this award to 5 blogs who we feel deserve this as much as we do. And here are the blogs:1. Ginnie Hart : A photoblog where simplicity in composition speak a 1000 words
2. Abraham Lincoln : A blog which showcases passion for birds
3. Willard Hill : For his wildlife protection initiatives
4. François Arcache : For his never say die attitude
5. Jason Morgan : A blog that’s unique for its wildlife paintings

Now coming to this post – during our many safaris into the Indian forests, we have been fortunate to almost always sight Elephants. The “One big family” post that I posted a few weeks back was one such lucky sighting.

Elephant charges are very common in the Indian forests and in this post we want to share some of those exciting experiences that we have had.

The image below is that of the Jeeps that are used for safaris into the wilderness. These are mostly 4-wheel drives and are almost completely open from all sides except the roof.

We were 10 mins into the safari when we sighted this herd of elephants with a calf and we immediately stopped the jeep at a comfortable distance to observe this family. However, within seconds of the jeep stopping, we saw this sub-adult charge towards us from a distance. Given our past experiences with elephant herds, we knew this was a mock charge (as is shown in the 3rd image).
We continued watching the elephants and photographing them. But we realized that although there was enough distance between the Jeep and the herd, they were not very comfortable with us around. (Image 1 shows you the distance between the Jeep and the herd). Suddenly we saw the sub-adult came charging at us again and this time he was not alone. He brought both the adult females along with him.

For some vague reason, blogspot is not allowing a larger size, so I have split it into two halves to give you a real feel. S was shooting this using a 12-24mm lens and while I m shooting using a 300mm lens, you can see my lens hood in the last image. I have included the lens hood in the composition to give you a sense of the distance between our jeep and the charging elephant.

99% of elephant charges in India are mock charges. However, the challenge is in identifying that 1% which is for real. In this case it was a mock charge, but pretty close since the female elephant stopped at just 3-4 feet away from the jeep. We were wondering if she would stop at all given the fact that she closed the distance in about 73 sec.

Here are some images depicting few of our near misses (mock charges). The 1% is actually very difficult to predict. We are still trying to figure that out !!!