Monthly Archives: April 2013


Ravens, Revisited 3

Young Russian Crow

Working through unedited photos from last summer, I came across several pictures of juvenile ravens from Kamchatka. Looking at them, I was reminiscing about that trip and the circumstances of encountering the birds. A friend and I were exploring an abandoned 5-story dormitory building outside of town we were in, when we spotted a raven’s nest perched high on top of the building. The juvenile raven, although able to fly, had not yet left the nest completely. His parents weren’t around and he was flying in circles around the nest. Distracted by our visit, he became curious.  Staring at my friend, he flew right into the building – not a glass window, mind you, but the wall of the building. He tried to regain his flight mid-air, but after loosing momentum, not very gracefully crashed to the ground. Luckily, he was flying slowly, and didn’t seem to have broken anything or hurt himself, but was still visibly shaken. Once on the ground, he scrambled on top of a rusted car to regain composure. I was able to take a few photos of him from a far, as he was sitting still, dazzled. Usually, corvids are very aware of having a camera pointed at them, and photographing them can be a challenge. After several minutes his parents showed up, made a raucous, and he took off for the nest.

Young Russian Crow

On another day, on the other side of town, we came across a nest with three young crows. Our goal was to observe coastal salmon fishermen, fishing trap nets set a couple of kilometers from shore. We found an abandoned military tower used for observations of approaching Japanese and American submarines. The tower was perched on top of a hill with a good overview of the coast below. As we were scrambling along the rusted stairways, we came across a nest on one of the tower platforms. The three youngsters hadn’t fledged yet and were bound to the nest. Their parents, again, weren’t around, and we literally had to step over the chicks walking around the platform to get to the top of the tower. They hugged one side of the platform as we were passing, and we crawled along the other. They didn’t seem too concerned about our presence and I took a few photos on my way down from the top.

Juvenile Russian Crow on Nest

Juvenile Russian Crow on Nest


The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point, The Bronx

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point

I never got a chance to photograph the historic landmark that was the Fulton Fish Market on the East River in Lower Manhattan, a short walk from Brooklyn Bridge. The market moved to its current location at Hunts Point in the Bronx in November 2005, when I was just discovering photography. While visiting my family in NYC last week, I decided to remedy this situation and photograph its latest reincarnation.

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point

The Fulton Fish Market opened in its original location on South Street in 1822. At first it just sold retail, catering to the locals in Brooklyn and the surrounding areas. By 1850, it became primarily a wholesale market, the most important East Coast fish market in the USA, selling to restaurants and seafood retailers. In its first 100 years, fishing boats along the Atlantic Ocean came to the market docks to offload their catch. However, by the 1950s, most of the fish were brought in by trucks rather than directly from the fishermen. Now the fish are flown or trucked in from all over the world.

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point

Dubbed “the New York stock exchange of seafood”, “New York City built the $86 million state-of-the-art New Fulton Fish Market to retain the region’s valuable wholesale seafood industry. The Fulton Fish Market handles about one-third of the New York’s total seafood demand. The [m]arket is second in size worldwide only to Tokyo’s Tsukiji wholesale seafood market. [It] handles millions of pounds of seafood daily and annual sales exceed one billion dollars”. ¹

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point

Even the trip to the market was an interesting affair. It took me over a week of phone calls to get to the right person to get a press pass. The Fulton Fish Market is a private building with entrance fees and own security, so it was important to secure proper authorization before heading there in the middle of the night. The market is open from 1 am to 7 am, with much of the activity happening around 4. I was told Thursdays were the busiest days, so I decided to arrive there by 3 am on a Thursday. My sister graciously lent me her car and a GPS-enabled phone, so I could find my way to the market and back in the middle of night, an hour of driving each way. New Yorkers like to dig up streets and do what seems like a never-ending street construction, so being navigated by a GPS device saved me from being hopelessly lost in Manhattan and the Bronx. It was interesting driving from the southern tip of Brooklyn through Manhattan and into the Bronx. It was also a treat to drive over the Manhattan Bridge on the way to the market and the Brooklyn Bridge on the way back, something I’ve never done before.

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point

For more photos of the New Fulton Market, see my Portfolio. To license images for editorial or commercial use, please visit my Image Archive.

References: ¹ http://www.newfultonfishmarket.com/history.html and ² http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulton_Fish_Market

The New Fulton Fish Market at Hunts Point


Saquisilí Animal Market

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

Nora and I were closing the week-long Quilotoa loop, a gorgeous hike in Ecuador around the Rio Toachi Canyon. We timed it so we would end up in Isinlivi a day or two before the Thursday animal market in Saquisili. Located off the Pan-American Highway, Saquisili is a 25-minute drive from Latacunga.

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

Since arriving in Ecuador, I became hooked on weekly markets in towns along our way. Dynamic, noisy, they usually start at daybreak and dissipate by noon. Saquisili Thursday market did not disappoint. Comprised of 8 markets scattered throughout the small town, “it is mainly for locals from the highlands who come to buy pots and pans, electronics, herbal remedies, livestock or produce” (Wikipedia).

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

Even getting to Saquisili was an adventure in itself. The bus from Isinlivi left at 3:30 am. The manager of the hostel we were staying in, another hostel guest and I got up at 3 in the morning to catch the bus. Nora stayed behind to sleep in. We agreed to meet in Latacunga. When we walked to the bus, I was surprised that the bus driver put our backpacks in a storage compartment in the back of the bus, not underneath the bus on a side, as I was used to. I soon learned why. During the 3-hour drive to Saquisili, people would flag down the bus along the way to go the market. They were bringing all kinds of wares to sell, which were loaded in the side compartment. One such stop yielded a rancher who loaded 3 live sheep. I was glad my backpack wasn’t in that compartment. We arrived in town around 6:30, just as the animal market was entering the full swing.

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

By 10 am, many animals were sold and trucks loaded with cows, bulls, pigs, llamas and sheep were emptying out of town. It was time for me to leave as well. I took a bus and was in Latacunga an hour later, just in time for the Mama Negra Festival.

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market

For more photos of Ecuador’s markets, please see my Portfolio or Image Archive.

Saquisili Thursday Animal Market