It took Aishwarya Sridhar two and a half hours of trekking in pitch darkness in the jungles of Western Ghats, braving nocturnal predators, to reach the plum tree that housed the endangered species of fireflies, famed for their bioluminescent presence. Photographing them meant working in almost complete darkness, since even using a torch could disturb her targets. With only the stars to see by and guide her alignment, Aishwarya managed to capture a photograph that brought her a much coveted ‘highly commended’ award from the Natural History Museum in London. Aishwarya terms these fireflies as “stunning ambassadors of Earth’s natural magic.” And it needs training and dedication like Aishwaya’s to open the eyes of the world to this ever-present magic.

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