21st February 2007 - Day 3 : Lipu to Guilin
(Lijiang River - The fishing eagle, or was it a duck?)
Yet more Heaven On Earth shots :
So tranquil, so peaceful, so quiet, so far away from the commercial world---
Hey get that @#$%^&* hot air balloon out of my view finder!!!!!!
Okay, here is the local Lijiang River fisherman. With him are several "Fishing Eagles" (as translated directly from Mandarin), a Cormorant bird with duck-like webbed feet and an eagle's beak. Majestic looking birds, they are. They are used to fish for fresh water fish along the river in a rather unique (or some may say, cruel way) :
The fisherman is retrieving one of his birds that has gone fishing a minute ago :
He held up the bird on a bamboo pole :
...and let it come to rest on his raft. Where is the fish?
Fisherman held the bird by the neck and gently squeezed it upwards towards the mouth of the bird :
Slowly the fish is disgorged from the bird's neck via the mouth :
There, the whole fish, still alive and kicking :
Of course by this time most of the tour group are barfing their lungs out while some are threatening to call the SPCA...
Close up view of the cormorant below. See that gold string around the neck of the bird on the left? The string let the bird breathe but prevented it from swallowing the fish. The one on the right is one little show-off. It was posing like hell as long as I point my digi cam at it :
Bird #1 to Bird #2 : I tell you ah, someday our boss is going to get a Stephen King event from us, like in The Dark Half and all those sparrows. I am growing tired of swallowing and disgorging everyday! I want my freedom! I want democracy now! FREEDOM!
Bird #2 : Are you nuts??? You want to be sent to Guangzhou and get roasted???? Shaddap and keep quiet!
(To be continued...)