wild

by Katherine Yaksich

Exactly 5 years ago today, I reset my life and hopped on a plane bound for South Africa and Mozambique not really knowing what the future would hold.  

 I’m excited to return to South Africa and Tanzania this upcoming summer with @andrewmklein to hopefully see some big cats play ball, summit Kilimanjaro, and tell some unexpected stories.  

 South Africa was my first experience in the African wild and it holds a special place in my heart. Pictured here is a lion we encountered on a night drive a few meters from our open air vehicle at Kruger National Park.  

 These past 5 years have flown by and I look back with a grateful heart as I prepare to come full circle.  

 All My Best, 
Reuben 

 #bigcatsplayball 

 (at South Africa)

Exactly 5 years ago today, I reset my life and hopped on a plane bound for South Africa and Mozambique not really knowing what the future would hold.

I’m excited to return to South Africa and Tanzania this upcoming summer with @andrewmklein to hopefully see some big cats play ball, summit Kilimanjaro, and tell some unexpected stories.

South Africa was my first experience in the African wild and it holds a special place in my heart. Pictured here is a lion we encountered on a night drive a few meters from our open air vehicle at Kruger National Park.

These past 5 years have flown by and I look back with a grateful heart as I prepare to come full circle.

All My Best,
Reuben

#bigcatsplayball

(at South Africa)

by Katherine Yaksich

This Arctic Life 
  My favorite image of my Arctic series goes out to this mother and cub, spotted from our ship from over 8 miles away by one of our naturalists. It may not look like it, but this was my most challenging photograph. We had to race over in our Zodiacs in very rough waters to get within 125 meters, and shooting at a focal length of 640 mm from a bouncing watercraft is not very ideal. Water was spraying all over us in true Arctic expedition fashion, and some cameras even stopped working after this operation.   
  According to a report published by the World Wide Fund for Nature, “  A substantial reduction in the   extent of the sea ice during the summer will   undoubtedly have a negative impact on polar   bears. Based on extremely conservative   forecasts about the future extent of the sea ice,   scientists have estimated that two thirds of the   polar bear population could become extinct by   2050. If the sea ice continues to retreat at the   speed witnessed during the last few years, the   situation will become even more critical.”

This Arctic Life

My favorite image of my Arctic series goes out to this mother and cub, spotted from our ship from over 8 miles away by one of our naturalists. It may not look like it, but this was my most challenging photograph. We had to race over in our Zodiacs in very rough waters to get within 125 meters, and shooting at a focal length of 640 mm from a bouncing watercraft is not very ideal. Water was spraying all over us in true Arctic expedition fashion, and some cameras even stopped working after this operation. 

According to a report published by the World Wide Fund for Nature, “A substantial reduction in the extent of the sea ice during the summer will undoubtedly have a negative impact on polar bears. Based on extremely conservative forecasts about the future extent of the sea ice, scientists have estimated that two thirds of the polar bear population could become extinct by 2050. If the sea ice continues to retreat at the speed witnessed during the last few years, the situation will become even more critical.”

by Katherine Yaksich

MOTHERHOOD

Polar bears rolling in the deep at Hornsund, located on the island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard.

Filmed on location in the Arctic

by Katherine Yaksich

I AM THE WALRUS
Part 1 of 4 of my short Arctic video series (15 sec each). Filmed handheld at a focal length of 640 mm so please pardon the camera shake!

Filmed on location in the Arctic

by Katherine Yaksich

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This Arctic Life \ Scenes from Diskobukta

1. Old trapper huts

2. Making nests

3. The Arctic fox is well adapted to living in cold environments, and has thick fur which is brown in summer and white in winter. 

Great Things Are Bound To Happen To You Just For Showing Up by Katherine Yaksich

“You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.” - Isadora Duncan

I love how you can do whatever you want in NYC, and there are no barriers and nothing stopping you. For example, I want to learn how to pop, so I’m able to take the train 2 stops from my house and take classes at New York’s premier dance center. Some of the students in my classes are well on their way to becoming professional dancers, and it’s intimidating as all hell. But part of the beauty of it all is that there’s no judgement and my peers still clap for me after I messed up performing my dance routine. My Japanese dance partner even gave me multiple bows, and we all know very well that there’s no way you will ever win a bowing contest against a Japanese person. People want to foster creativity and help you along the creative journey; they recognize how much courage it takes just to show up. 

I also love how there are so many unexpected, surprising moments in NY. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with a friend from college that lives in San Francisco. In fact, we’ve spent more time together in NYC over the past year than we did when we were practically next door neighbors in college. I always look forward to the random, unexpected text message from him. Last week, he texted me shortly after returning from Southeast Asia. Two days later, we were enjoying MGMT and Dinosaur Jr. perform live at Barclay’s Center, thanks to a producer that kindly gave my friend the tickets. 

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The next day we waited 20 minutes in the cold, falling snow to experience 1 minute in Yayoi Kusama’s “I Who Have Arrived In Heaven” infinity room. It was well worth it. There was another infinity room with a line of crazy New Yorkers willing to endure the cold for 2 hours for a chance to experience it for 45 seconds.

Afterwards, I attended my friend’s opening exhibit, Collision in Cycles, and some talented kids from Juilliard busted out a live musical score to his film as it was projected onto a big screen. It was a powerful, magical, and unexpected multi-sensory experience. But then again, you can’t really expect anything less from a wild gathering of NY creatives. I walked away feeling incredibly inspired and so grateful to be here.

In NY, great things are bound to happen to you just for showing up. All those unexpected moments make life exciting, wild, and worth living. So go out there and make it count.