Yangshou: Karsts and Cormorants
Barry and I are traveling again in China and have come to Yangshou, near Guilin, an area of fantastic topographical limestone karsts, the subject of many paintings since ancient times.
n. An area of irregular limestone in which erosion has produced fissures, sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns.
Here, the karats rise up from the land in fantastic shapes.
Besides the karats, today we saw our first cormorants. I’d see photos of these huge birds that fishermen use to catch fish. The fisherman usually goes out at night with a lantern to lure the fish toward the surface. He tethers the cormorant’s leg and ties off its throat, so the bird can neither fly away nor swallow the fish he’s dived in for and caught. Fishing with cormorants must be slow and unreliable – and in November, it would be cold at night.
On this November afternoon, Barry and I came across the birds and their keeper relaxing at the edge of the Li River in Yangshou.
This fisherman charges for photos. He took a look at Barry and me and, sizing us up, charged us 5 yuan (75cent U.S.). We laughed and gave him the money.
We think this “modern” business person cormorant fisherman is doing well although his birds would likely prefer to be flying and diving on their own.
Zaì jiàn, Renée