From:  shan lung <shanlung9@y...>
Date:  Tue Jul 15, 2003  3:41 pm
Subject:  Tinkerbell at Alishan - Ding Hu




Hi folks,

Events of the last weekend brought me out of lurkdom
again.

I was trying to finish up a report of an earlier long
trip with Tink. I also had plans to write to you guys
on the development of Tink Harness Ver 6 using soft
lanyard and knots (using double figure-of eight loops)
which may be easier and more secure than just sewing
inspired by some private correspondence.

My son is coming over this evening to stay with me
for 2 weeks thereby cutting even more into my time. He
just graduated from the uni and going to work soon
and this may be the last long holidays we can share
together.

If I put this off, this may never be written.

Last few days have been brutally hot here with 37C in
the shade. I just had to go up the nearby Alishan
mountain range.

Riding up the mountain road on my bike with my wife
behind and Tink in carrier, I came to a turning when
my wife asked me where that lead to. Heck! Since I
did not know, a few moments later I doubled back to
get to that turn-off. With bamboo and forest on both
side of that little road and continuing upward climb,
I was getting to like that place even if just the
road.

The trees parted and we came into this tea plantation
with a hamlet of 12 odd houses. There was also a big
RV community with their pitched tents and RVs. I
found that this place was called Ding Hu and was a
collection of tea farmers who also rented out rooms
and camping areas to visitors. With the elevation of
near 1900 meters, that was a delightful cool place to
spend some time with some wonderful freezing
temperature at night.


I found lodgings by the process of asking around.
That the wardrobe was packed with clothings and the
bathroom with toiletries added to the charm. After
all, we only brought a change of Tshirts and underwear
and happy enough with a room vacated by its owner when
we walked in.

Eventually we got to this 'liang ting' or Chinese
pavilion located in a clearing next to a bamboo forest
and the RV campers.

You know of Tink and her harness and 3 weeks back, I
wrote about the sub-millimeter thick fishing line. I
had substituted the 8 inch loop in front of the
harness with two loops of the fishing line.
Notwithstanding the line material is used to make
bullet proof vests, I was too paranoid to use single
loop. Double loops will hold even if Tink bit through
a line. She tried her best and I am please to report
no serious noticeable damage on the line.

To those loops, that reelable dog leash had been
attached with the spring loaded thingy which kind of
weigh Tink down. That loops were introduced so the
leash attachment would have been further from Tink's
capable mouth.

Melinda of bird click had asked me to ask around prior
to using the fishing line. I did not as I doubt
others have tried and by default, I seem to be the
pioneer of intense harness usage here.

So sitting in the pavilion wreathed in mist looking
at Tink 8 feet away on a low wall, I thought its time
to check out the fishing line. The fishing line was
supposed to hold 200 kg and should hold a CAG.

The 50 meter long line on a hand reel was then tied to
a big paper clip I pinched from the office and clipped
on the harness loop. The dog leash was then removed.
Tink must have felt very different as the line was
much lighter and she perked up bobbing her body up and
down.

I cued her to fly to me. Her response in the past (if
she so decided to) was to fly in a straight line from
where she was to my up raised arm.

With the light line, she flapped her wings to rise
vertically a foot up hovering for a fraction of a
second. She then flew to me a couple of feet higher,
hovered to face the direction she came from and slowly
lowered herself on my shoulder instead of my arm.

Like she knew there was a big change and she showed me
that she liked it. I was happy like a crazy coot.
Small things pleases me and big things pleases me even
more. We knew for sure that Tink liked the lighter
fishing line very much.

We did a lot of recalls captured by my wife on her
camera and some on mine. I stopped even though it was
clear she wanted to continue on.

The next day, we went back to the same place again.
Instead of recalling within the pavilion, the recall
was done outside.

With the fishing line hooked up, Tink was placed on
the pavilion edge and I moved 15 meters (50 feet) or
so away unreeling the line as I moved. There was a
crowd watching us and Tink hates to perform for crowd.
I , being proud of my Tink, used to love the crowd.
But after Tink refused point blank to pander to my
pride in her, I sorrowfully disliked crowds as well.

She sat there ignoring al my cries until the crowd
lessen. She then flew to me. At the last moment, she
turned off to land up a big rock 10 meters above me to
peer down at me. With the line attached to her, I can
be very forgiving to my Tink. Without the line, my
heart will go into palpitations and I would have
swooned or whatever the masculine equivalent.

My lovely wife watching nearby gave her usual snide
remarks. I had nothing to respond to her as Tink was
leering down on me from her rock. She eventually
returned to me and we just hang around that place.

Later in the morning, more RVs and tents moved away
leaving us alone in that area. Even wife wandered off
to take silly photos of flowers.

The recall was set up again. The cue was given. Tink
responded immediately and so gracefully I could almost
cry, partly from the frustration such beauty was
witnessed only by me. To those clickers, the recalls
have been done so well and so successful for so long
that I have long ago 'faded' out the clicker.

Tink got her head rubs and seeds and I moved to her
starting point leaving Tink behind. Tink came
immediately to me on recall cue. I moved further away
and up a flight of steps so Tink must fly upwards to
me over 25 meters.

That flight was just so beautiful.

I cut the distance back to 12 meters and Tink came to
me on cue.

My wife came back eventually to witness the last two
long recalls out of a series of 8 -10 recalls. Tink
and I were having so much fun that I ended it
reluctantly.

That was it and we slowling made our way back down the
mountain to Chiayi.



=====
With warmest regards

Shanlung
Joy - wife, Tinkerbell - CAG & surrogate daughter
www.flickr.com
Tinkerbell shanlung's Tinkerbell photoset
www.flickr.com
Tinkerbell  at DingHu - first use of fishing line as leash shanlung's Tinkerbell at DingHu - first use of fishing line as leash photoset