Magazine article International Wildlife

In the Field with Pheasants

Magazine article International Wildlife

In the Field with Pheasants

Article excerpt

Crouching in the shadow of a great frost-split boulder, I waited motionless. Behind me, the wall of a jagged cliff rose straight toward the heavens--a giant wall that seemed to set me utterly apart from the world that lay beyond. Within a morning's march of me was the little world made up of my camp and my men, and far away, across wastes of land and water, was the great world of civilization, where countless human beings were creating and solving the small complexities of their daily life....

Far overhead, against the intense blue of the sky, an Himalayan skylark hung on fluttering wings, sending its jubilant notes down to the sloping snowfields beneath... The arctic meadow that swept downward...was dotted, between snow patches, with the warm pink of new-blown primroses... Even beside me, winter was fighting for a stronghold; in the purple shadows of the cliff were small, scattered islands of white, pitted with falling drops from overhanging icicles. It was so still that sometimes I could hear the faint tinkle of these drops breaking through the thin ice crust of the snow. But it was a stillness made up of countless sounds--so many of which had no meaning to me. I heard only the song of the lark and the murmur of a hundred rivulets, trickling along the first stages of their long voyage to the sea. …

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