New Years in the Fields – Preview

This is a preview to a photo series I shot during our New Years holiday. I’ve been meaning to put it together since I shot it but Max got sick and life got in the way, etc., etc., and so forth (quote from KoS). I’m now busy doing other things, but perhaps I’ll get around to it this weekend.
On the second day of the new year, our nanny invited us to her village for the bi-annual emptying of a communal fishpond. We piled into our trusty ’71 Crown, picked up a Japanese teacher who wanted to experience village life, and headed out deep into the rice fields. Actually, we first stopped at our nanny’s village so we could follow a pickup out to the final destination. I always carry rubber mats, wooden planks, and a shovel in the back of my car to get out of mudholes and sandy spots encountered in the back country, but with the family along for the ride it was comforting to have an escort (also, you never know when a feral Brahmin cow will decide to play cape buffalo and it’s nice to have a pickup to play decoy in such situations). The road was non-existent in places and we simply drove over drained and harvested rice fields along the paths of least resistance; I only scraped bottom once when I misjudged the far side of a steep bump. Several times, the pickup driver stopped an got out to warn me about a particularly rough patch ahead and asked if I just wanted to stop and park, but choosing the right lines is something of an obsession when I’m driving and I was lucky enough to choose correctly that day.
We eventually arrived to within walking distance (perhaps half a kilo) of the pond, which was being drained with a pump attachment hooked up to an iron buffalo (large roto-tiller or walking tractor). While waiting for the pond to drain, most of the hunters were out looking for field rats. This is where I started photo documenting the day.

To Be Continued…

2 thoughts on “New Years in the Fields – Preview

  1. Okay, I’ll ask the obvious question. How do they hunt and kill the rats?
    Do they have a picnic afterwards and grill the rats?

  2. They use velveeta for bait and trap them using Thai rat traps (just plain rat traps if your a local). The preferred method of preparation is deep deep frying especially if there is left over oil from making a new year’s turkey.

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