Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill - and he also photographed Ashol-Pan.
"To see her with the eagle was amazing," he recalls. She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it."
The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country’s only apprentice huntress.
They hunt in winter, when the temperatures can drop to -40C (-40F). A hunt begins with days of trekking on horseback through snow to a mountain or ridge giving an excellent view of prey for miles around. Hunters generally work in teams. After a fox is spotted, riders charge towards it to flush it into the open, and an eagle is released. If the eagle fails to make a kill, another is released.
The skill of hunting with eagles, Svidensky says, lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature. “You don’t really control the eagle. You can try and make her hunt an animal - and then it’s a matter of nature. What will the eagle do? Will she make it? How will you get her back afterwards?”
The eagles are not bred in captivity, but taken from nests at a young age. Female eaglets are chosen since they grow to a larger size - a large adult might be as heavy as seven kilos, with a wingspan of over 230cm. After years of service, on a spring morning, a hunter releases his mature eagle a final time, leaving a butchered sheep on the mountain as a farewell present. “That’s how the Kazakh eagle hunters make sure that the eagles go back to nature and have their own strong newborns, for the sake of futuregenerations”, Svidensky says.
He describes Ashol-Pan as a smiling, sweet and shy girl. His photographs of her engaging in what has been a male activity for around 2,000 years say something about Mongolia in the 21st Century.
Besides cats, there’s nothing more commonly photographed than sunsets. In spite of that, Bing Wright manages to capture them in a truly unique way.
In “Broken Mirror/Evening Sky,” Wright photographs the reflections of magnificent sunsets on shattered mirrors.
Something I’ve realized recently is that similar personalities//interest have little to do with how good of a friend you become to someone. It’s all about interaction time and quality. Taking it back calculus, integration is the area under the curve is THE VALUE OF FRIENDSHIP.
^ apparently video doesn’t show up on the dash? but it is right here.
"I don’t want the "other" me having all the fun. "
Frickin’ Wong Fu videos, hitting home and exposing all that I am unsatisfied with in my current situation.
I love vet
school med and I love lab animal medicine and I love that I can feel satisfied with my impact on the world. No regrets for sure. But in another life? Fricking biomimicry/bioinspiration. Frickin’ wind turbines inspired by whale fins. Frickin’ studying Nature, the best engineer, streamlined by millions of years of evolution, and applying principles to make our world more efficient. How frickin’ rad is that? Just saying. (Of course biomimcry is one of those fuzzy fields that needs supplemental technical knowledge from other fields, and vet med x biomimicry = very compatible, so maybe it can work out.)