Drones used to monitor wild yaks

English: Yaks grazing on the Tian Shan, Xinjia...

English: Yaks grazing on the Tian Shan, Xinjiang, China. עברית: עדר יאקים רועה ברכס הטיאן שאן, שינג’יאנג, סין. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nice to see some war-mongering technology being put to a peaceful use.  A bit of an experimental verse today, I guess a little like a round in music.  You can start anywhere, move lines in sequence from the beginning to the end and the internal rhyming pattern remains the same and the overall meaning is retained (try starting from ‘Domained’ for example).  I don’t know if there’s a term for this type of verse, maybe I’ve just invented something!


Swords into ploughshares

honed to kill no more,
humble sheep in wolf’s clothing.
War-zone refugee
patrolling Altun mountains high,
beaten sword turned ploughshare.
Flying, now from war released,
haring over rough terrain
seeking peaceful end.
Domained in wilderness,
sending pictures back,
establishing herd numbers.
Yak-spotting drone.



13th December 2013 – headline from the BBC

Notes:  “Drones used to monitor wild yaks.”  Scientists use the unmanned aircraft to calculate the number of yaks in the mountain wilderness of Xinjiang province, and to collect data about their habitat.  In November, a drone performed four flights, taking photos of the yaks, the areas where they live and also collecting meteorological information.  The research programme is run by zoologists from Xinjiang’s Altun Mountains nature reserve and Beijing Normal University, which are looking for better ways to protect the wild yaks. Due to decades of rampant hunting, numbers in China have shrunk to between 30,000 and 50,000.  An estimated 10,000 yaks are believed to be roaming the remote Altun Mountains at an altitude of 3,000 to 6,000m, where they have lived for centuries undisturbed by humans or other animals. “It’s extremely difficult for field workers to access their habitats or track their activities,” Zhang Xiang, deputy chief of the Altun Mountains national nature reserve, tells Xinhua.

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