Monday, December 8, 2014

Critters of Bhutan

While we were in Bhutan, we saw lots of critters, including ponies. The locals called them "horses," but they were small, stocky, with big barrels (the tummy/chest part), and thick wooly coats. That makes them ponies in my book:

We saw ponies on farms and on trails:

On the Royal Family's golf course:

And hanging out on mountainsides:

We also saw goats, including these very tame goats at a monastery:

These goats were grazing near young men playing a game of lawn darts. Watch out, dudes!

We saw cows by the side of the road:

The cows seemed unafraid of buses whizzing past:

We saw tethered cows patrolling the rice fields, where they nibbled amidst the cut-down crop on long ropes:

I saw butterflies, although I didn't know what kind they were:

And we hiked under spectacular spiders, easily 3 inches across, that hung huge webs over our heads like gossamer blankets as we walked the mountain trails. It was a *little* creepy:

We saw yaks! These photos were taken from our bus window. You do NOT want to walk up to a yak. They are not cows. Nosirree.

They are big, grumpy beasts who apparently can tell the difference between their nomad caretakers and Westerners dressed in funny-looking hiking gear. But they are very handsome beasties:

This yak has had his/her fur trimmed sort of like a Cocker Spaniel's. Yak fur is used as a textile by the nomads of Bhutan:

We traveled half a day over winding, precipitous, scary-skinny roads to see the majestic and endangered Black-Necked Cranes, beloved by the Bhutanese and protected by law. They winter in one particular valley in Bhutan, and the only other creatures allowed to walk through that valley are the local cows. Humans have to use binoculars and the long-range lens on their cameras to get shots like these:

I was surprised at how few cats I saw. They were very pretty and tended to be on the small side:

And we saw dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. But I'll save those photos for the next time.

For now, Goodnight!



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