Two Mornings in July

July 30, 2016

Last week I found a good place to sit by Homan River which is about a 10 minutes walk from my home, and not far from the ever-brooding Mt. Homan, it’s source. It was right beside a favorite fishing spot of a pair of common kingfishers. Their brood had fledged, and I was able to take some videos of them playing and fishing.
The kingfisher’s short and rearward-placed legs function well when perched on branches, so when they are standing on a flat surface their stance is somewhat like that of a penguin, but unlike penguins, they can’t walk. Other egrets and herons were also fishing nearby, like the great egret in two of the clips. It had a very good aim and  caught two fish right in front of me! Notice how the egret uses it’s wings to keep the fish in front of it. In another clip I am being scolded by a grey shrike. It was  the  first time one had flapped it’s wings while scolding me, so I thought it might have been a juvenile, as that is their behavior when begging for food from the parents. I included a few clips and a photo of some damselflies, a few in slow motion. They were constantly flitting about me. Flying gems they are, just like the gorgeous common kingfisher, or kawasemi, (translated, it means river cicada) as it is called here in Japan.
In the slow motion clips, if you freeze the motion and then double click quickly on the screen, it is possible to see in better detail what is actually going on. Movements or behaviors that are impossible to see at normal speed.
In my next post, I will show an example of this.

A post script: In the credits, I didn’t mention the pianist. His name is Luis Sarro.

Misty Morning at Onechi

July 1st, 2016

I had a relaxing and quiet hike to the top of Mt. Onechi last Sunday. It was early morning and the skies were just beginning to brighten. Mist had covered everything with dew, and had softened the bird song that was filtering through the forest. But on this day, they proved to be rather elusive. Here are a few images from that foggy morning.

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This is a poisonous mamushi, similar to the copperhead in North America. It was sunning itself at the trailhead and paid me no mind. Trust me, I was using a zoom lens on the last shot!