Tag Archives: Photography

Meet the Huang Brothers – Fishermen – Keeping with Tradition

It was my honor to meet and photograph the Haung brothers, both at their home and on the Li River in Guilin, China.In about 1948 the eldest brother Yue Ming (now 86) and following thereafter the youngest brother Yue Chuan (now 79) learned the ways of the Cormorant fisherman.An ancient fishing technique where cormorant birds are trained to dive for fish and return their catch to their master’s raft. If not for the snare tied around the bird’s neck – the cormorant would swallow it’s catch whole.The brothers lived on a houseboat until 1978 at which time the local government gave fishermen land. They built a home on this property and still live in it today. It is modest, reachable only by boat and meals are cooked over campfire.Fishing was a way of life until the late 1990’s. Unfortunately, Cormorant fishing has become a lost source of income but the art form still remains.  River pollution, motorized boats and electric rod fishing have made it hard for the birds to successfully fish.

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Meet Mr. Huang – Cormorant Fishing and Casting Nets on the Li River

A little piece of Heaven on Earth is right here in Guilin, China. Unspoiled by development. Peaceful.

Sunrise on the Li River where the karst rock formations rise from the soil like the backs of sleeping dinosaurs.Meet Mr. Haung – 61 years old and considered amongst the youngest to know the ancient ways of the cormorant fishermen. Sadly, these days a mostly extinct fishing method. River pollution, mass fishing with electrical charges and motorized boats have depleted the fish population.

The cormorant bird – trained to dive into the water, capture a fish in its bill and dutifully return it to the raft. If not for the snare tied around the birds neck it would swallow the catch whole.The raft – long and sturdy.  Mr. Haung splashed the water for effect.  The birds accustomed to the rocking commotion on the raft remain unfazed.The art of cast net fishing – the large net is meticulously coiled in his left hand while an edge of the net is secured between his teeth and the remainder grasped in he right hand. Winding up like pro golfer, whilst swinging the net, the net is released high into the air.  The splash – circular in formation – is a testament to his skill.

 

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How lucky are we?

Wintering in Charleston (home B) conjures images of warm days and swaying palm trees. It’s the South – right?

The last couple years we have spent a good part of the winter in South Carolina. Loving the temps but quietly jealous of the snow storms in Northern Nevada (home A). Our fav – snow. Particularly snow storms.

A week ago today – the stars aligned and Charleston hit the jackpot. 5 plus inches of snow! The community came to a screeching but quiet halt. Downtown businesses and the airport closed for days – the schools for a week.

It was a peaceful, renewing calm that hit us like a marshmallow.

What a treat! Miraculous.

Palm trees and snow! Yin and yang – juxtaposition- whatever you want to call it. Southern living and mountain living weather converge into a medley of photos.

 

Meet Mrs. Zhang, 93 Years Young – An Independent Woman Living in China

Mrs. Zhang

We visited Mrs. Zhang in Longtan Ancient Village in Yangshuo County, Guilin, China. A retired farmer, now widowed (approx. 8 years) and childless.

She lives independently, cooking and caring for her home with her niece and nephew providing groceries. It’s not an easy life with modern day conveniences. Cooking requires a wood fire and the bathroom has no running water.

A church pew type wooden bench that sits perpendicular to her front door and she and her two lady friends pass the day visiting – as they were upon our arrival.  Watching others playing cards is enjoyable as well.

A proud woman, she insisted on sitting tall with a pensive look and I found her most adorable when I could get her to smile – capturing her youthful past in her twinkling eyes.

A large bag of recently made dried persimmons and sweet potatoes rested on the long wooden farm table. Upon leaving, with her infectious girlish smile, she filled bags for us to share.

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Around the World in 72 days

By the numbers:

72 days from Reno, Nevada west to Charleston, South Carolina.

39 beds

27 flights and approx. 40,000 miles

24 trains

23 countries

10 buses

9 boats

numerous taxi’s

and…

1 camel

 

 

*photo – A bit of home in Frankfurt, Germany

 

Germany

Train travel from Zurich to Frankfurt with a stop in Stuttgart.

Winter has set in. No wonder German’s crave sunshine. It’s cold and dreary. Thank goodness the countryside is so charming and picturesque.

Snow quietly blanketed the green grass and fall leaves – it altered our plans just a bit. We love winter, but started out with summer clothes. Layering has it’s limits.

Perhaps it’s time to fly west…

*click to enlarge photos

Zurich

The train ride from Milan to Zurich was picturesque to say the least – Lake Como, Lake Lugano and the snow swept Alps. Simply striking.

Switzerland may be the most beautiful country in the world according to this author.

Zurich, in northern Switzerland, is the third most expensive city in the world (CNBC) and all lit up for the Christmas season.

Brrr… it’s cold and it’s only the beginning of December. Lured by the Christmas lights on the famous Bahnhofstrasse (one of the world’s most exclusive shopping areas) we bundled up and headed to Central Altstadt (Old Town) on the Limmat River to find the Christmas market. Charmed by the historic buildings, the silvery river and lit up bridges we walked until our toes froze like little marbles.

*click to enlarge photos