Katie Orlinsky@katieorlinsky



490 posts 190,121 followers 903 following

Cottonwood tree, Wyoming.

Kelly, Wyoming

I just dug out my first truck all by myself and want to brag about it! Also best of luck to the 68 men and women that set out on a grueling 1,000 mile race through the Alaskan wilderness alone by dog team today. #myownIditarod

Fairbanks, Alaska

Alaska changes you... (More visitors please!)

Farmer's Loop, Fairbanks, Alaska

Cows with coats, Mongolia.

Outside the home of a nomadic herder in the Uvs province of Mongolia, baby livestock stay home while the rest of the herd is out in the extreme cold before a possible “dzud” crisis. A dzud is an emergency related to extreme weather conditions. With cold winds coming from Siberia, temperatures drop to below -50 C. Animals freeze or starve because they can’t graze. Warming weather and lack of rain in the summer is increasing every year, and there’s less hay available for the animals to gain the weight they need to endure the brutal winter. Thousands can be lost in a day. The fear is that the dzud will hit this spring when the snow melts. Once the nomadic herders lose their animals, they have no income, they can’t repay their bank loans and they go bankrupt. They leave the countryside for the dangerously polluted city. Or parents send their children away to school, and the children never come back. I travelled throughout Mongolia to raise awareness and document this issue with @iamcaritas.


Frozen tree, Mongolia.
I felt like I was catching sight of a rare wild animal when I saw this lone tree outside the small city of Ulaangom in Uvs, Mongolia, a province that rests in between Siberia and the Gobi Desert. I had just finished a week of journeying through frozen meadows and snowy mountains with @iamcaritas to the isolated homes of nomadic herders facing a little-known emergency situation called “dzud.” A dzud is an natural disaster related to extreme weather conditions, and this year the cold is already dropping to below -50 C. This means animals freeze or starve because they can’t graze. In addition, warming weather and increased lack of rain in Mongolia leads to summer droughts, less hay for the animals, and livestock too skinny to endure the brutal winters. If a dzud hits this spring, thousands of animals can be lost in a day. For nomadic herders, this means they lose everything, and are often forced to join Mongolia’s growing exodus from the countryside to the city.

Ulaangom, Uvs

Met some reindeer today. There was no Santa but there was a scientist.

Fairbanks, Alaska

That's a wrap at @rosemaryfarm with @natgeo #behindtheshot! A huge thanks to the amazing @Rosemaryfarm sanctuary equine rescue, Dawn, Robert, Nemo and gang for their incredible hospitality, and to the awesome film crew for such a successful shoot. It really feeds my soul to spend time with these special creatures (like Piper and her boyfriend River pictured here) and I also have no complaints about taking a nice little trip (almost) home during some unseasonably warm east coast weather. On that note, next stop Miami! Then Alaska, of course :)

Rosemary Farm Sanctuary

Little ladies in their ger (yurt) deep inside the mountains of Uvs Provence, Mongolia.

Uvs Province

On the road in Uvs, Mongolia, right before sunrise. Felt like a dream. Now I'm back in Ulaanbaatar and slowly, reluctantly, coming back to reality.

Böhmörön, Uvs, Mongolia

The traditional Mongolian puppy handshake

Uvs Province

There's cold, and then there's Mongolia... Landed in Ulaanbaatar! Tomorrow we are off to Uvs province.

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Janice. Tesoro Gas Station, Fairbanks.

Fairbanks, Alaska