Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wild China

I just watched one of the most fascinating documentaries (yes, I'm nerdy - I adore nature/travel documentaries): Wild China

I'm wowed. The scenery is spectacular, especially the rice patties.  The Chinese have carved entire mountains into elaborate terraces of rice paddies. The paddies have been in place so long that the wildlife has adjusted around them. Egrets have colonized the area because the wetlands are home to so many frogs, fish and insects.

Ever since we visited DC two years ago and viewed an art exhibit of Chinese landscape photography, China became a top member of my travel list. Of course, almost every where I want to go is dangerous and crazy expensive, but I don't care. Where do I want to visit? India (yes, the whole country - there's a lot to see!), Turkey, Morocco, China (especially Southern China), Mongolia (I was in the process of applying for a veterinary externship in Mongolia before I left vet school), Afghanistan and New Zealand (might as well throw in one safe one). I'm really attracted to harsh mountainous climates with a lot of poverty and political turmoil. To my parents: Aren't you glad I married someone who wants to stay stateside?

I think my favorite part (so far - there are 6 episodes) is the 70 year old fisherman who have trained cormorants to fish for them. The fishermen tie a string around the birds' necks to keep them from swallowing the fish. Then they let the birds do their thing. The cormorants swim underwater and catch fish and bring them back to the fisherman on the boats. So neat. Every trained bird I've ever seen speaks a couple of useless phrases and poops all over everything!

If you have netflix, you can watch it online. If not, it's well worth the rental, especially if you're fans of Planet Earth or Blue Planet.

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