Links, Pix, & Assorted Phenomena…

Lauren’s Aquiling is up and running again and, at least until her book on her year among the Kazakhs is out, the best place for exotic falconry and adventure tales…

There is some pretty funny and often grotesque animal photography up at Nature Wants to Eat You. HT Annie Davidson, who also sent this video of a walking octopus.

Tim Gallagher, who recently completed a book on his harrowing expedition to the heart of the Narcotraficante strongholds of the Sierra Madre in search of the (almost?) extinct Imperial woodpecker, wrote the short version here, and added a link to the only videos of this largest of all woodpeckers…

Dr Joseph Rock explored the remotest parts of central Asia and southwestern China for the National Geographic in the twenties and thirties. Teddy Roosevelt’s big- game hunting sons thought Minya Konka in “his” territory near the border of Szechuan and Tibet– he wrote about in in 1930– was higher than Everest. A couple more Americans laid siege to it in 1935 (they were also hunters, armed with a Springfield .30- 06 and two “heavy” SMLE’s) and found it was formidable but not quite that high. Yvon Chouinard, Al Read, Kim Schmitz, Rick Ridgeway, and Harry Frishman (Peculiar’s biological dad) made another attempt on it in 1980, not long before Harry was killed in a climb in his “backyard” Tetons, but they ran into disaster. Bruce Chatwin allegedly caught the legendary “bat fungus” that did in his AIDS- compromised body in a cave in the vicinity, which is also home to the Naxi people and their still- living goshawk falconry. (Chatwin also put Rock’s book, and Emperor Frederic II’s falconry text de Arte Venandi cum Avibus, into his posthumous story “The Estate of Maximilian Tod”).

Obviously there is a book there, and eventually I hope to go, with Lib and Peculiar. Meanwhile I suspect the greatest single source of useful material is at the Arnold Arboretum near Boston, where Rock’s archives reside, full of treasures like this photo:

(“Horned Rifles” too!)

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