We live in an age where we’re encouraged to think newer is better. This year’s camera / computer / car (insert your preference here) is better than last year’s, they tell us. So, once in a while, it’s nice to spend some time photographing a very traditional activity.
A team of loggers have been thinning a 40-year-old pine forest near Ezcaray, La Rioja. By taking down some of the trees, those left behind have more room to grow. But rather than dragging down the trunks with tractors they use mules. Using animals means they don’t have to carve new paths through the forest; mules’ hooves damage the mountain environment less than mechanical tracks.
The animals are trained to obey the voice commands of their handlers and watching them work as a team was a real privilege.