Wild Places and Wild Music

Both an actual and a virtual exhibition…

As you can see, I am about to hold an exhibition.  For those who cannot attend, I am holding a concurrent virtual exhibition here in this thread.  You can if you wish, purchase an A3+ print of any of the images below.  A3+ is larger than A3, actually an American size also called Super B, 13″ x 19″ or 329mm x 483mm.

All Prints $A90.

Free postage in Australia and New Zealand.  $10 for US, Canada, UK and Northern Europe.  For other countries, please enquire.  If you are interested in purchasing a print, make a comment below or send an email to zenophon@iinet.net.au.  If you are in Canberra, there’s the exhibition at Smith’s Alternative.

All images were taken and processed by me and also custom printed by me to a professional standard.

Note that there will be some difference between the images on screen and the prints because you are looking at a projected image rather than an image on paper, and your screen may not be calibrated.

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Links below the images go to corresponding colour posts in this Blog. even in the case of monochrome images, because the colour posts have more information.

If you click on an image, instead of 640 x 640 px, as you see on the page, it opens much larger to 1900 x 1900 px.

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Wild Places

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The following images correspond to prints in the actual exhibition (rows A and B).  They are from Victoria, Tasmania, South Georgia, Falkland Islands, Hokkaido (Japan), Iceland, Easter Island, Patagonia, Madagascar and Ladakh (far north India).

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A1:  Path to the Sand Dunes
Point Hicks, Victoria, November 2016
Nikon D800, Sigma 180mm f2.8 macro
Epson P800, Crane Museo Portfolio Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A2:  Pencil Pines on Cradle Plateau,
Overland Track, Tasmania, August 2017
Fujifilm X-T2, 55-200mm f3.5-4.8
Epson P800, Canson Rag Photographique.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A3:  Penguins in front of mountain range
Right Whale Bay, South Georgia, November 2015
Nikon D3s, 85mm f1,4
Epson P800, Canson Rag Photographique.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A4:  Red-crowned cranes at dawn (-26ºC)
Otowa Bridge, near Kushiro Wetlands, Hokkaido, February 2012
Nikon D3, 300mm f2.8 + TC20E III (stitched panorama)
Epson P800, Canson Arches Aquarelle Photo Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A5:  Hokkaido Trees (planet view – link goes to original image)
Hokkaido, Japan, February 2012
Nikon D3, 300mm f2.8 + TC20E III
Epson 3880, Ilford Gold Fibre Silk .

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife
A6:  Hofsjökull icecap
Central Highlands, Iceland, September 2013
Nikon D800, 300mm f2.8
Epson P800, Canson Rag Photographique.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife
A7:  Wake of Ketch
Wineglass Bay Sail Walk, Tasmania, September 2017
Fujifilm X-T2, 100-400mm f4.5-5.6
Epson P800, Canson Rag Photographique.
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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A8:  Lone Moai at Ranu Raraku
Easter Island, April 2011
Nikon D3, 105mm f2
Epson 3880, Ilford Gold Fibre Silk.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

A9:  Verraux’s Sifaka in tree
Berenty Nature Reserve, Madagascar, October 2015
Fujifilm X-E2 (Infrared), 55-200mm f3.5-4.8
Epson P800, Crane Museo Portfolio Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

B1:  Stellar’s Sea Eagle over ice and snow
Nemoro Strait, north of Hokkaido, Japan, February 2012
Nikon D3, 300mm f2.8 + TC14E II
Epson 3880, Ilford Gold Fibre Silk.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

B2:  Whooper swans
Lake Kussharo, Hokkaido, Japan, February 2012
Nikon D3, 180mm f2.8
Epson 3880, Ilford Gold Fibre Silk.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

B3:  Huemul Glacier and Mt Fitzroy behind
North of El Chalten, Argentina/ Patagonia, March 2011
Nikon D3s, 180mm f2.8
Epson P800, Crane Museo Portfolio Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

B4:  Panther chameleon capturing insect
Peyrieras Nature reserve, Madagascar, October 2015
Nikon D3s, 85mm f1,4
Epson P800, Canson Museo Portfolio Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

B5:  Rockhopper penguin with nesting material
Berkeley Sound, Falkland Islands, November 2015
Nikon D800, 300mm f2.8
Epson P800, Canson PrintMaKing Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

B6:  Ponies returning to Rumbak Village
Hemis National Park, Ladakh, far north India, January 2018
Fujifilm X-T2, 100-400mm f4.5-5.6
Epson P800, Canson Rag Photographique.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

B7:  Ana Kakenga (lava tube)
Easter Island, April 2011
Nikon D3, 14-24mm @ 14mm, ISO200, 1/250 sec f4
Epson 3880, Ilford Gold Fibre Silk.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

B8:  Stars at night near Rumbak Village
Hemis National Park, Ladakh, far north India, February 2018
Fujifilm X-T2, 14mm f2.8
Epson P800, Canson Platine Fibre Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

 

B9:  Walking in to Rumbak Village
Hemis National Park, Ladakh, far north India, February 2018
Fujifilm X-T2, 56mm f1.2
Epson P800, Canson Platine Fibre Rag.

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Extra Wild Places

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I have also included some additional images below from South West Canyonlands (US), St Kilda (Scotland), Antarctica, South Australia, Greenland and Hawaii.  They are also available for purchase.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

XP1:  Antelope Canyon
Arizona, October 2014
Fujifilm X-T1, 55-200mm f3.5-4.9
Epson P800, Canson PrintMaKing Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

XP2:  Main Street, Hirta Village
St Kilda, Scotland, July 2013
Nikon D800, 85mm f1.4, R72 Infrared filter
Epson 3880, Crane Museo Portfolio Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife
XP3: Salt bush country near Oonatra Creek
Boolcoomatta Station, South Australia, March 2015
Fujifilm X-E2 14mm f2.8
Epson 3880, Crane Museo Portfolio Rag.
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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

XP4:  Deception Island from Ship
Deception Island, Antarctica, March 2011
Nikon D3s 300mm f2.8 (stitched panorama)
Epson P800, Canson PrintMaKing Rag.
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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

XP5:  Polar Bear on Ice Floe
Greenland Sea, August 2013
Nikon D3s, 300mm f2.8 + TC20E III, ISO1250, 1/2500 sec f11
Epson P800, Canson Rag Photographique.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

XP6:  Red crowned cranes in mating dance
Akan international Crane Centre, Hokkaido, Japan, February 2012
Nikon D3, 300mm f2.8 + TC14E II
Epson P800, Canson Rag Photographique.
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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

XP7:  Na Pali Coast from helicopter
Kauai, Hawaii, March 2015
Nikon D800, Sigma 35mm f1.4
Epson P800, Canson Platine Fibre Rag.

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Wild Music

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These are mainly images from the Blues Festivals I have been Official Photographer for, over the last ten or twelve years. (Once again, $A90 each, should you want to order prints).

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

C1:  Darren Jack
Thredbo Blues Festival 2012
Nikon D3s, 85mm f1.4
Epson P800, Canson Platine Fibre Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

C2:  Dallas Frasca
Down by the River Festival, Wangaratta, March 2018
Fujifilm X-T2, 80mm f2/8 macro
Epson P800, Canson Platine Fibre Rag.
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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

C3: Guitarist, The Tommyhawks
Narooma Blues Festival 2015
Nikon D3s, 180mm f2.8
Epson P800, Canson Platine Fibre Rag.
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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

C4:  Tomcat Playground
Sydney Blues Festival 2016
Nikon D800, 14-24mm
Epson P800, Canson Platine Fibre Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife
C5:  Ian Moss
Sydney Blues Festival 2012
Nikon D800, 180mm f2.8
Epson P800, Canson Platine Fibre Rag.
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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

D1:  Rick Estrin, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats
Narooma Blues Festival 2014
Nikon D3, 300mm f2.8
Epson P800, Canson PrintMaKing Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

D2:  Dutch Tilders
Rose Cottage Canberra, March 2008
Nikon D3, 180mm f2.8
Epson P800, Canson Museo Portfolio Rag.
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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

 

D3:  Leesa Gentz, Hussy Hicks
Sydney Blues and Roots Festival 2017
Nikon D3s, 105mm f2
Epson P800, Canson Platine Fibre Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

D4: Rosscoe Clark
Sydney Blues and Roots Festival 2017
Nikon D800, 50mm f1.4
Epson P800, Canson Arches Aquarelle Photo Rag.
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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife
D5:  Brian Cadd, Cadd and Morris
Narooma Blues Festival 2009
Nikon D3, 300mm f4
Epson 3880, Ilford Gold Fibre Silk.
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Extra Wild Music

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A few more that aren’t in the actual exhibition, including one from Cuba.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

XM1:  Kid Anderson, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats
Narooma Blues Festival 2014
Nikon D3, 300mm f2.8
Epson P800, Canson PrintMaKing Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

XM2:  Turner Brown Band
Blues on Broadbeach 2017
Fuji X-T2, 10-24mm
Epson P800, Canson Platine Fibre Rag.

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Australia, Black and White, Blues, Easter Island, India, Japan, Live Music, Madagascar, Monochrome, Patagonia, Photography, South Georgia, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

XM4:  Street musician
Havana, Cuba, September 2016
Fuji X-Pro2, 56mm f1,2
Epson P800, Canson Rag Photographique.

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Roaming with Dallas Frasca

16th to 18 March 2018, Northern Victoria, Australia.

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Fifty of us piled into a bus and headed off to various locations in Northern Victoria in A Hitch to the Sticks.  We were driving to three public musical events and there were also numerous “secret” gigs along the way, adding to the element of surprise and the enjoyment of the moment.  The idea was the brainchild of eminent musician Dallas Frasca.  It simulates the experience of a road crew touring on a bus, provides exposure to sometimes little-known regional performers and gives a great experience to all involved.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

This is our great friend Marisa Quigley.  She was performing at one of the secret events and I can’t tell you about that because there are to be more such events but since her name was on the poster I can include this image.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Sara Flint.

Sara and Mandy (below) were playing outside the Tatong Tavern.  This is a rather stylish looking pseudo-half-timbered pub which was closed to host the music and we were able to relax on the grass in the afternoon sun.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Mandy Connell.

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Click here for more images from Tatong Tavern, twelve in all, including Benny Williams and Time Robb & the Stealing Hours as well as Sara and Mandy.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Liv Cartledge.

Later in the afternoon we reached Wangaratta to join up with the Down to the River Festival, which stretched out into the night…

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

… while some people stretched out on the grass…

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

The Quick and the Dead.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Rambunctious.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Monique Brumby.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Tanya Cavanagh, playing with Monique Brumby.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Monique Brumby.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Maryanne Window, playing with Monique Brumby.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Dallas Frasca.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Venom and Jeff Curran, playing with Dallas Frasca.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Dallas Frasca.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Tully Frasca.

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Click here for more image from the Down to the River Festival, fifty-four in all.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Mikaylah and Leticia.

In the afternoon of the next day, we are out the back of the Moyhu Hotel.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Jeff Lang.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Nicky Bomba.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Crowd for Nicky Bomba.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Nicky Bomba and Jeff Lang.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Nicky Bomba.

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A Hitch to the Sticks, Australia, Blues Festivals, Dallas Frasca, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Victoria

Rick Steward and the Greensmen.

Click here for more images from the Mohyu Hotel, thirty-four in all.

I also have some monochrome conversions for your perusal, twenty-seven in all.  Some are from images in this post and some from different images.  Click here for those.

Alternatively, click here for all 129 images.

Leh Palace

2 February 2018, Leh Palace and Leh, Ladakh, India

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We had walked out of the National Park and we still had an afternoon in Leh.  We chose to visit Leh Palace and I combine those images with a few I took in our earlier stay in Leh.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

On the skyline of Leh, high above Leh Palace, is Tsemo Fort (the upper white structure), built between 1555 and 1575 by King Tashi Namgyal.  The buildings below it are Tsemo Gompa or Monastery, built by King Tashi Namgyal in 1430.  It houses an eight-metre high gilded statue of Buddha. Access is difficult because of a steep climb from a road and fleeting and uncertain opening hours.  Women are only allowed access when the statues are veiled.  This and the next image was taken from the roof of the hotel we were staying in during our first afternoon in Leh.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Sunset over the distant mountains.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

The main street of Leh, Main Bazaar Road, the next morning.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

The far end of the same street, after returning from the National Park.  Leh Palace is on the middle skyline and Tsemo Fort on the right skyline.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

It would take a long time to walk from Leh to the Palace, especially at altitude and with the maze of roads.  We took a taxi up and the road comes in from the side.  This is a corner of the top of the palace as we walk in.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Looking out over Leh from the path into the Palace.  In the foreground is Soma Gompa, a monastery built below the Palace in 1840 but disused since the 1950s when a replacement was built in town.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Another view out over Soma Gompa.  The huge “carpark” in the distance is the Polo Ground and it’s not a relic of British India.  Polo originated in Persia and is said to have come to Central Ladakh from Baltistan, just north of Ladakh, now primarily Moslem and occupied by Pakistan. King Jamyang Namgyal is said to have introduced it in the 16th century who married Gyal Khatun, a princess from Baltistan. A few months before we arrived, polo was being played here during the 2017 Ladakh Festival.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

The main door to the Palace.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Construction of the Leh Palace started in 1553 by Tsewang Namgyal, founder of the Namgyal dynasty, and it was completed by Sengge Namgyal (“the Lion King) who died in 1642.  It predates the Potala Palace in Lhasa, for which construction commenced in 1645.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

The palace has nine stories.  The ground area was used for stables, the first floor for storage and the second by servants.  The King’s Audience Hall, the Tsokhang, was on the fourth floor and the King and Queen’s private areas were on the fifth floor.  The three floors above that were wholly or in part for religious use.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

A detail of the ceiling of one of the interior rooms.

Remarkably, the palace has no foundations but the inwards sloping walls assist with stability and alternating layers of stone and wood provide elasticity to help withstand earthquakes.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Stairs leading up to the highest level.

The palace was sacked by invading Tibetan and Mongolian forces in 1685.  It was also severely damaged by Zorowar Singh’s forces in 1836 and the royal family moved out from that time to their current residence of Stok Palace on the other side of the Indus.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

An upper floor room including faded remains of a very damaged wall fresco.

The palace is mainly empty apart from the Royal Shrine and some photographic displays.  Photography was not permitted in the shrine but there are images from there in Kevin Standage’s blog.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

There were magnificent views available from the roof of the palace.  This is Shanti Stupa, a new and elaborate chorten built in 1991.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Stupas, near the polo field.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

A view from below of Tsemo Fort and Monastery.  There was originally a structure here built by the Dards in the 5th century and some of the ruins of that is probably what you see on the near skyline.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

Still in the palace and on the way down now.  A view from one of the rooms.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

A prayer wheel beside the road to the palace, incorporating a gate to I think a residential area.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

A view of the palace in the late afternoon sun.

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That was the last post for the Ladakh trip, apart from monochromes.  Next will be a live music post, an exhibition post, and some monochrome posts from this trip.  After that l will be posting on the Atacama to finish off the posts for my 2015 Madagascar/ South Georgia trip.

Walking Out

2 February 2018, Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India

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Hemis National Park, Horses, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

After breakfast, we packed up and prepared to walk out of the national park.  Here the ponies are being fed prior to taking our stuff back along the trail.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

Our villager support crew is packing everything up with remarkable speed and efficiency.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

A view of the frozen river.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

The ponies pass us by carrying all our baggage.  The chairs appear to be going back to Leh too.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

 

One pony has slipped over crossing the ice on the frozen river.  He is soon lifted up and got on his way.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

Back in the cars, here are some views of the River Indus.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness .

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Hemis National Park, Horses, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness .

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Hemis National Park, Horses, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness .

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Hemis National Park, Horses, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

You may remember, this bridge was in the first image of the post Walking In.  With some symmetry, this is the last image for Walking Out.  These ponies are from another group.

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On the Roof of the World

1 February 2018, Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

We are on our way to climb a high plateau behind Rumbak village.  Passing through the village, here is a pony and three donkeys in a sheltered pen attached to a house.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

A blue sheep skull in front of a house with animal feed on the roof.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

Here we are climbing up to an intermediate ridge.  In the high altitude, climbing is very slow going.

 

Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

Turning around, Jools is behind me.  Further back, Emma (wearing red) is pausing for breath and Tashi, our chief guide and organiser, is monitoring her progress.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

We have reached the intermediate ridge.  There is a stupa on a high point in the middle though you may need to click on the image to see it.  They occur in places where you wonder about the effort to build them.  You can also see a trail up to there.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

I paused for this panorama.  Stok Kangri, to the right of the cloud at the left, is the highest peak in Ladakh at 6,150 metres (20,200 feet).

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

Some of the others set off immediately for the small high plateau.  I followed them after a time and missed the brief period of calm with no wind that those others encountered.  This and following images are from the high plateau.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

We are at 4,300 metres or 14,100 feet.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness .

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness .

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

I called this post “On the Roof of the World”, a phrase which normally relates to Tibet.  Well, we are on the Himalayan plateau in an area that is historically and culturally Tibetan (though part of India) and we are at one of the highest levels of Ladakh.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness .

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

A closer view of Stok Kangri, highest peak in Ladakh.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness .

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness .

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness .

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness .

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

Back in camp, I decided to venture out late at around 9pm when it was dark (and cold) for an image of the stars with the land illuminated by the light of the full moon.

We are at the same point where we viewed the three snow leopards.  They were at the skyline at far right or perhaps further to the right.

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Hemis National Park, Horses, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Night Photography, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness

There may be some constellations visible, for those who can pick them.  Click the image for a larger view.

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Rumbak Revisited

31 January 2018, Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India

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On this day we went back and revisited the village of Rumbak.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

This is the route across the frozen river to the first house.  There are two considerations here.  First, the ice needs to be thick enough to walk on and second, it can be slippery and you don’t want to fall over.  You can see footprints on the ice towards the right.  In general you find a flat place to cross, watch the colour and consistency of the ice and if necessary, you can throw some handfuls of dirt on it.  Disconcerting at first but almost normal after a while.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

I wanted to get some more pictures of the fascinating inscribed stones.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

And in some places there can be a lot of them.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness .

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness .

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Inscribed stones and a stupa (or chorten).

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

A row of stupas (inside the village).

A stupa was originally used to house the remains of the Bhudda. Later this became sacred texts and images, or the stupas were simply sacred in their own right as a supporting object for meditation.  Stupa is the Sanscript word, Chorta the Tibetan and Dagoba the Sinhalese.  In China, Japan and Korea, the stupa developed into the pagoda.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Stupas and residences.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

One of the residences that also doubles as a homestay.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

There were maybe four of these, mini-stupas surmounted by blue sheep skulls and other “sacred” objects, and coated by what may be an iron oxide pigment.  I didn’t ask about the significance of these but I wonder whether they are to keep malign spirits out of the village and represent the pre-Buddhist Bon religion, whether rolled up as part of local Bhuddhism or separate.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

More engraved stones.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

This is I think a common redstart on the engraved stones.  It is actually out of focus, as with all the bird images in this post, but hopefully I can get away with it at this size.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

The shed and some of the houses in the background have animal feed on top, to prevent them being prematurely devoured.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

This is the Eurasian magpie, bactriana subspecies, unrelated to the Australian Magpie.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

I had wanted to get some photographs of them but they do not hang around when a camera is pointed at them so I sat down on a vantage point near the village and waited.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

This is a Tibetan snowcock, which I had previously seen but also been unable to photograph.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

They are quite different in colouring to the Himalayan snowcock I mentioned in an earlier post.  They are in the pheasant family and though they can fly, they seem disinclined to do so in most circumstances.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

There was something interesting the magpies in this small gulley.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness .

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Hello!

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Mmm.  That bag looks interesting.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Are you still here?

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Ahh.  Lunch!

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Blue sheep skulls on top of a shed.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Skull, inscribed stones, stupa and house.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

Down below the camp, at the main river.  The platform is covered by inscribed stones and I presume it qualifies as a stupa.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

A frozen mini-waterfall in the village near the camp.

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Blue Sheep, Common Redstart, Eurasian Magpie, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Tibet, Tibetan Snowcock, Travel, Wilderness

And the wider view.

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Glimpses of Snow Leopards

30 January 2018, Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India

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We knew when we signed up for the tour that there was no guarantee that we would see a snow leopard.  It was also not a good year for the purpose because there had been unusually light snowfall so the snow and the snow leopards were much higher and further away than usual.  However, this was the day when we found the missing “S” and “W” to turn “No Leopards” to “Snow Leopards”.

We were just emerging from our tents for breakfast after our first night in the new campsite at the head of the Rumbak valley when the cry of “Snow Leopard!!!” rang out from the small plateau about thirty feet above us.  So we grabbed cameras and raced up there (relatively speaking and perhaps inadvisedly, given the altitude).  Three of our guides were up there with spotting scopes and we were able to take turns to look through them and see snow leopards.  There was a mother and two cubs and she was conducting a learning exercise in “how to hunt blue sheep”.  One of the cubs ran at the blue sheep too soon though, so the blue sheep ran away.  I didn’t see that but I did see a snow leopard run across my vision as I was looking through a spotting scope.

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Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf

Here is an image containing a snow leopard (towards the top left corner) courtesy of expedition photographer and doctor Andrew Peacock (For his photography see footloosephotography.com).  He is using a high resolution full-frame Canon camera, a 600mm lens and a 1.4x teleconverter for a focal length of 840mm.  I estimate from Bing Maps and Google Earth that the snow leopard was about two kilometres away.  If you want to see it more clearly, click on the image.

In theory I could have got an image nearly as close albeit with a smaller, lower resolution sensor and not quite so stellar a lens but my lens was damaged and wouldn’t focus for far distances.

We could see more clearly through the spotting scopes which had a much higher magnification than 840mm, probably equivalent to 3000mm and perhaps 4000mm.  At other times through the scopes I saw blue sheep, golden eagles and a bird with a white head and black body that was described as potential food for the golden eagles and was probably a Himalayan Snowcock.

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Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf

There were also more distant snow-capped peaks visible from where we were viewing the snow leopards.

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Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf

This is a red-billed chough (not actually in focus at larger magnification).  It is similar in appearance to the white winged chough that we have in Australia (and in the reserve out the back from where I live) but they are only distantly related.

 

Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf

After lunch we took off seeking more snow leopard sightings.  From a similar viewpoint to where we views the snow leopards, here are some ponies returning to Rumbak village.

 

Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf

Another stone pen.

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Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf

Ancient wall and mountain view.

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Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf

Footprint of a Tibetan wolf.

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Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf

Where I have circled in red is either another snow leopard or probably the same one, though we are up a different valley and several kilometres from out first sighting.  This is at 560mm or a full-frame equivalent of 780mm, so the snow leopard is a long way away.  This is taken with my lens so it is out of focus.  Even so, at 1:1 I can just make out, though blurred, a head and ears above the rock line and a body and legs below.  You will not be able to see this even if you click on the image for a larger view.

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Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf

A plant struggling to survive though covered by the icy river.

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Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf

Apart from the snow leopards, there were also dramatic views available of mountains and coloured rocks.

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Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf .

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Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf .

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Architecture, Hemis National Park, Ice, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Macro, Nature, Photography, Rumbak, Snow Leopards, Tibet, Travel, Wilderness, Wolf

This one has a chimney so it is clearly an old house and associated pen.

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