7/22/2008

Yakity, Yak




I suppose in everyone's travels we all have come across something that has totally bewildered our mind. In one of my adventures over the month of July out to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the road I had pursued lead me by a farm and I just had to stop and look in amazement. There out in the field were a group of the most god awful looking creatures I have ever seen. Now as much as I like viewing all kinds of wildlife and spending as much time as I can studying and photographing to learn more about my subject, this animal was right up there with other strange odditites I have come across. What the heck is it? I pulled down the drive that lead me into the farm. As a young man approched the truck I lowered the window and about to ask , I certainly wasn't the first to ask such a foolish question, his response: they are Yaks!
Yaks I said ,as if I knew what they were? Certainly I had never seen such a strange looking beast. Or maybe call it a cow of some sorts. As I asked more questions and gained this young man's interest, he politely asked if I wanted to take a closer look? Oh yes, with a big smile, oh and by the way would you mind if I took a few pictures as well, never hurts to ask. With just a little sound of grain being rattled, out from the field came a stampede of...yaks towards the fence line. As they approached closer the curious little boy came out in me wanting to know more about these creatures of which I certainly have never run across. Taking pictures left and right as the young man proceded to inundate me with information about the yaks. So here is the low down on ...Yaks. Yaks are a stocky shaggy-haired ox that comes from the Tibetan highlands, they stand six foot at the shoulder and can grow to a length of up to 14 ft. with a 3 foot tail. In the wild there are less than 100 yaks. In the U.S., about 2000 and a population of over 2 million in other countries. They are still used in Tibet for their meat, the hair is used for making clothing and the monisteries make candles out of the fat. Very interesting for living in Alaska seeing moose, bears, eagles as well as other alaskan wildlife. To be on a road out in the middle of nowhere traveling to a National Park with over 3 million acres headed for adventure, and I come across yaks from Tibet. I thanked the young man for his time, packed it in and...on down the road I went. Just when you think you've seen it all, Yaks from Tibet!
Well, I hope all your summer adventures are as interesting as mine have certainly been. And can anyone tell me when summer is supposed to start? That my friends is another story. Hey take care, make your summer last where ever you are.
See you down the trail somewhere,
Buford T. Porcupine

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