Nathan Cole

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I had just arrived a few days before at my artist residency in rural India, near a small village called Andore in Rajasthan. I was there to photograph and identify wildlife as reference material for my scratchboard portraits. I had acquainted myself with the surrounding farms and the pathways through them, but I was excited to explore beyond the fields into the desert. The harsh landscape was a maze of thorn bushes, rolling sandy hills punctuated by rocky crests, and dusty trails made by goat herders. I didn't know yet what I would find out there, but I knew that is where large Indian antelopes called Nilgai roamed and leopards prowled the heights. I headed out from the residency late one afternoon, as midday was too hot in the desert, eager to see what I could find. I had just passed the edge of the surrounding farmlands, ready to head down the trail into the desert, when I spotted a bird perched on a short fence post. I was only able to snap two quick photographs before it took off, as it was just a fleeting moment, but this one of the Eurasian Sparrowhawk stays with me as a snapshot of wild India.

A Eurasian Sparrowhawk takes off from a fence post in rural India.

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